August 20, 2019

How Do I Know if My Chapter 13 Has Been Dismissed?

I have been out of work for the last six months. Prior to my being unemployed I filed Chapter 13 to try and get a hold of my finances.  I haven’t been able to make a payment for 4 months now and wanted to know if I haven’t heard from the Trustee’s office should I assume that my case has been dismissed?  

I have been holding back on calling them to dismiss it myself because I am hoping my financial situation will change. Is there any way to find out without my status without contacting my lawyer or trustee. The only recent correspondence I have received from my lawyer was for my financial management course.

–M

Jonathan Ginsberg responds:  M, first I would advise you to contact your lawyer about this.  Your lawyer is on your side and may be able to offer helpful advice.  I see no reason why you would want to avoid speaking with your lawyer about problems with your Chapter 13 case.  You are paying your lawyer good money to serve as your advocate – why not get your money’s worth.

To answer your question – your case is not going to be dismissed without your knowing about it.  In most cases, the trustee will file a Motion to Dismiss Case based on your failure to fund the case.  If that should happen, you will have 20 to 30 days in which to negotiate a Consent Order with the trustee.  Here, again, is where your lawyer earns his/her fees.

If your case is under "strict compliance" for whatever reason, you will get notice of default and an opportunity to cure the default, but no opportunity for a  hearing before the judge.  I talk about these two forms of dismissal notice in a post on the Bankruptcy Law Network blog.

Again, don’t exclude your lawyer from this process.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Ginsberg represents honest, hardworking men and women in the Atlanta area who need personal bankruptcy protection. In practice for over 25 years, Jonathan teaches bankruptcy law and practice at legal continuing education seminars and he is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Atlanta.

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