Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is June the 15th 2020. And today I want to talk about how to protect yourself from theft in a chapter 13 with NDC.org.
Every active chapter 13 debtor should open an account with NDC.org, the cost is free, but the information you see could be worth a lot of money and save you from theft. Having an account with NDC.org will allow you to see every single proof of claim that has been filed in your bankruptcy case and it will also allow you to verify that your chapter 13 payments are being received by the trustee.
Years ago I had a client whose employer took money from her paycheck, but never sent it into the trustee. We caught the error and had to sue the employer to get the money paid. Having an account with NDC.org allows you to catch stuff like this. Proof of claim is a form signed under oath, with supporting documentation that a creditor must file in a bankruptcy case in order to get paid. The proof of claim will tell the trustee the type of claim and the amount owed.
If a creditor fails to file before the deadline in your case, they won’t get paid anything. For example, let’s say you had a car repossessed a few years ago, and owe the car creditor $10,000. If they fail to file a proof of claim on time, you will not have to pay that $10,000.
Let’s change up the facts a little bit. Let’s say you owe the IRS $10,000 of tax credit that we cannot eliminate in bankruptcy. If they don’t file a claim, we may want to file one on their behalf to make sure they get paid in your case. While it is rare, sometimes a creditor will accidentally file a claim in the wrong place. In theory, if no one ever notices a wrong claim, could get paid and cost you a lot of money.
In my bankruptcy firm, we review every single claim filed in our clients case. At the same time, we also encourage all of my clients to open an account with NDC.org and double-check as well. The fact that many bankruptcy claims get sold can create a lot of confusion for clients, and they can be solved while your case is going on. So you may look online and see the claim of a holder that you’ve never heard of before. If this happens, it’s a good idea to call us and we’ll pull the proof of claim for you and make sure that it’s accurate.
If an inaccurate claim is discovered, we will first contact the person that filed it and notify them of their error. If the offending filer ignores us, which usually happens most of the time. We will then file what’s called an objection to the proof of claim, the debtor will then need to attend the hearing with us testify to the judge that this claim is bogus.
NDC.org states that you could open up an account online in less than five minutes. All you need to set up your account is your full legal name, your bankruptcy case number, the last four digits of your social security number, your trustees name, and the list of creditors and your bankruptcy case. The benefits of setting up an NDC account are you get access to your chapter 13 bankruptcy information online. There’s helpful answers to frequent questions. There’s a you get access to a quick glance at the page and save yourself a call to your lawyer provides you with the information you need to stay informed about your bankruptcy case. Keep yourself on track during your payment plan and ensure that you’ll have no surprises. In conclusion, if you’re in a chapter 13 right now, go get your account in NDC.org set up as soon as possible. Thank you.
Transcript: Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and in this podcast today I want to answer the question, how do you file Chapter 7 and still keep your stuff that you owe money on? And the answer is reaffirmation agreements. So let’s go through some hypotheticals. Let’s say you’ve got somebody, they’ve got a 2010 Honda Accord and they owe about $10,000 on it, payment’s about $350 a month. Interest rate is 12% and they also have $50,000 credit cards and then another $50,000 in medical. What’s going to happen? Well, in a Chapter 7 situation, assuming they qualify, the credit card debt is going to be wiped out, eliminated, gone. Medical debt’s going to be wiped out, eliminated, gone. Why? Because those are unsecured debts. Now, let’s talk about the car. What’s going to happen with that? Could the person in this hypothetical surrender the car to the creditor and wipe out the debt? Absolutely they could, but if they want to keep it and they’re going to have to keep making the payments and they’re going to have to sign something called a reaffirmation agreement. A reaffirmation agreement is a contract between you and the creditor and basically it says this, “Hey Honda Accord creditor, I could wipe you out, but I’m going to give up all of my Chapter 7 rights and we’re going to treat this debt and treat this debt only as if we have never filed.” Now personally, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t like reaffirmation agreements; I’m extremely cautious about reaffirmation agreements. Once you sign that reaffirmation agreement, you have 60 days ...
Hello, this is Jeff Kelly, and today is June the 8th, 2020 and today we’re going to talk about, can I buy a car while I’m in an active Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Short answer? Yes, you can, but buying a car while you’re in an active Chapter 13, while it’s possible, it’s extremely difficult because most lenders are not willing to go through the process of waiting for the court to approve a post-petition car loan. Finding a lender who’s willing to work with you while you’re in an active Chapter 13 case is the biggest challenge. However, I have seen some clients pull it off successfully. It’s important to note, no one can incur any new debt in an active Chapter 13 case without permission from the court. Now, of course, emergency medical debt, that’s an exception to this rule, but as a general rule, no new debt without permission from the bankruptcy court, or you can get in a lot of trouble. To obtain permission from the court, we had to set it down for a hearing. We have to notify all the creditors in your case what our intentions are, that we want to buy a new car. At the hearing, the trustee is going to have some questions and may or may not oppose your request to purchase a new car. Your bankruptcy attorney will present your case and then the bankruptcy judge will decide whether or not she wants to sign an order allowing it. Typically, this process takes anywhere between 30 to 45 days. It is a slow process. It is not overnight. If you truly don’t have ...