Case FAQs

CASE INFORMATION 

CHANGES DURING PLAN 

CREDITORS AND DEBTS

EXPECTATIONS

PAYMENTS

PLAN

PROPERTY 

TAXES

ANNUAL REPORT AND DEBTOR RUN SHEET

 

 

If you have just filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you probably have a lot of questions!  The following series of "Questions and Answers" is provided to you only for the purposes of orientation and to give you some idea of what to expect.  THE BANKRUPTCY CODE WILL DETERMINE WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN YOUR CASE.  You need to discuss with your attorney your individual concerns, legal rights, and specific questions about your particular situation, and how the Bankruptcy Code will affect your case.  The Chapter 13 Trustee and his staff will help you implement your Plan.  However, the Trustee’s office will NOT GIVE YOU ANY LEGAL ADVICE!

 

You will find additional FAQs on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court website for the District of Arizona.

 

 

 

Case Information

 

What is my chapter 13 bankruptcy case number?

Who is my trustee? How do I contact him?

When will I have to appear in court? Where?

I am in need of translation or interpretation services for a hearing. How do I set these up?

"My friend went through bankruptcy and she says..."

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What is my chapter 13 bankruptcy case number?

At the time your Chapter 13 petition was filed, the Bankruptcy Clerk assigned your case a number.  This number is very important.  You will need your case number whenever you write to the Trustee's office or make payments to the Trustee.  The Notice of Commencement of Case mailed by the Bankruptcy Court provides your case number.  An example of this case number is 02:10-bk-00001.

 

Who is my trustee? How do I contact him?

Your trustee is Russell Brown.  His office is located at 3838 N. Central Avenue, #800, Phoenix, Arizona 85012.  This office is open from 8:30AM to 5:00PM.  The phone number to your trustee's office is (602) 277-8996.  The fax number to the office is (602) 253-8346.  You can email your questions to mail@ch13bk.com.

 

Please have your case number available when contacting the trustee’s office.

 

When will I have to appear in court? Where?

In the District of Arizona, you will have to appear for a hearing at least once, for a First Meeting of Creditors.  This hearing is conducted by the Chapter 13 Trustee.  The Bankruptcy Judge will NOT be present.  In fact, the Judge is prohibited by statute from attending this hearing.  The meeting will be held about 30 to 45 days after your case is filed.  Your testimony at this hearing should not be lengthy.  Arizona no longer automatically sets confirmation hearings so, unless the Court orders otherwise, you will not have to attend a confirmation hearing.

 

Click here for maps and information on the different locations for the meeting of creditors.

 

I am in need of translation or interpretation services for a hearing. How do I set these up?

The United States Trustee offers interpretation services at no cost for those with hearing impairments or limited English proficiency.

 

 To request a sign language interpreter, or assisted listening device for the meeting of creditors, contact Ms. Lana LeDuc at The Office of the United States Trustee by calling 602-682-2609. Please make the appropriate arrangements no later than 7  business days prior to the meeting.

 

To request a sign language interpreter at a hearing before a bankruptcy judge, contact the Administrative Services Department at the Office of the United States Trustee by calling 602-682-4139.

 

Please contact the office of the United States Trustee for all other language services using the information below.

Office of The United States Trustee

230 N. 1st Avenue

Suite 204

Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 682-2600

Facsimile: (602) 514-7270

Website

 

"My friend went through bankruptcy and she says..."

You have probably already received or you will receive advice on what to do from well-meaning friends and relatives who have themselves experienced financial problems.  Just like no two people are alike, no two "Chapter 13 Bankruptcies" are alike.  Take the advice of your well-meaning friends and acquaintances with the proverbial "grain of salt."  If you have a specific question about anything related to your bankruptcy, make it a rule to ASK YOUR ATTORNEY, and your attorney will try to provide you with an answer that applies to your special situation.

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Changes During Plan

  

I've moved. What do I need to do?

I've married and changed my name. What do I need to do?

I forgot to list a creditor on my schedules. What happens?

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I've moved. What do I need to do?

We need to know your exact mailing address for as long as you are under Chapter 13 protection.  We have the address which you put on your petition, and we will send all notices to that address until you or your attorney notify the Trustee’s office in writing  to send them somewhere else.  If you ever move or change your mailing address, you must immediately inform your attorney, the Court and the Trustee in writing of your new address.  You can get the appropriate change of address form here.

 

I've married and changed my name. What do I need to do?

Please continue to reference the name with which you've filed bankruptcy on any payments or correspondence with our office.

