Frequently Asked Questions
When a creditor’s claim has been fully paid through your plan, the creditor should, and usually does, send the “paid-in-full” papers to you. If the creditor does not provide the “pink slip,” send the creditor a copy of your discharge along with a letter of explanation. If that does not work, contact your attorney. If you receive any request for additional money after your plan is completed, do not pay without first talking to your attorney.
Write to the Trustee and ask for an estimated pay-off. Understand, however, that any pay-off figure you receive from the Trustee is an estimate. It will not include any filed claims that the Trustee is not aware of, nor will it include interest that will accrue in the future on any secured claims. If your plan pays less than 100% to your unsecured creditors, you may be required to increase that percentage to 100% if you are seeking to pay off your plan early. Contact your attorney for more details.
The Trustee will give out certain information about cases to interested parties in the case. Note, however, that if you are not on the petition as a co-debtor in the case, the Trustee can only give you some general information that would be available to creditors or other interested parties. Since you are not the debtor in the case, you cannot make decisions about the case, and there is some information that you will not be provided. You cannot “handle” the case for the debtor.
I need to buy a new car, and the dealer says I have to get a letter from the Trustee. Can I get a letter from the Trustee?
No. If you wish to incur debt (buy or lease a car, sell, buy, or refinance a home) you must obtain a court order. The Trustee does not have the authority to give letters of approval. Contact your attorney for assistance.
Your credit rating during and after completion of your Chapter 13 plan will be based on information provided by individual creditors.
Your credit history is made available to creditors who then make independent determinations whether or not to grant credit to you. Suits, collections, attachments and bankruptcies are indications, in one degree or another, of credit problems.
Debtors who complete their plans may be able to improve their credit profile by informing the credit reporting agencies that they have received a discharge. A copy of your final report from the Chapter 13 Trustee and a copy of your discharge order from the Court should accompany a letter informing the agency that you have completed your plan.
You should consider requesting a copy of your credit report to ensure that the information contained in the report is accurate. There may be a nominal fee for obtaining a copy of your report from the agencies.
Complying with a Chapter 13 plan is not easy. You may have to make a real sacrifice to meet the obligations that you have specified in your plan and still live within your Chapter 13 budget. Thousands of families have successfully completed their Chapter 13 plans and know that they have resolved their debt problems without filing a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and have paid most, if not all, of their obligations to their creditors. Chapter 13 will only work for you if you work very hard at meeting your obligations under your plan.