Get Answers to Our Most Common Chapter 7 Questions

  • Chapter 13 FAQ

    • When should I start making my Chapter 13 payments?

      You must make your first payment within 30 days of getting your case number.

    • How do I make my Chapter 13 payment?

      You have three options:

      1. Wage Deduction: If you have a job, the Chapter 13 Trustee will send a wage deduction order to your employer requiring them to withhold your Chapter 13 payment from your paycheck. This can take several weeks to start, so you will usually need to send a payment in yourself until your wage deduction begins.
      2. Mailing a Money Order: A money order or cashier's check can be mailed to the Chapter 13 Trustee at Linda P. Gore, POB 205, Gadsden, AL 35902. Your case number MUST be written on your payment. DO NOT send cash or checks. Please keep in mind that it can take up to 5 business days after mailing a payment for it to reach the Trustee.
      3. Online or By Phone: You can use a company called TFS to make payments by phone or online. You can call: 1-888-729-2413 or online at www.tfsbillpay.com. We have no relationship to TFS, so if you have questions about the payment you make with them, you must contact them directly. Please keep in mind it can take up to 5 business days from the date of payment to reach the Trustee.
    • How do I know if the Chapter 13 Trustee is getting my payments?

      Our office does not keep up with Chapter 13 payments. If you want to track the payments you send to the Trustee, please create an account on www.ndc.org. This is a nationwide website that will allow you to track your Chapter 13 case.

    • What do I do if my payroll doesn't start deducting my payments on time?

      You need to pay directly until the wage deduction begins. Also contact your payroll department to ensure they got the deduction order processed.

    • What do I do if I fall behind on my Chapter 13 payments?

      Call our office. Do NOT call the Trustee's office.

    • What is a 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      The 341 Meeting of Creditors is a hearing where the Chapter 13 and your creditors get an opportunity to ask you about your case. Every Chapter 13 Debtor must attend this hearing. Most of the time, creditors do not attend. Your attorney will be present. Typically, the hearing is complete within one hour.

    • When is my 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      The 341 Meeting of Creditors is held approximately 30 days after you get a case number. You can find your 341 Meeting of Creditor information from the Notice the court mails you that looks like this: 341 example.

    • What if I need to reschedule my 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      Call our office to discuss the options.

    • What is a confirmation hearing?

      The confirmation hearing is the hearing where the Judge approves your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. It typically happens 60-90 days after you get a case number.

    • Do I have to attend my confirmation hearing?

      Most clients do not have to attend the confirmation hearing. If we need you there, we will call you and let you know.

    • What does it mean if the Trustee has filed an "Objection to Confirmation"?

      Do not panic. This is standard and almost ALL Chapter 13 Debtors get an "Objection to Confirmation" from the Trustee. We can usually resolve all issues with the Trustee as long as your payments are current. We will call you if we have questions.

    • How long will my bankruptcy show up on my credit report after I file?

      Bankruptcy will typically show up on your credit report for 10 years after your discharge.

    • How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?

      Bankruptcy has varying effects on credit scores, depending on the individual and his or her credit history. Some credit scores may improve while others will be lowered by a bankruptcy filing. We cannot estimate how your credit score will be affected by your bankruptcy score.

    • How will bankruptcy affect the credit scores of my co-signers?

      The credit scores of your co-signers may be affected by your bankruptcy case. This will vary depending on individual factors. We cannot estimate how your credit score or the credit score of your co-signers will be affected by your bankruptcy filing.

    • I have a bankruptcy case number. Why is my credit report still not cleared up?

      Credit reports will NOT be fully updated until 3-6 months AFTER your bankruptcy is over. If you see something on your credit report that looks wrong, please contact the credit bureau to dispute it. Our office has no relationship with credit bureaus and cannot address credit report errors.

    • What is the requirement to complete a financial management course?

      The bankruptcy law requires each Debtor complete a course on financial management. Our office provides you two options to complete this course. You may choose between DVD or online. We will contact you with your options within 2 weeks of getting a case number.

    • Do I owe anything for the financial management course?

      No! Our office covers the cost of the course for you. Do NOT pay for the course.

    • I am getting mail from Sage Financial. What do I do?

      You can ignore them. You only need to complete the course we provide you. You are welcome to use Sage to complete your financial course but you must pay for the course yourself.

    • When will I receive a copy of my Chapter 13 Petition?

      You will receive a copy of your Chapter 13 Petition at your first court hearing.

    • What if my address or phone number changes?

      Be sure to keep your address and phone number updated while in Chapter 13. Please inform the office of Cobb Law Firm if either changes.

    • Can I take out new loans or get into more debt while in my Chapter 13?

      No new debts, except medical bills, are allowed without prior court approval.

    • What should I do if I get a pay increase?

      During your bankruptcy, if you get a pay raise that is greater than a cost-of-living increase, please send us proof of income.

    • What to do if I switch jobs?

      The important thing is to try to keep payments current best you can. Until we can get a new wage deduction started, be sure you send in payments directly to the Trustee. In order to get a new wage deduction started, you need to call or email our office with the name and mailing address of your new employer as well as the frequency of your pay periods (weekly, biweekly, monthly.) Also, we will need copies of your first two paychecks that reflect a full working period.

