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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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13

Jun 2011

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and your credit report

Posted by / in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy / 84 comments

Virginia bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed

I don’t like Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One reason is this. Your credit so much much worse than if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

I don’t like Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  One reason is chapter 13 is much worse on your credit.

Since you are paying your creditors, at least a little, in Chapter 13, that’s unfair. Five years after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, people can have great credit. (Assuming life hasn’t knocked you down again.) You can get a car loan at as good a good rate. You could already be a year or two in your new home.

After five years of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your credit will still stink. Why is that? About half the companies you owe money to, will have given you five more years of bad credit.

They are not allowed to do that.  They do it anyway.

For years, the credit bureaus had no rules on how chapter 13 should show on your credit. But they corrected that, finally, in December 2009. (That was eighteen months ago.)

In December 2009 the credit bureaus told the credit card companies, and other creditors, what to do when a Chapter 13 plan is approved.

They said that once the Chapter 13 plan is confirmed, creditors can’t keep reporting you as past due. And they have to reduce the balance on your credit report down to what the judge said you had to pay.

Why did the credit bureaus finally set rules on this? Maybe because back to 2008, Wisconsin Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley said the same thing, in a case brought by bankruptcy lawyer Christine Wolk.

So far, even with a court decision in 2008 and new credit reporting rules in 2009, about half the creditor are not doing what they are supposed to do.

I saw that one the credit report of one of my clients, Jane. (Not her real name.) Jane had to file a chapter 13 to catch up the mortgage on her mom’s home. (Mom lives in a small place that Jane financed for her. Mom doesn’t have much retirement, so Jane has to help out. when things at her job got slow, Jane got behind, and she needed Chapter 13 to give her time to catch up.)

Two years into her five year Chapter 13 plan, Jane’s car caught on fire. Scary. She still needed to get to work, so she asked the bankruptcy Judge for permission to borrow money to buy a used car. The Judge was glad to give her permission to borrow $5000 to buy a used car. But when she went to get a car, 25% interest was the best she could do. No choice, she paid it.

What was the problem with her credit report? Apple Federal Credit Union, Capital One, and Capital One Auto had reported her as late every month since she filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in June 2009. When she bought a car in May 2011, she had two years of being late every month with them.

Chase, HSBC and Dell stopped reporting in June 2009–the same way they would have in a Chapter 7. So her last reported late payment on those three accounts was two years old when she went to buy the car.

Jane had done what she should do to get back to good credit. She had three new, current credit cards in good standing–paid in full every month, never late. Capital One (ironically), First Premier, and HSBC.

If all Jane had was three current credit cards, two years after a chapter 7 bankruptcy, she’d have probably been below 10%. That difference, on a $5000 car loan, is $1885.

I’m fighting in court to get her that $1885 back from those three companies.

Are you in Chapter 13 now? Don’t wait until your bankruptcy case is over to do something about your credit report.

Call each of the big three credit bureaus and order your report. My instructions on how to do that are here.

Then, talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about how to fight this issue in your state. You can dispute it with the credit bureaus under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and then sue the bureaus and the creditors if they don’t fix it.  (Do you need a credit report lawyer in your state?  You can find one at NACA.)

Or you can bring it in front of your bankruptcy judge.  Ask the judge to follow what Judge Kelley said. (Some bankruptcy judges aren’t very friendly to consumers, so make sure your lawyer is comfortable with your judge.)

If I’m your lawyer, email the credit reports to my Chapter 13 credit report paralegal, Chapter13creditreports@robertweed.com.  Brenda will work with you on the steps we take to get it fixed.

It’s three years after Judge Kelley’s decision; eighteen months after the new rules set by the credit bureaus. It’s time to get those companies to do what they are supposed to do.

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Robert Weed has helped twelve thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

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84 comments
  • Zuhailly Edwards

    September 22, 2011, am30 2:25 AM
    01

    where, other than this website can I find this law so I can print it and submit it with my disputes? Thank you for your advice

    • Robert Weed

      September 22, 2011, am30 6:40 AM
      02

      Since I downloaded it about two months ago, it’s no longer posted on their website. That’s somewhat strange.