 

I forgot to list a creditor on my schedules. What happens?

Creditors not listed by you can cause quite a few problems.  There are two kinds of unlisted creditors:  those who were owed money at the time of filing but were forgotten ("unlisted creditors") and those creditors who have a bill that was incurred after you filed ("post-petition creditors").  If you find an unlisted creditor, you should let your attorney know the details immediately so that he can amend (correct) the proper schedule.

 

Only two types of debts incurred after filing of the case (post-petition debts) may be included in a Chapter 13 Plan: 

 

(1) debts for taxes that become payable while the case is pending, and

 

(2) consumer debts arising after the filing of the case that are for property or services necessary for the debtor's performance under the Plan and that are approved in advance by the Chapter 13 Trustee.

 

Post-petition creditors should be rare, because you cannot borrow money or run up a bill under Chapter 13 without the consent of the Trustee.  However, some medical expenses may arise.  Post-petition debts should be brought to the attention of your attorney so that a review of the Plan can be made.

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Creditors and Debts

 

Can my creditors contact me during or after a bankruptcy? 

What effect does filing under chapter 13 have on lawsuits and attachments previously filed against me?

Will my creditors be able to take my property while the chapter 13 case is in effect?

How must secured creditors be treated under the chapter 13 plan?

How do I handle secured creditors to whom I am in default?

What debts may be repaid under a chapter 13 plan?

Must all of my debts be completely paid off under a chapter 13 plan?

How are debts that have been co-signed or guaranteed by another person handled under chapter 13?

May I repay some of my unsecured creditors and not others under chapter 13?

What debts are dischargeable under chapter 13?

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Can my creditors contact me during or after a bankruptcy?

You should not be contacted by creditors during or after a bankruptcy.  The automatic stay which goes into effect upon the filing of your bankruptcy case prohibits all creditors listed in the paperwork from contacting you and your employer.

 

Inform your attorney of any mailed notices from creditors.  If you receive direct contact from a creditor, you may provide them with your case number, date of filing, and the names and addresses of your trustee and attorney.

 

Once your Chapter 13 plan is completely paid, you should not receive requests for additional money.  If you do, contact your attorney.

 

What effect does filing under chapter 13 have on lawsuits and attachments previously filed against me?

The filing of a Chapter 13 case automatically stays (stops) all lawsuits, attachments, garnishments, and other actions by creditors against either you or your property.  A few days after the case is filed, a notice is mailed by the Court to all your creditors advising them of the automatic stay.  The creditors may be notified sooner by either you or your attorney, if necessary.  However, the bankruptcy stay does not stop a government’s criminal action or a divorce not deciding property rights.

 

Will my creditors be able to take my property while the chapter 13 case is in effect?

No.  The automatic stay described in the previous question remains in effect during the entire Chapter 13 case, and your creditors will not be permitted to take or otherwise proceed against any of your property or assets, including your earnings.  However, if secured creditors to whom you are in default are not being paid under the Plan, they may go to Court and get permission to repossess the property upon which they have a valid lien.

 

How must secured creditors be treated under the chapter 13 plan?

The Court may confirm your plan when you provide in your Plan that secured creditors:

 

(1) have accepted the plan;

(2) are allowed to retain the lien securing their collateral;

(3) receive the value of their secured claim under the plan; or

(4) are given back their collateral.

 

It is important to realize that a secured creditor is considered to have a secured claim only to the extent of the value of the security, which cannot exceed the value of the property securing the claim.  For example, if a secured creditor has a lien on your car, and if the car has a replacement value of $500.00, then that creditor has a secured claim for only $500.00 regardless of how much you may owe the creditor. 

 

How do I handle secured creditors to whom I am in default?

Defaults to secured creditors such as mortgage arrears may be cured (brought current) within a reasonable time under your Chapter 13 plan.

 

What debts may be repaid under a chapter 13 plan?

Any debts whatsoever, whether they are priority, secured or unsecured.  Even nondischargeable debts, such as debts for unpaid taxes, and debts for alimony, maintenance or support may be dealt with and repaid within a reasonable time under Chapter 13.  Debts are placed into categories and one category may have to be paid before another one.

 

Must all of my debts be completely paid off under a chapter 13 plan?

No.  While most secured debts dealt with  under the Plan must be paid in full, at least to the extent that they are secured, only the portion of unsecured debts that you can reasonably afford to repay out of all your disposable income over the period of the Plan needs to be paid off.  The unpaid balance of most unsecured debts will be discharged upon completion of the Plan.

