“B” is for Bankruptcy Timeline

The timeline for a typical bankruptcy case is as follows. I will talk mostly about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, because business bankruptcies in Chapter 11 vary considerably. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases begin as follows. Prior to filing a case, one must complete the Pre Filing Counseling, which takes from 30 to 60 minutes. Most people … Read More

“A” is for Abuse of Bankruptcy

In the Bankruptcy Alphabet, “A” stands for abuse of bankruptcy. Clients frequently ask me if their bankruptcy case is going to be approved by the Court. My answer is yes, as long as they follow the rules of the court. I write this today having just read that the Bankruptcy Court has dismissed the Chapter 13 case of T-Boz, the … Read More

“I” is for Insurance–the Bankruptcy Alphabet

In the bankruptcy alphabet world, “I” is for insurance. Specifically, I’m talking about force-placed insurance. Never heard of it? Well, it’s a huge money-maker for mortgage servicing companies and it’s a nasty way for a homeowner to lose a lot of money. It’s also one way you can get your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case dismissed. Here’s what happens: if you’re … Read More

10 Tips for Success in Your Chapter 13 Case

So, you filed a Chapter 13 case and your Chapter 13 plan has been confirmed by the Court. Your goal at this point is to pay off the total amount in your plan, also known as the plan base. Here are ten things to prepare for: 1) complete your Pre-Discharge Financial Education course and establish a good budget; 2) make … Read More

4 Ways how Bankruptcy can help you modify your Mortgage Loan

I was recently in Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh on a Chapter 13 case. It was a difficult case, in which the client was over $20,000 behind on his primary mortgage. My client could afford to make his regular mortgage payment, but to pay that in addition to such a high percentage of arrears was too difficult for him. He really … Read More

6 Steps on Getting a Car Loan While in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case

Okay, there you have it!! I will start screaming if I hear about another car salesman telling one of my Chapter 13 clients that “all you need is a letter from the Trustee saying the car loan is approved”. News Flash to All Car Salesman of Western Pennsylvania: the Chapter 13 Trustee doesn’t issue letters like that. Don’t ask them. … Read More

3 Tips to Success in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Okay, your Chapter 13 case has been filed and you have attended your Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. Let’s say that the Trustee has recommended that your Chapter 13 plan be confirmed on an interim basis. Now what? Here are three tips to remember: Watch out for Force-Placed Insurance! This is the type of very expensive insurance that mortgage companies … Read More

Is your mortgage current after a Chapter 13 case?

Notice of Cure in a Chapter 13 case A lot of clients ask how they know that they’re current on their mortgages after their Chapter 13 case has been completed. It’s actually ingenious, but in our district here in Western Pennsylvania, the Chapter 13 Trustee will file a notice with our Court called a “Notice of Cure” which states that … Read More

My Thoughts on Getting a Mortgage Loan Modification

There’s been a tidal wave lately of folks applying for loan modifications with their mortgage companies. All I can say is to be careful about what you wish for. First, the Obama Administration programs for loan modifications such as HAMP are entirely voluntary on the part of mortgage companies. So you can’t sue the bank or force it to accept … Read More

Does My Spouse Have to File Bankruptcy With Me?

I had some new clients today who wanted to save their home from foreclosure. They had been getting a run-around from their mortgage company, Chase, about a possible loan modification. After about 6 months of attempting a modification, they were now $7,100 behind on their mortgage. I talked with them about filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to automatically stop any … Read More