Changing the Bankruptcy Plan
If for some reason a decision is made to add a non-filing spouse to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, it is imperative to speak with the trustee as well as the bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 13 filings are accompanied by a repayment plan. This plan covers a three to five year period for repayment of the debts that are owed to creditors, including mortgage holders, auto loan holders and credit card companies. If part of the filing is to include business debts, the records may be required by the bankruptcy attorney as well.
Repayment plans under Chapter 13 are based on not only the amount of debt that is owed, but also the calculation of disposable income. Before a bankruptcy filing is modified for the purposes of adding a non filing spouse to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is important to look at what changes may be made to the plan. If the decision is made to go forward the process is as follows:
Contact bankruptcy attorney - at all stages of plan modification, the attorney handling the bankruptcy should be involved. The attorney should work with the filing parties to make sure that a modified plan will not be detrimental to their financial status;
Determine if additional debts are to be added - if there are additional debts to be included in the bankruptcy make sure that the creditors' names, address and account numbers are provided;
File new plan with trustee - a modified plan must be submitted to the trustee for approval. This modified plan should include a properly thought out repayment plan as well;
Wait for trustee approval - until the truustee has approved the modification, continue paying the pre-modification amounts.
The decision to add a non-filing spouse to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not one that should be taken lightly. Before making this decision, couples should examine all of their options and speak with their attorney to ensure that this option is the best one for their particular needs.