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Suspending Your Trustee Payments (Temporarily) While in Bankruptcy

A typical chapter 13 bankruptcy case requires that you make monthly payments to a chapter 13 trustee over the life of your plan. This plan could last anywhere from 36 to 60 months. Your plan may run less than that provided you pay off the debt in full. Unfortunately for many of our clients, during this 3-5 year period there may be life issues that come up which will require that we suspend the client’s trustee payments for a few months while they attempt to resolve whatever problem that came up.

Some typical reasons that we would file a motion to suspend our client’s payments-

  1. Client lost their job and then found another one.  Although they are now employed, the few months that they were not working caused them to get behind on other month to month bills.  By filing a motion to suspend their payments for 90 days, this allows them to catch up and then get back on track with their trustee payment.
  2. Client had to have surgery and was received disability pay while out of work. No one can predict illness or accidents. At least once a month we hear from a client that is having surgery and needs a short break from payments to give them time to get better.
  3. Client had a pipe burst in her home.  We had a client that had an upper story pipe burst and ruin most of her floors.  Although she had insurance on the property, she still had to cover the $1500.00 deductible (which she would not have had if she kept paying her trustee).  We requested 90 days off from payments so she could use that money to cover her deductible.

These are just a few examples of reasons that a client may need to have their trustee payment surrendered. Like everything in bankruptcy court, it really is on a case by case basis.   Typically, you would not want to request more than one of these Motions during the life of your case.  In addition, it is always best if you have already been in your case for at least 1 year before applying for a trustee payment suspension.

Many times, if a client can receive a short trustee payment suspension, that will prevent their case from being dismissed and they can continue on in their case. If you start having problems in your case which are only temporary, you may want to speak to your attorney about a Motion to Suspend bankruptcy payments in order to allow you to resolve these issues and allow you to continue in your case.   As long as you have a good reason for requesting the suspension and can provide documentation as to why the suspension is needed, most of the court will grant this request at least once during the life of your case.

If you have any questions about suspending your trustee payment then feel free to contact us at the information below:

www.saedilawgroup.com or Lsaedi@saedilawgroup.com 

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