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St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – Frequently Asked Questions

St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ by Sean C. Paul, Attorney

Can a St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy help me save my home?

Yes!  A St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you stop foreclosure by allowing you time to repay the missed payments.  You can also pay past-due real estate taxes and sewer bills.

If you have more than $15,000 of equity in your house, you may not be able to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy because of the equity.  However, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will allow you to make manageable payments on your debts and KEEP YOUR HOME.


My car was repossed.  Can a St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy attorney get it back?

If it hasn’t been sold at auction yet, then yes.  A St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy attorney can put you under bankruptcy protection.  Once your case is filed, the car lender must stop the car auction.  If your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan provides for payments of the car, and your car is insured, you can get the car back.  You must move fast!  Car auctions can occur very quickly after the repossession.


How long will my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payment plan be?

If you are over the “median” income as defined by the United States Trustee’s Office, then you must do a 60-month repayment period.  If you and under the median income, you can do a plan that is as short as 36 months.  However, there are many reasons you may want to do a 60-month plan even if you are not over the median income.  Please talk to a St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney.


Is my credit destroyed for 10 years if I file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

No!   You will have a longer time to rebuild, however.   Since you can’t incur new debts while you are under Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection,you won’t be doing a whole lot to rebuild credit while you are in the bankruptcy.  But, as time passes, your credit score will slowly increase.  After the bankruptcy, you will slowly get back into credit and rebuilding.   You could have a 750 credit score three years after you emerge from bankruptcy if you make smart choices and don’t over-extend yourself.


Will the creditors reject my repayment plan?

Your plan does not have to be “approved” by all creditors.  The trustee in bankruptcy will review your plan to make sure it is fair.  Individual creditors can, but rarely do, object.  Even if they do, the law is on your side.  You cannot be forced to repay everything without a legal reason to do so.  Just because a creditor may not be “happy” with the plan does not mean it won’t get approved.  These issues are resolved by your attorney at the plan confirmation hearing.


What if I lose income during the Chapter 13? 

You have a right to change your Chapter 13 plan at any time.  The new plan must still meet certain guidelines.  However, your attorney may be able to help you lower your payment if things change.  The opposite is true as well: if you income increases, you may have to repay more.  You should inform your St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney of changes to income.


Do I have to pay everyone back 100%?

No.  In fact, most people do not.  You are only required to pay based on your income or the value of the things you own.  If you have minimal income and nothing valuable, you may be able to repay far less than 100%.    Your St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy attorney will propose a plan for repayment.


How do my creditors get paid?

This depends on that type of debt.  A secured debt, like a car, will get paid the entire amount in most circumstances.  They will get a portion per month until paid in full.  Like all creditors, they must file documents with the court that proves you owe the debt.  Your credit cards and other creditors will only get a percentage with no interest. This amount will vary from case to case.  All this information is contained in your St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan filed with the court.


Who takes my Chapter 13 payments?

The Chapter 13 Trustee takes your payments.  For a St. Louis chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee is John V. LaBarge, Jr.  He has a large staff that is responsible for making sure the Chapter 13 plan is implemented.  His office does NOT represent you.  His job is to look out for the best interests of your creditors. After we have proposed a Chapter 13 repayment plan, and the court has approved it, his office distributes your money according to the plan.  You pay in a monthly payment, and his office disburses that money.


How do I rebuild my credit after bankruptcy?

Remember that Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is only step one.  Step 2 is THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  I can help you get your life back.  As part of my services, I will sign you up for a program called 7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score.  With this program, you will learn how to re-establish credit and improve your quality of life.



Call me today to discuss this in more detail or use my contact form to ask me a question.

Sean C. Paul, St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

Sean C. Paul is a St. Louis Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney in the State of Missouri, and has been admitted to practice in the Federal Courts of the Eastern District of Missouri, the Southern District of Illinois, and the Central District of Illinois. He worked for one of the largest firms in the country as a bankruptcy attorney before starting this firm.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He understands the importance of your financial decisions, and wants to help you make the best one, whether it’s a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or something else entirely.

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