 

How are debts that have been co-signed or guaranteed by another person handled under chapter 13?

If a consumer debt which has been cosigned or guaranteed by another person is being paid off in full under the Chapter 13 plan, the automatic stay that was entered when the case was filed will prevent the creditor from collecting the debt from the other person.  However, the Court will permit the creditor to collect  from the other person the portion of the debt that is not being paid off under the plan.

 

May I repay some of my unsecured creditors and not others under chapter 13?

Generally, you may not discriminate between claims of a similar type.  You cannot selectively pick and choose some particular creditors and decide to pay them "on the side," because ALL of your debts must be dealt with through the Court.  Any payment which you make to a creditor must be paid under the authority of the Court, by the terms of the law, and not by any personal desires.  If you want to pay creditors, most of them must be paid through your Chapter 13 Plan.

 

What debts are dischargeable under chapter 13?

There are two types of Chapter 13 discharges.  One is given if the approved plan is not successfully completed due to circumstances for which the debtor should not be justly held accountable.  This "hardship" discharge does not discharge as many debts  as a full Chapter 13 discharge and is similar to a Chapter 7 discharge.  The other discharge is given upon the debtor's successful completion of a plan and discharges the debtor from all debts dealt with under the Plan except certain debts such as alimony, maintenance for support, or home mortgages extending longer than a Chapter 13 Plan.  Please get competent legal advice if you have to know specifically which of your debts will be discharged.  You will continue to be responsible for all debts incurred after the filing of the bankruptcy, such as continuing medical costs and post-petition taxes.

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Expectations

 

What does my chapter 13 trustee expect of me?

What may I expect from the chapter 13 trustee?

What should I expect my attorney to do in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

What if I do not have an attorney?

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What does my chapter 13 trustee expect of me?

The Trustee expects you to be cooperative and truthful.  You should ask questions when you do not understand any aspects of the administration of your case.  Please notify the Trustee’s office promptly whenever you change your address, telephone number or employment status.  You will find the appropriate forms to change your address by clicking here.  Do not incur new debts or enter into leases without the Court or Trustee first approving it.  Finally, I expect you to handle your plan payments in a prompt, regular and business-like manner.

 

You can be sure that we will make every effort to assist you in making your Plan work.

 

What may I expect from the chapter 13 trustee?

The Chapter 13 Trustee's office is open five days a week, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  We follow the federal holiday schedule.  Our phone number is (602) 277-8996.  If you have a nonlegal question which your attorney CANNOT answer, you may wish to ask the Trustee by writing a letter with your case number and your question.  If you cannot wait for a written response, you may call the Trustee's office during office hours.  DO NOT FEEL THAT YOU HAVE TO TALK PERSONALLY WITH THE TRUSTEE; HIS STAFF IS FAMILIAR WITH THE TRUSTEE’S POLICIES AND GUIDELINES AND IS WELL QUALIFIED TO DISCUSS WITH YOU ANY PROBLEMS YOU MAY HAVE WITH IMPLEMENTING YOUR PLAN.  THE TRUSTEE AND HIS STAFF CANNOT AND WILL NOT GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE.  If you have any questions regarding the legal aspects of your case, you should consult an attorney.  

 

What should I expect my attorney to do in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Exactly what you may expect of your attorney will be governed by whatever agreement the two of you have made.  Be sure that you and your attorney have discussed fully whether additional legal services during your plan will cost you more money or whether your initial fee will cover all legal services.  Keep in mind that all legal fees must be reviewed and approved by the Bankruptcy Judge even if you agree to pay more.  If you have any dispute with your lawyer, try to work it out.

 

Under the rules of the Bankruptcy Court, your attorney must continue to appear and represent you until the Judge permits your attorney to withdraw from your case.  If you ever change attorneys, your new attorney must notify the Court and the Trustee.  You can hire another attorney to substitute for your current one.  However, if the previous attorney no longer represents you, you may still owe attorney fees for the work done.

 

What if I do not have an attorney?

If you do not have an attorney, you are considered a "Pro Se" debtor.  This simply means that you represent yourself.  If you have any questions regarding the legal aspects of your case, you should consult an attorney.  The Trustee cannot give you any legal advice.  The law presumes that a Pro Se debtor knows the bankruptcy laws and rules of procedure.

 

Click here for a video from Retired Bankruptcy Judge Charles G. Case for information on the possible implications of filing bankruptcy without legal representation.

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Payments

 

I lost my payment information form. Where do I get another copy?

Where do I mail my chapter 13 payments?