    • Do I owe a Chapter 13 filing fee?

      Every case that is filed will owe a filing fee, but it is calculated into your Chapter 13 payment. You do not have to pay a separate filing fee.

    • What do I do if one of my creditors calls?

      If any creditor calls, give them your bankruptcy case number.

    • What kind of house and car insurance should I have?

      Make sure that you keep full coverage insurance on your cars and home that are in Chapter 13.

    • What about liens filed at the Probate Court?

      It is your responsibility to give us a copy of all liens filed at the Probate Court.

    • What credit counseling course should I complete?

      You have been furnished with a DVD and booklet to complete within 2 weeks AFTER you get your case number. Do NOT complete any other course than the one we give you.

    • When will I get my title back to my vehicle?

      You are not entitled to get your vehicle title back until after your Chapter 13 discharge. Once you get your discharge order in the mail, expect it will take about 4-6 weeks to receive your title. Once you have a discharge, you are welcome to call the creditor to request the title.

  • Chapter 7 FAQ

    • Do I owe a filing fee payment?

      Yes. Most Chapter 7 Debtor will owe a filing fee payment. The Chapter 7 filing fee is $338 but can be paid AFTER you get your case number in 4 monthly payments of $84.50.

    • When is my Chapter 7 filing fee due?

      You need to pay at least one payment of $83.75 every 30 days until a total of 4 payments have been made.

    • Can I pay my Chapter 7 filing fee in FULL before the due date?

      Yes. You can pay your filing fee off early with no penalty.

    • How do I pay my Chapter 7 filing fee?

      The court requires that you send your filing fee payment to our office so that we can pay it online via the court’s website. You MUST mail us a money order to 90 Friendship Rd., Oxford, AL 36203. Your case number MUST be on your payment. It can take up to 5 business days before your payment is processed by our office. Do not call us to check on your payment before 5 business days have passed since you mailed it.

    • What if I get a "Notice to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Filing Fee?"

      It means you did not get your filing fee payment to us in enough time for us to pay it before your payment is late. If you mail your payment to us at least one week prior to the hearing, the hearing should be canceled. Call our office to confirm. If you have not mailed your filing fee within one week of the hearing, call our office for instruction.

    • What is a 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      The 341 Meeting of Creditors is a hearing where the Chapter 7 and your creditors get an opportunity to ask you about your case. Every Chapter 7 Debtor must attend this hearing. Most of the time, creditors do not attend. Your attorney will be present. Typically, the hearing is complete within one hour.

    • When is my 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      The 341 Meeting of Creditors is held approximately 30 days after you get a case number. You can find your 341 Meeting of Creditor information from the notice the court mails that looks like this: 341 example.

    • What if I need to reschedule my 341 Meeting of Creditors?

      Call our office to discuss the options.

    • How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?

      Bankruptcy has varying effects on credit scores, depending on the individual and his or her credit history. Some credit scores may improve while others will be lowered by a bankruptcy filing. We can't estimate how your credit score will be affected by your bankruptcy score.

    • How will bankruptcy affect the credit scores of my co-signers?

      The credit scores of your co-signers may be affected by your bankruptcy case. This will vary depending on individual factors. We cannot estimate how your credit score or the credit score of your co-signers will be affected by your bankruptcy filing.

    • How long will my bankruptcy show up on my credit report after I file?

      Bankruptcy will typically show up on your credit report for 10 years after your discharge.

    • Something is showing on my credit report that should not be. What should I do?

      We have NO relationship with credit bureaus. Your credit report will NOT be fully updated until 3-6 months after your discharge. If something is showing up on your credit report that you think should not be there, contact the credit bureau directly. Please do not contact our office about this.

    • What is the requirement to complete a financial management course?

      The bankruptcy law requires each Debtor complete a course on financial management. Our office provides you two options to complete this course. You may choose between DVD or online. We will contact you with your options within 2 weeks of getting a case number.

    • Do I owe anything for the financial management course?

      No! Our office covers the cost of the course for you. Do NOT pay for the course.

    • I am getting mail from Sage Financial. What do I do?

      You can ignore them. You only need to complete the course we provide you. You are welcome to use Sage to complete your financial course but you must pay for the course yourself.

    • I have a bankruptcy case number. Why is my credit report still not cleared up?

      Credit reports will NOT be fully updated until 3-6 months AFTER your bankruptcy is over. If you see something on your credit report that looks wrong, please contact the credit bureau to dispute it. Our office has no relationship with credit bureaus and cannot address credit report errors.

    • When will I receive a copy of my bankruptcy paperwork?

      You will receive a copy of your bankruptcy paperwork at the first hearing.

    • What do I do if one of my creditors calls?

      If any creditor calls, give them your bankruptcy case number.

    • What should I do if my phone number changes or if I move?

      Keep the office of Cobb Law Firm informed of good phone number(s) and address(es).

    • What should I do about liens against me?

      It is your responsibility to get us copies of liens recorded against you in the Probate Office.

    • Can I file my tax returns as normal?

      Yes. You will file your tax returns as normal. However, if you are entitled to a tax refund, you may not be able to keep it. If you expect a tax refund during your Chapter 7 case, call our office for instruction.

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