What To Expect After Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Case Number And The ‘Automatic Stay’
After your case is filed with the court, you will receive a case number. Although the bankruptcy court notifies your creditors by mail, you should give your case number and our office information to those creditors that continue to contact you after filing. Once creditors have been advised you have filed, they should not contact you in any way, even if they have not yet received “official” notice from the court. If you are experiencing continued communication from a creditor, please note the details of the call and contact our office so that we can assist you. Repeated creditor contact is a violation of the “automatic stay,” which can result in penalties being assessed against the violating creditor or collection agency.
Documents You May Receive After Filing
Within a week of your filing, our office will send you a letter with important reminders and information. Please read the letter carefully, as it will help you understand the bankruptcy process and what is expected of you. The letter will also contain the date and time of your “meeting of creditors.”
In addition to the letter from our office, you will receive documents from the court (although you may notice that our office is listed as the sender in the return address section). You will receive a notice of your filing, a hearing notice, a notice to commence Chapter 13 payments, an order approving installment payments for the filing fee and possibly a copy of the order that was issued to your employer to withhold your plan payment, if applicable in your case. Please keep these documents in the folder we provided and realize these are automatically generated by the court.
Please note that you may receive mail from third parties that may appear to be from our office or from the court. Some of these mailing are solicitations for services that you do not need or are not required to have; therefore, be careful not to confuse these with official court documents. You may wish to contact our office if you are uncertain about the nature of the mailing.
Making Your Plan Payments
You will receive a copy of your Chapter 13 plan that indicates the amount you are to pay to the Chapter 13 trustee and how often this should be paid. You will also receive a Payment Instruction Sheet from our office, and this should be strictly followed to ensure that your plan is approved by the court. As soon as your case is filed, you must immediately begin making payments. Therefore, send your first plan payment from the very next paycheck you receive after your case has been filed and continue making payments until you see that your employer has withheld the amount from your check, if applicable.
Payments may be mailed to the Chapter 13 trustee or paid in person at the Trustee’s Office in Chattanooga. NOTE: The trustee DOES NOT accept personal checks or cash. All payments must be in the form of a money order or cashier’s check payable to Kara L. West. Please note your name and case number or include a Payment Coupon in the envelope. Bring all payment receipts to your meeting of creditors.
Payment Mailing Address:
Kara L. West
P. O. Box 511
Chattanooga, TN 37401
1110 Market Street
Warehouse Row, Suite 400
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Trustee Office Hours
Friday 7:30-12:00 noon