If you filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you have a mortgage that you want to keep, it is very important that you know you must begin making your monthly payments as soon as you file. Which means once you file, you will start paying it again on the first due date that comes up after you file.
Your Chapter 13 Plan will detail your intentions with respect to your secured property, such as your house. The Plan will usually provide for the arrearage you owed at the time you filed to be paid through your plan payment. The Plan does not usually provide for a house payment to be paid through the Plan. Therefore, although your arrearage will be paid through the Plan, you are responsible for keeping current with your regular monthly house payment.
Contact your mortgagor and/or your attorney if you encounter any trouble making payments. Your attorney may need to give your mortgagor written consent to be able to contact (bill) you.
If you fall behind on your house payments during the course of your bankruptcy, your mortgagor will most likely request relief from the Automatic Stay. This means that your mortgagor would like permission to begin collection, foreclosure and/or repossession processes in order to get you to cure your defaulted loan.
You must do your best to stay current on your mortgage. Because you are in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, collection practices that normally occur when you are late on payments may not occur in your case. Therefore, you may not realize how far behind on payments you are until your mortgagor files a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay.
Because your bankruptcy creates this barrier of protection from your creditors, it can take even longer for your mortgagor to file for a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay. We have seen cases where a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is not filed until the debtor is six months and more behind on payments.
It is very important to keep in good contact with our office throughout your bankruptcy. Should you find yourself in a position where you are having difficulty making your house payments, let us know. We will search for a solution to the problem; however, the longer you wait, the less options we may have to solve the problem.