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You have responsibilities in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

People who file for bankruptcy have specific responsibilities that they need to live up to. If you don't live up the responsibilities that you have in these cases, you can cause your bankruptcy to not be discharged as it should.

Ideally, you should learn about the responsibilities you have before you file your Chapter 13 case. Even if you are already in the process of filing or have turned everything in, including the required payment, you should still take a peek at this list to give you an idea of what you need to accomplish.

Keep payments current

You must keep payments for the exempt property that isn't part of the bankruptcy current. This includes the mortgage, personal loans and car loans. These debts must be brought current and shouldn't be past due during the course of the bankruptcy. If these debts aren't current, there is a chance that your bankruptcy won't be discharged, which could lead to issues. Your payments to the bankruptcy trustee must be made according to the schedule.

Pay off priority debts

Priority debts include various things, but some of the ones that are common are child support arrears and nondischargeable tax debts. If you had a business and owe certain debts related to that, such as employee wages, they will have to be paid in full before the bankruptcy can be discharged. You also need to pay all fees and expenses related to the bankruptcy, including trustee fees, attorney fees and filing fees.

Don't take on new debt

You shouldn't go into more debt while you are in the bankruptcy process. If you find that you do need to go into debt, you must get permission from the bankruptcy trustee. This is because part of bankruptcy requires that you go through credit counseling and come up with a budget that doesn't include new credit.

File taxes and other documents

You must file your taxes on time when you have filed for bankruptcy. You also need to file annual expense and income reports with the court. The court must get a copy of your tax returns for the past four years, a copy of the credit counseling certificate of completion and a copy of a repayment plan.

There is a lot of work that goes into filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Making sure that you have everything in order can make the process a lot smoother. It can also help to ensure that you can meet these requirements.

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Peter R. Scribner, Esq.
1110 Park Avenue
Rochester, New York 14610

Phone: 585-800-9616
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