How soon do I begin making my chapter 13 plan payments? How often must they be made?

How can I keep track of my chapter 13 plan payments? How do I find out how much is owed to creditors under my plan?

What if I make my payments late?

What if I am temporarily unable to make my chapter 13 plan payment?

May I make a higher payment than is required under my plan?

What if I decide that I no longer want to make payments and continue with the chapter 13 plan?

What happens when all payments have been completed?

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I lost my payment information form. Where do I get another copy?

Click here for a copy of the payment information sheet which was mailed to you following your case filing.

 

Where do I mail my chapter 13 payments?

SEND YOUR PAYMENTS TO:

Russell A. Brown, Trustee

P.O. Box 52548

Phoenix, AZ 85072

Make sure to include your name and case number on all documents and payments to the trustee.

 

How soon do I begin making my chapter 13 plan payments? How often must they be made?

Most Chapter 13 plan payments are made directly to the Trustee's P.O. Box address by cashier's check or money orderBe sure to include your name and your case number on each payment. Payments are also accepted through TFS Billpay. The Trustee has no affiilation with TFS. THE CHAPTER 13 TRUSTEE WILL NOT ACCEPT CASH, OR PERSONAL CHECKS.

 

Usually, first payment should be made to the Chapter 13 Trustee within 30 days of your filing bankruptcy and then every month thereafter until your Plan has been completed.

 

Do not send plan payments to the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court or your attorney.  If you are paying some of your debts directly, do not send those payments to the Trustee.  If secured creditors are being paid through the Trustee, do not send your payment coupons.  It is a good idea to keep all your receipts from your cashier's checks or money orders in order to verify that payments are being made if there is ever a dispute.  Do not pay Court fees to the Trustee.

 

How can I keep track of my chapter 13 plan payments? How do I find out how much is owed to creditors under my plan?

Most people are very interested in knowing how much they owe to their creditors and how much they have left to pay on their Chapter 13 plan.  For the most up to date information, you can check the status of your plan payments and disbursements at the National Data Center.  It is free to register.  For information on how to register, click here.

 

Alternatively, if you want to find out how much each creditor is owed and what your payoff balance is on your Chapter 13 plan, please write to the Trustee's office and ask for a "Debtor Run Sheet."   View the appendix for information on how to read the Debtor Run Sheet.

 

In October of each year the Trustee's office will send you an "Annual Report" of what has been paid to all your creditors, whether you request it or not.   Be sure to review the report carefully and contact your attorney if you have any questions or concerns.  The report will list the amount you have paid into your Plan, the total amount required to be paid into your Plan (not including any tax refunds that may be required), the amount that has been paid to the Trustee, the  amount of the claim of each creditor, the amount that has been paid on the principal and the amount of interest that has been paid.  It will not include any unmatured interest which your Plan may require you to pay or any as yet unpaid Trustee fees.  View the appendix for information on how to read the Annual Report.

 

What if I make my payments late?

If you make your payments after the due date stated in your Plan, or if you miss payments, additional interest may accrue on your secured debts, since the payment may not reach the Trustee's office in time for our monthly disbursement to your creditors.  This may result in a funding shortfall at the end of your Plan.  If your Plan does not provide enough money to pay your creditors as set forth in your Plan due to the accrual of additional interest or claims that come in higher than scheduled, you will be required to pay the additional amount necessary to complete your Plan before it can be discharged.  In order to avoid a funding shortfall and paying additional money into the Plan, be sure to make all your payments on or before due date.

 

If you run 4-5 days behind on payments, we will try to accommodate your situation.  Please contact our office immediately if you know you will be a few days late.  

 

Please note, however, that if you become two or more months delinquent on payments, you run the risk of having your case dismissed.  Please contact your attorney if you are having trouble making your payments.

 

You can view your delinquencies or keep track of payments using the National Data Center.  For information on how to register, click here.


What if I am temporarily unable to make my chapter 13 plan payment?

If you are temporarily out of work, injured or otherwise unable to make the payments required by your Plan, you may wish to contact your attorney regarding asking the Court to suspend the proceeding until you are able to resume your payments.  If it appears that there will be a long term problem, your attorney may amend your Plan or the case may be dismissed or converted to Chapter 7.  It is very important to contact your attorney immediately if you expect to miss a payment due to layoff, illness, etc.  REMEMBER:  THE TRUSTEE'S OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO LET YOU PERMANENTLY MISS A PAYMENT OR ALLOW YOU TO PAY LESS THAN YOUR PLAN REQUIRES.  ONLY THE JUDGE CAN MAKE SUCH A DECISION.  The Trustee's office will file a Motion to Dismiss your case if you cannot meet the obligations of your Plan.

