Failure to make payments

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Once a bankruptcy court approves your repayment plan under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will be your sole responsibility to make the plan succeed. This will involve you making timely and regular payments to the trustee handling your case. If you’re unable to make the payments in accordance with the confirmed repayment plan due to a temporary interruption in income or an unexpected increase in expenses, you can either ask the court to modify your plan temporarily so that you have a lower monthly payment or you can ask the court to grant you a suspension of your payments for a few months so that you can have time to get your financial affairs in order. Whatever you decide, you must be sure to act in a timely manner. If you fail to make your payments and choose not to take action to modify your plan or get a suspension, the court will dismiss your case and your creditors will assume the same rights that they had before you filed. Keep in mind that Chapter 13 plans are voluntary, so you’re free to dismiss your case yourself but the consequences will be the same whether a court initiates the dismissal or not. At any time, you’ll also be free to convert your Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 case. The conversion may lead to changes in your ability to protect certain assets and to discharge particular debts. Remember also that you can’t convert your bankruptcy if you’ve already filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the six years prior to your Chapter 13 filing.

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