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JP, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 109
Experience:  Represented creditors and individuals in bankruptcy and consumer matters.
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Having a hard time with my attorney-filed ch 13 in Jan of this

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Having a hard time with my attorney-filed ch 13 in Jan of this year, fell short on our July payment (due to the floods in IA). I have been emailing and calling my attorney since June 2 and have had only 2 responses. Our house was taken out of the ch 13 plan and protection of the court is now gone? I think, not sure because I can't get my attorney to communicate with me. He emaile me to tell me he filed an objection. We had substantial damage due to the floods in June--our county is a fed. disaster county, my mortgage co. is offering a "pause" for up to 90 days on all people effected by the floods, etc.   I have sent him NUMEROUS articles with many programs we would qualify for. Question--I would like to take my mortgage out of the ch 13 (which he says is doable) and work on a modification with them-I have approx $5000 TO APPLY to a workout program --should I go ahead with this myself or work through him to do this--don't want to overstep any legal process--just want it done-thank

The first thing you should do is contact your chapter 13 trustee, because the case manager assigned to your case will be able to provide information regarding the status of your case that you need. If you have missed a couple of trustee payments, albeit with your attorneys advice, the trustee may be seeking to dismiss your case for non-payment, so it would be best to be proactive in this situation and keep your bankruptcy case open so that you can get the benefits of successfully completing the case and discharge certain debts, since your credit will reflect that you filed a bankruptcy whether or not you actually complete the bankruptcy case filing.


Regarding the mortgage company: You can continue to work with the mortgage company during this time when they are offering a 30 to 90 day moratorium for those effected by the flood. This will not violate any bankruptcy law, because the automatic stay afforded by the bankruptcy stops your creditors from attempting to collect any pre-petition debt. However, you are working with them to possibly restructure your loan or at least bring you current on the post-petition portion of your arrears that occurred as a result of the flood. This type of contact is ok and happens often when an area has been disturbed by a natural disaster.


It is important, however, that you determine whether your home is still included in your bankruptcy case and subject to the automatic stay protections. If your mortgage company previously received relief from the automatic stay, then executing a workout agreement with them is imperative. If the home is not protected by the bankruptcy and at the expiration of the 90 day moratorium you have not reached an agreement, you will run the risk of facing foreclosure. If, on the other hand, your mortgage company has not received relief from the automatic stay and a workout agreement has been reached, you will need to have your plan amended or modified to reflect the proper changes. The treatment of the mortgage company in your plan, should be consistent with any modification of the loan that they may offer. Also, if the mortgage company has not received relief and the workout plan comes with a down payment that you can not afford, you can ask whether they will simply allow you to add the additional post-petition arrears to your chapter 13 plan, which would not come with a down payment for the mortgage company.


Lastly, if you still can not reach your attorney, you can always contact another attorney and have them substitute in on your case and begin to represent you. You are not tied to your current attorney, you can retain new counsel, if the current relationship is not beneficial for you.


I hope you found this information helpful.


Best Regards.

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