 

May I make a higher payment than is required under my plan?

If you are ever in a position where you wish to increase your payments to the Trustee, even if only by a few dollars a month, this may have a big impact on finishing your Plan ahead of time.  Paying a little more than required will reduce interest costs, administrative expenses and will cause Plan payments to end that much sooner.  If you ever wish to increase your Plan payments, contact your attorney.  If you wish to make a single extra payment, you may do so by sending a money order or cashier's check.  Please be sure to include your case number on the payment.  If you decide to pay more than is required per month, you are still required to make the minimum payments each month thereafter.  REMEMBER:  ALL PLANS MUST GO FOR A MINIMUM OF 36 MONTHS OR PAY 100%.

 

What if I decide that I no longer want to make payments and continue with the chapter 13 plan?

The Bankruptcy law allows a debtor to either dismiss a Chapter 13 case or convert it to Chapter 7 at any time, regardless of his or her reason for doing so.  No one can force you to remain in a Chapter 13 Plan if you do not wish to do so.  If you desire to stop your case, contact your attorney.  Your request for dismissal or conversion of your case must be in WRITING and sent to the Bankruptcy Court. 

 

However, if you simply stop making the Chapter 13 payments, any creditor in your case may ask the Court to dismiss you case.  The Trustee WILL ask the Court to dismiss your case if: (1) you fail to make your plan payments 60 days after your meeting of creditors and/or (2) if you fail to make your required payments regularly during any month of your Plan.  Keep in mind that the Trustee and the Court are not creditors.  The Trustee is just carrying out his duty to administer the Plan you voluntarily filed and in which you gave the Court jurisdiction over your future income under the Plan.  If you fail to make your Plan payments, the case cannot be administered as ordered by the Court and the Trustee must request dismissal.

 

You should understand that a DISMISSAL WILL REACTIVATE all unpaid and disputed debts, all interest and finance charges, all late charges not allowed by the Bankruptcy Court, and all debts of creditors who did not file their claims.  Once the case is dismissed, all your creditors will be free to pursue their legal rights to collect on their debts.  Consider also that you will be forced to deal with them on their terms, not yours or the Court's.

 

What happens when all payments have been completed?

After you have successfully completed your Plan - that is, when the Trustee has received the money from you to pay your creditors what you promised to pay them through your Plan - you will receive notice of completion of payments and a notice of your discharge.  After you receive the discharge, you will generally not owe any debts, other than alimony, child support, mortgage payments and taxes.  If you are not sure which of your debts will be discharged, you should discuss that with your attorney when you meet with him or her.  You may also receive a small refund check if there is any excess paid into your Plan.

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Plan

 

May a creditor file a plan and enforce it against me?

Must all of my creditors approve of my chapter 13 plan?

What is a confirmation? What is required for confirmation of a chapter 13 plan?

What if the court does not approve my chapter 13 plan?

How is the amount of my payment determined?

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May a creditor file a plan and enforce it against me?

It is the responsibility of the debtor and his or her attorney to come up with a WORKABLE Chapter 13 Plan.  The Trustee or creditors may NOT file a plan on behalf of the debtor in a Chapter 13 case.

 

Must all of my creditors approve of my chapter 13 plan?

No.  Only the Court must approve a Chapter 13 Plan in order for it to be confirmed (made effective).  However, creditors and the Chapter 13 Trustee may file objections to the confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan.  Secured creditors who do not agree with the Plan may also file objections if they are not being treated in the manner described in the answer to the next question.

 

What is a confirmation? What is required for confirmation of a chapter 13 plan?

Confirmation is court approval of your proposed chapter 13 repayment plan.  The Court will confirm a Chapter 13 plan if:

 

(a) the plan complies with the requirements of Chapter 13 generally;

(b) all required fees, charges, and deposits have been made;

(c) the plan has been proposed in good faith;

(d) each secured creditor has:

(1) accepted the plan;

(2) is given back his collateral;

(3) is allowed to retain his lien on his collateral; or

(4) is paid the full amount of the secured claim under the plan;

(e) each unsecured creditor will receive under the plan at least as much as the creditor would have received if you had filed Chapter 7; and

(f) it appears that the debtor will be able to make the required payments and to comply with the plan.

  

What if the court does not approve my chapter 13 plan?

