New Jersey Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Confirmation Hearings

What Happens at the Confirmation Hearing

As stated above you normally will not have to come to the confirmation hearing. The confirmation hearing is usually scheduled by the Court for a date about 2 months after your case was filed. At the hearing Isabel Balboa reviews the entire case to determine the following:

  1. Whether you have been making every single payment on a regular basis to the trustee.
  2. Whether any creditors have objected to your plan.
  3. Whether any creditors have filed claims in a larger amount or a different amount than we had filed in our plan.
  4. To see whether a wage order is appropriate, meaning that Ms. Balboa wants payments to be taken out of your paycheck in the future. This may be required because you have not been making payments on time, or for some other legitimate reason that she may have.
  5. To determine whether you have supplied all requested information that was asked for by her at the meeting.
  6. To calculate the correct amount of monthly payments to be made in the future in the event it is necessary to change your monthly payments under the plan.
  7. To determine whether you have the financial ability to make the payments that are required.

Ms. Balboa will determine a final figure which represents the monthly payments in your confirmed case. The figure could be lower or higher than the one we have submitted, or it could be the same. It depends on a lot of factors including whether any of your creditors are claiming that you owe them larger amounts of money than we had listed.

Ideally, our goal in most cases is to wipe out your unsecured debts. There may be situations where this is not possible due to the amount of your monthly earnings or monthly expenses. In certain cases Ms. Balboa requires that some payment be made to unsecured creditors. In the vast majority of cases, however, we normally obtain approval for a 0% payment (meaning no payment at all) to unsecured creditors.

Once we have a definite figure for your payments as determined at the confirmation hearing, you are required to make monthly payments to Ms. Balboa in that amount until your plan payments have been completed.

Most plans for clients that deal with our office normally run the maximum period of 60 months. You can make your plan payments over a period as short as 36 months; however, that would normally require the monthly payments to be larger. Payments can normally be made over any period between 36 months and 60 months.

What Happens After Confirmation

After the case has been confirmed, you are required to make regular monthly payments to Ms. Balboa for the amount that was determined at the confirmation hearing. If for some reason you cannot make a payment on time, let us know. There are procedures which give you the opportunity to suspend payments if you cannot make a payment because of some unforeseen reason such as a layoff or loss of employment, medical problems, family emergencies, or things of that nature.

If you are making regular mortgage payments or car payments, and something unforeseen occurs that prevents you from making mortgage or car payments on time, let us know because there are also procedures available where we can request court approval for a suspension of mortgage or car payments.

If you don’t make all trustee payments as required, and you don’t get permission from the court to suspend payments, Ms. Balboa can make an application to the Court to dismiss your case. If you get such an application, you need to let us know immediately because there are still things that can be done to protect your rights. Therefore, it’s important to stay in touch when you hear anything from the Court or from Ms. Balboa that raises some questions in your mind.

You normally would not want your case to be dismissed because once it is dismissed you no longer have protection from your creditors. On the other hand, if a case is dismissed, under the present state of the bankruptcy law you usually have the right to refile a second bankruptcy petition as long as you are acting in good faith.

If for some reason you fall behind in your payments, Ms. Balboa may write you a letter to advise you as to how far you are behind, and she might give you an opportunity to catch up within 30 days. If you do not catch up, she will normally file a request to dismiss your case. If you get such an application to dismiss, please make sure to notify us immediately because there is only a 5 day time period to object to a proposed dismissal.

The main things you need to remember after your case has been confirmed are:

  1. Make sure you continue to make your trustee payments.
  2. If you can’t make a trustee payment as required, let us know right away because we can help you apply for a temporary suspension of payments to the trustee.
  3. If you are required to pay regular car payments, mortgage payments, or rent, keep paying as required.
  4. If for some reason you can’t make these payments, let us know right away because we can help you apply for a temporary suspension of payments.
  5. If you have any questions at any time, call us. There is no additional charge when you call us to discuss the progress or problems of your case. Our mission is to help you reach the goal line – successful completion of your case, and getting your discharge, which officially forgives you of your debts.

If you need my cell phone, I’ll be glad to give you my number.

We have been designated by the federal government as a debt relief agency. We have been helping people wipe out their bills since 1973. We proudly help people file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the new Bankruptcy Laws.

Feel free to contact us any time you have any questions. We are here to help you. I have been practicing as an attorney in New Jersey since 1973. I enjoy helping people get out of debt, and I have done so for thousands of people.

You should be entitled to a fresh start, and you may be able to completely turn around your financial situation with a change in attitude towards money and spending habits. Money management is the key. We would like to help you increase your knowledge about finances, and about utilizing a spending plan, so that you can start on the road to wealth creation in the future. We can also help our clients restore their credit and finance auto loans and home mortgages.

Contact the Law Offices of Seymour Wasserstrum for a free consultation with an experienced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy lawyer in New Jersey.

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