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My Question is on Chapter 13 and when it is confirmed and what causes it to go longer than supposed to.

Houghton Lake, MI |

We filed Cpt 13 March 30 2011. Confirmation was to take place May. Had a few disputes but settled them all. We had agreed to 36 months, begin payments ASAP in Apirl 0f 2011, giving trustee funds threw bank account monthly.
My Question is 2 part. We have done everything we was supposed to due but our 36 month plan is now a 46 month plan and everytime I look, we go up a few months longer. We have played by their rules and done everything asked of us, with no change to income amendments or anything, yet everytime we check our plan is being moved up in Months and we never reached confirmation until October 20, 2011 and I don't understand that either? My understanding is, if you have done all that you was to do, it would be confirmed on the filing date. 46 mths and rising HELP!!

Should we contact another attorney on this as the trustee is running wild and our current attorney will not return phone calls? We are at wits end and I am afraid if someone does not stop this run-away train, we could be years in chapter 13.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    If your attorney is not returning phone calls, you obviously picked the wrong attorney. There's no way to know why your plan term keeps getting extended without analyzing all the documents in your case file and asking the Trustee. The terms of your plan confirmation order (assuming it has been entered--it's not clear from your facts) will dictate the term of your plan. If you're paying less than 100%, the Trustee will sometimes extend the plan term up to 60 months so you can satisfy the "best efforts" requirement of the bankruptcy code, but without more information, I can't determine why in your case this is occurring.

    If your attorney has abandoned you, you should hire new counsel.

    aMark J. Markus, Attorney at Law
    Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.
    bankruptcy blog:
    Follow Me on Twitter: @bklawr

    Legal disclaimer: Mark J. Markus practices law in California only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation.

  2. If you read your paperwork, it is generally 36 months from the date of confirmation, not from the date of filing. So going From march to October before getting confirmed stretches the plan 5 months there alone. Then assuming that your plan says you are supposed to pay certain percentage to your creditors, some creditors may have come back at more than you had scheduled, or perhaps that is what the "disputes" were about. If the dollar amount you have to pay into the plan increases andyour payment doesn't, then the length of your plan increases. Your payment may need to increase to keep your plan at 36 mnths from confirmation. Also, the trustee'sz website is a estimate, it could be wrong or a number may have been entered wrong. There are lots of variables that go into making a plan successful and run on time. We always hope everything fgoes right and it is confirmed successfully the first time it is upp for confirmation, but if you (through your attorney), the court/trustee and the creditors can't agree on something, it it can end up being a fe months until everything is staightened out and the plan gets confirmed.

  3. I agree with the previous answers that it seems as if your attorney has to answer some questions of yours. If your plan was to be a 36 month plan, I am going to make the presumption that this was due to your income falling below the median, and not due to a 100% payment plan. However, if you are in a plan that propses to pay back all of your creditors, 100%, this could cause a plan to extend as long as 60 months. The real key is to review the proof of claims. If your attorney is not responding to you, it is a good idea to seek alternative counsel, but first send him or her a letter to find out why your plan is being extended. This does not typically happen without an order, which may give you a better idea of what has transpired.

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