If the Court will not confirm your Chapter 13 plan that you have proposed, you may either modify the plan and seek Court approval of the modified plan, convert the case to Chapter 7, or dismiss the case.  If the Court will not confirm the original plan, it will usually give the reasons for its disapproval  so that the plan may be appropriately modified to be acceptable.

 

How is the amount of my payment determined?

Your Plan payment amount is determined by a number of conditions, such as the amount of money required to pay your creditors claims, the amount of equity you may have in property, and the amount of your disposable income. Bankruptcy law requires that you pay into your Plan all your disposable income for the first 36 months of your Plan term. 

 

In order to ensure that you comply with this condition, you are required to provide the Trustee with up-to-date information regarding your income and living expenses on a yearly basis during the first three years of your Plan.  However, if there is a significant change in your income prior to the annual update, you must report the income change to the Trustee's office immediately.  The Trustee will then review the information and determine if any change is required in your Plan payment amount.  Failure to inform the Trustee of these changes may be a basis for dismissal of your case.

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Property

 

Will I lose any of my property under chapter 13?

Can I buy property or incur new debt while I am in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Can I sell property while I'm in a chapter 13?

Where do I obtain title to my property after completion of my chapter 13?

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Will I lose any of my property under chapter 13?

Usually not.  Under Chapter 13, your debts are normally repaid out of the payments made to the Chapter 13 Trustee and not out of your property.  However, if you have considerable nonexempt property and cannot make sufficient payments to repay enough of your debts to satisfy the Court, some of your property may have to be used to pay creditors.  However, if a secured creditor is not being paid under the Plan, the creditor may be permitted to repossess the property securing the claim if you are in default on the debt.  Also, if you have nonexempt property and cannot afford to repay your creditors enough, then the Trustee may want to sell your property.

 

Can I buy property or incur new debt while I am in a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Debt during a chapter 13 should be rare, because you cannot borrow money or run up a bill under Chapter 13 without the consent of the Trustee.  However, some medical expenses may arise.  Post-petition debts should be brought to the attention of your attorney so that a review of the Plan can be made.

 

If you would like to purchase a new home or vehicle after your plan has been confirmed, please send a written request to incur new debt to our office.  Documents will be mailed to you, and to your attorney, if applicable, within a few days.  Please make sure your address is up to date with the courts so you receive mail in a timely manner.  The form needed to change your address can be found by clicking here.

 

Can I sell property while I'm in a chapter 13?

If you want to sell your property, trade in your car, or sell your home, be sure to discuss it with your attorney.  Generally you cannot dispose of any of your property, including land, without Court approval.  If you dispose of your property without permission, the transaction may be set aside.

 

Where do I obtain title to my property after completion of my chapter 13?

When a creditor has had his claim paid according to your Chapter 13 Plan, whether partially or in full, the creditor should, and usually does, send the "paid in full" papers to you.  Contact the creditor holding the title, not the Trustee's office, to obtain your titles.  If you receive any request for additional money after your Plan is completed, do not pay without first talking to your attorney.

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Taxes

 

What do I do with my most recently filed tax returns (forms)?

Where do I mail copies of my tax returns?

I have to turn over my tax refunds. Where do I mail them?

What about my income tax refunds going forward? Do I need to turn these over?

I lost the requested pre-filing tax returns and W-2s. Where do I get duplicates?

What if I haven't been filing my taxes?

What if I'm not required to file taxes?

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What do I do with my most recently filed tax returns (forms)?

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) amended 11 U.S.C. §521(e)(2) to require that a debtor provide to the trustee a copy of the most recently filed federal and state tax returns seven days before the meeting of creditors. Please ensure that all but the last 4 digits of any social security numbers are redacted on all tax returns sent to the trustee's office. Also ensure that any bank account information is completely redacted. If the returns are not provided, the court is directed by the Code to dismiss the case.

 

Where do I mail copies of my tax returns?

 Send tax returns to

Russell A. Brown, Trustee  

3838 N. Central Ave, #800

Phoenix, AZ 85012

 

Make sure to include your case number on all correspondence.

 

I have to turn over my tax refunds. Where do I mail them?

If you receive a check directly from IRS or Arizona Department of Revenue, make sure to endorse the check before mailing it to the payment address.

 

Alternatively, if you have had your refunds directly deposited into your account, you will need to send certified funds (cashier’s check or money order).  If only including one check, make sure to specify how much of the check is for your federal refund and how much of the check is for your state refund.

 

Send tax refunds to

Russell A. Brown, Trustee

3838 N. Central Ave, #800

Phoenix, AZ 85012

 

Make sure to include your name and case number on all documents and payments to the trustee.

