I’ve Filed and Life Happened – Now What?

  • I fell behind on my mortgage payments. Now what?
  • Can I refinance my house?
  • Can I sell my house or car?
  • What if my income drops because I lose my job or cannot work?
  • I fell behind on child support or alimony. Now what?
  • Can I convert to a different Chapter of bankruptcy?

Q: I fell behind on my mortgage payments. Now what?
A: In Chapter 7, you will need to cure the arrears (back payments) immediately.  If you do not, you could face a Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay, where the lender petitions the court to foreclose.  In Chapter 13, the lender will take the same action, but it may be possible to amend your Plan payment and include the arrears; although, whether the lender will agree to do so varies from case to case.

Q: Can I refinance my house?
A: This question arises in a Chapter 13.  You must get the court’s permission to refinance.  You will need to file a motion to get permission.  We do not recommend trying to refinance until you have made a year’s timely Plan payments.  Mortgage lenders want to see a good track record in your Plan before agreeing to refinance.

Q: Can I sell my house or car?
A: This question arises in a Chapter 13.  Without court permission you cannot sell your home or car while in bankruptcy.  You will need to file a motion to get permission.  Contact us to discuss how to best proceed.

Q: What if my income drops because I lose my job or cannot work?
A: Once your Chapter 13 Plan has been approved by the court, making changes requires the court’s permission.  The process goes most smoothly if the Trustee agrees with the request.  We work with our clients to determine the best option when circumstances change.

Q: I fell behind on child support or alimony.  Now what?
A: Do what you can to catch up, because your Chapter 13 discharge may not go through if you are behind on child support and alimony.

Q: Can I convert to a different Chapter of bankruptcy?
A: Debtors can convert from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 and vice versa.  If your income drops in a Chapter 13, you may be able to convert to a Chapter 7, but you may lose your house or car in the process.  If you filed a Chapter 7 and fell behind on your loan payments for your house or car, converting to a Chapter 13 can help you keep your assets.  You will need to qualify for Chapter 13.

To speak with an experienced, effective, and affordable bankruptcy lawyer, contact us and call today for a free consultation at 443-472-4101.