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I can’t pay my chapter 13 – Part 3

Bankruptcy Lawyers

I can’t pay my chapter 13 – Part 3

Get Caught Up

When I can’t pay my Chapter plan, what do I do? It’s easy to say “get caught up.” You ask, if I could get caught up, I wouldn’t be behind. Valid question, but it still an option and here is why. Many times you fall behind with your Trustee payments because of a life event. You could have lost your job, or been sick and out of work for a while, or even had to tend to a family emergency that caused you to miss work. For some people, their car broke down or their air conditioning at home went out and needed to be replaced and they had to divert the money they would have paid the Trustee to cover those unintended expenses. The Judges DO understand this.

But many times, those life events are one-timers. Meaning, they don’t occur every time. So if you lost your job, but are not back at work, the good news is that you will now have income going forward. So it is possible you can get caught up – in the future.

Get Caught Up – But Over Time

If I can’t pay my Chapter 13, many Judges will give me time to get the payments caught up. Especially if the event that caused you to fall behind is no longer present. So you fixed your car and it’s working now. You can now focus on paying your Trustee payments. The key is that even as these events happen, you STILL have to keep trying to make your payments. Doesn’t matter if they are full monthly payments or not. The key is to show effort. Our as we say, to show good faith. You are trying to demonstrate that you still want to be in the repayment plan, but just don’t have enough money.

So if you go to court, you let the Judge know what happened and ask the Judge for MORE TIME to get caught up. If you go this route, you have to get back on track with your monthly payments AND ask the Judge if you can pay an additional amount each month so that you will eventually get caught up. Over time. So I can’t pay my chapter 13 plan, I can ask for more time and get caught up over the next few months. The Judges will generally give you a chance to do this, but again, you must demonstrate your intent by staying current with your payments going forward.

Get Caught Up – Use Epay

If I can’t pay my Chapter 13 plan, and want to get caught up over time, then I must use the Trustee’s Electronic EPay system. This means making the Trustee payment ONLINE ! Your Trustees do not want you to mail any payments anymore.

It is the same as paying your electric or cell phone bills online. All you need is a checking account. You set up a log in and password. Put in your bankruptcy case number and then input your checking account number and your bank’s routing number. The payment will be efective the next day and you will get a confirmation email showing the payment was made. You don’t even need a computer, you can use your smart phone.

Many of our clients email us this “proof of payment” that we can use to show the payment was made. If you are asking the Judge for more time to get caught up, then you must provide proof of that payment. Many clients bring that proof with them to the hearing on their phone since they get an email. It works and we highly encourage you to use it.

If you have problems setting up the Epay online payment account or do not have a computer, please come to our office to set up an account and pay online using one of our computers here.

If your Trustee is William Heitkamp, here is the link to his Epay portal.

If you Trustee is David Peake, here is the link to his Epay portal.

Both Trustees have an information sheet that you can review should you have any questions Of course, your can call our office if you have questions, or call your Trustee too.

So I can’t pay my Chapter 13 Trustee payment. It happens, But you are not alone. The law firm of Busby & Associates goes extra lengths to try and help our clients. If you fall behind with your payments, call us, we will go over all of the options. Then we will help you choose the one that is best for you and your family. We are here for you.

Please visit our website for more information about us and bankruptcy. Call us today at (713) 974-1151 to schedule a no-obligation consultation or feel free to email us at [email protected]


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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.