 

What about my income tax refunds going forward? Do I need to turn these over?

Generally, the Trustee does not require turnover of tax refunds unless he can project it based on your current tax withholdings.  If your plan provides for payment of tax refunds to the Trustee, he will apply them according to your plan.

 

I lost the requested pre-filing tax returns and W-2s. Where do I get duplicates?

IRS

If you need a W-2 or 1099: Contact your employer or former employer for duplicate copies. If they are unable to

provide them, you may call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to speak with a Taxpayer Assistor.

 

You can go to your local IRS office and get a printout of income information for the last

three years which will show your reported income and the federal

 

Arizona Department of Revenue

If you need W-2 or 1099: Contact your employer or former employer for duplicate copies.  If they are unable to

provide them, you will need to contact the IRS (see above).

 

What if I haven't been filing my taxes?

11 U.S.C. §1308(a) requires debtors to file all unfiled tax returns for the 4-year period prior to the petition date.  These returns must be filed no later than the day before the first Meeting of Creditors.  Failure to do so may result in a dismissal of your case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §1307(e) and Local Rule 2084-5.  In order to provide proof of filing, you should hand-deliver the returns (make sure to notify the front-desk staff that the returns need to be sent to the bankruptcy unit).  You should take two extra copies to be date-stamped, so that one copy can then be provided to the Trustee and one kept for your records.  These returns need to be filed with the local bankruptcy units:

 

Internal Revenue Service

M/S 5014

Suite 112

4041 North Central Avenue

Phoenix, Arizona 85012-5000

 

Arizona Department of Revenue

Special Operations, 7th Floor

1600 W. Monroe

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Attn: Bankruptcy Section

 

For IRS forms: Call 1-800-829-3676 or download them from the internet at www.IRS.gov. Please be aware that forms

sent by mail can take seven to fifteen days to arrive.

 

For Arizona Department of Revenue forms: Download them from the internet at www.AZDOR.gov.

 

What if I'm not required to file taxes?

If you believe that you were not required to file tax returns for certain year(s), then you or your attorney must prepare an Affidavit signed under penalty of perjury, notarized, and dated, stating the reason why no return was filed.  The Affidavit should list income for all sources, both taxable and non-taxable for each year.  The Affidavit must be delivered or sent to the above addresses, not the regional servicing centers.

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APPENDIX A

HOW TO INTERPRET THE TRUSTEE'S ANNUAL REPORT

 

Following this explanation is a sample copy of a Trustee's Annual Report of receipts and disbursements.  This will be sent to you twice a yearReview it carefully and call your attorney or the Trustee's office immediately if you do not understand something.  An explanation for each number is as follows:

 

#1 This is your name and address.

 

#2 This is your case number.

 

#3 These are the dates the report covers.


#4 This is the total amount you have paid into the Plan as of the date of the report.  This figure may or may not include tax refunds which may be required to be paid in addition to your regular Plan payments.


#5 These are the dates and the amounts of payments received from you by the Trustee over the last six months.  Any tax refunds received by the Trustee will be shown here, also.


#6 This is the total amount that needs to be paid in before the Plan will be completed, also known as the "Plan base." This amount may or may not include the amounts of any tax refunds which may be required to be paid in addition to regular payments.


#7 This is the amount that has been paid to your attorney.


#8 This is the total amount that has been paid to the Trustee to administer your case as of the date of the report.  This fee is set by the Court and is subject to change, but generally it is less than 10% of each Plan payment made.


#9 This column lists all the creditors that have filed claims in your case.


#10 This column is the classification of each claim.  S is a secured claim, P is a priority claim, and U is an unsecured claim.  D is a duplicate claim, L is a late claim, and H is a home arrears claim.


#11 This column lists the total debt that the creditor listed in their proof of claim.


#12 This column lists the amount that has been paid on the principal portion of the claim.

 

#13 This column lists the interest paid on the claim.

 

#14 This column shows the interest now due on the claim.

 

#15 This column lists the balance due  on the claim.  This amount does not include any unmatured interest or the Trustee's fees left to be paid under the Plan.  Late or missed payments may result in the accrual of additional interest on debts to secured creditors.

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APPENDIX B

HOW TO INTERPRET THE TRUSTEE'S COMPUTER RUN SHEET

 

Following this explanation is a sample copy of the Trustee's Computer run sheet.  If you ever wish to know the current amount that has been paid to creditors or the balance that is due your creditors, you may write or call the Trustee's office and request a "Run Sheet."  The run sheet will give you specific information on what has been paid in, what has been paid to each of your creditors, what the balance due is to each of your creditors, and the approximate amount remaining to be paid into your Plan.  Please examine the run sheet carefully.  If you do not understand some portion of the sheet, please contact your attorney or the Trustee's office.  A page by page explanation of each number is as follows:

 

 

PAGE 1

 

#1 This is the date of the report.  The report will include all receipts and disbursements up to this date.

#2 This is your case number, name and address.

#3 This is the date that your Chapter  13 was filed.

#4 This is the date of your First Meeting of Creditors.

#5 This is date that your Plan was confirmed.

#6 This is the total amount that needs to be paid in before your Plan will be completed.  This amount may or may not include the amounts of any tax refunds that may be required to be paid in addition to your regular Plan payments.

#7 This is the amount of funds received from you that has not yet been disbursed to your creditors.  The Trustee's office generally does not disburse to creditors in amounts of less than $15.00 and disbursements are held if there is a Court action pending, such as a Motion to Modify the Plan or a Motion to Dismiss the case.

#8 This is the total amount that has been paid into the Plan.

#9 This is the total amount that has been paid to creditors.

#10 This is the amount that your Plan states should be paid to your attorney.

#11 This is the total amount that has been paid to your attorney.

#12 This is the amount that has been paid to the Trustee to administer your case.

#13 This is the amount paid to the Court for its costs in your case.

#14 This is the total that has been disbursed as of the date of the report.  In this example, it is the sum of the amount paid to creditors, plus attorney fees, plus Trustee fees, plus Court notice fees.

#15 This is the amount of your monthly payment.

#16 This column lists the classification of creditors.

#17 This column lists the current balance due to each class of creditor.

#18 This is the estimated amount of Trustee's fees that will be paid on the balance due to each creditor class.  The Trustee's fee is set by the Court and is subject to change, although it is generally less than 10%.  The actual amount of Trustee's fees yet to be paid may be different than what is currently listed in this column.

#19 This is the total amount due to each class of creditors.  As noted above, it may change as a result of changes in Trustee fees and may be increased if payments are remitted late as additional interest may accrue on secured debts.

 

 

PAGE 2

 

This page lists all the dates and amounts of payments received in the Trustee's office.  It may also include the amounts of any tax refunds that may have been paid into your Plan in addition to your regular Plan payments and/or any checks that may have been returned to our office from a creditor.

 

 

PAGE 3

 

This page lists all creditors that have been paid  or are currently being paid under your Plan.  The dates and amounts of each individual payment are included as well as the total amount paid to the creditor.  The payments for each date are broken down into the amount paid on the principal balance and the amount of interest, if any, paid on the claim.

 

 

PAGE 4

 

This page lists all of the claims filed in your case.

 

#1 This is the creditor's name.

#2 This is the address where payments are sent to the creditor.

#3 This is the amount claimed by the creditor in their proof of claim.

#4 This is the total amount paid on the principal debt as of the date of the report.

#5 This is the current balance due on the claim.

#6 This is the interest rate to be paid on the claim.

#7 This is the total amount of interest that has been paid on the claim.

#8 This is the amount of interest that is now due (has accrued) since the last disbursement was made to the creditor.

#9 This is the classification of the claim.  There are four major classifications: Administrative, Secured, Priority and Unsecured.

#10 This is the code that tells the computer which creditor to pay first.  The lower the number, the sooner the creditor will be paid. 

#11 This is the comment section which is used to provide clarification regarding a claim.  For example, it may indicate that a claim is disputed or not listed or that it is for home arrears or for a certain tax year.

#12 This is the creditor's account number.

#13 This is the amount that is past due on the claim.  Generally, if you are current on your payments, there will be no amount on this line.  If you have missed payments or are late, this line will include the amount the computer would have paid if you had made the payment on time.

 

PAGE 5

This page provides a summary of all claims by classification.

#1 This is the total amount of all claims filed by creditors within this class.

#2 This is the amount paid to date to this class of creditors.

#3 This is the balance due to this class of creditors.

#4 This is the amount of interest paid to this class of creditors.

#5 This is the amount of interest due to this class of creditors.

 

It should be noted that most Chapter 13 Plans do not provide for payment in full to the unsecured class of creditors.  Generally, most Plans provide that unsecured creditors will receive only a portion of their allowed claims and that any unpaid balance will be discharged.  If you are unsure as to how your Plan provides for payment to this class, please refer to your Plan and the Order Confirming the Plan or contact you attorney for clarification.

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