  • gene

    October 25, 2011, am31 10:49 AM
    03

    How should your credit report state on the items you are still paying on after filing chapter 13? Such as mortgage and car loans? My report for my car loan says “closed/discharged through bankruptcy chapter 13″. Last reported 08/2010.
    I have continued to pay on this loan and have never missed a payment or been late. So now after over 1 year of making 2 car loan payments and a mort payment on time, my credit score is still low because my report does not show any payments made in the last year on the 3 accounts. Can I fight this? The creditor says they are not allowed to report my payments. That is not fair IMO.

    • Robert Weed

      October 25, 2011, am31 11:58 AM
      04

      I agree with you. But I’m a voice in the wilderness at this point. I’m making a personal crusade on this, but I don’t know any other bankruptcy or credit report lawyer who is working on it. We went to trial on this against Capital One–and the bankruptcy judge sided with them. We got hammered, actually. I’m still fighting on this, but it’s even more uphill than I thought it would be.

  • Lisa

    December 15, 2011, am31 3:57 AM
    05

    I have been searching the internet for information like this unfortunately it is so limited. I have found this site very informational. I have recently pulled my credit reports and notice that some of the creditors have a different status on the different reports so the info you have posted here has helped me understand this a little better. I am 18 months away from completing a 5 year Chapter 13 plan. I surrendered a vehicle that was under both my ex-husband’s name(co-debtor) and mine(Primary). It was really his car and at the time made the biggest mistake by signing for this because his credit was not that great. Since he wanted to keep the vehicle and keep making payments on it the finance company did not recover the vehicle. He made arrangements with them and continued making payments on it. I had asked my lawyer if he was able to keep the car and if I would no longer be liable and she assured me that this was correct. Unfortunately fast forward to 2 years later and I come to find out that this was not entirely true. I received a letter in the mail to begin sending payment to a new Finance Company who had taken over this account. So ofcourse I was baffled as to why they were contacting me regarding a vehicle I had surrendered and was not in my possesion. So I called them so they could correct their mistake and come to find out that my name would remain on the note until either the vehicle was recovered or paid off. Appears that my ex had stopped making payments. Had the repo guy come to my house several times and kept telling him that I did not have possesion and gave him my ex’s info. Provided this to the Finance company too several times. Somehow after over a year of them taking over this account they have still been unable recover the car. Well about a month ago they called me requesting payments and telling me that since my name was on the account that I was responsible for the payments. I explained that I was in a Chapter 13 plan and had surrendered the vehicle in my BK and they should contact my attorney(who did tell me I wasn’t responsible for payments). She asked me for my Case #, which is surprising to me that they wouldn’t have that available. Anyway everytime I talked to someone different and everytime had to explain the whole situation all over again. Two weeks later they called again trying to get me to make payments and again explained the situation gave my Case# and told them call my attorney. Well this time the lady tells me why should I need to call your attorney you are no longer in BK and I told my BK was still active. Her tone did change a little bit after that. Well after this I decided to pull my credit reports and noticed that they have reported to all 3 CRA’S. The info is slightly different on the 3 reports. All state that this is part of my PP(which it isn’t), have a past due balance which is the same as account balance, 2 have monthly payments listed, and notes state Petition for BK with last months date. That is also inacurrate since my plan was confirmed over 3 yrs ago. Can they report this to the CRA’s if I am not liable for payments? Also they never sent any kind of claim or transfer of claim to so they do not appear on any of my original paper work or trustee statement etc. They also changed the account number so I’m concerned that even when my BK is discharged and I submit to CRA’s so they could update my report that they will not update this entry since it does not appear on any of my paperwork…. Sorry for such a long post, but this has been such a long journey

    • Robert Weed

      December 15, 2011, am31 6:56 AM
      06

      Two things. The car creditor, old or new, contacting you for payments (as opposed to looking for the car) is a violation of the bankruptcy order. I’m quicker to sue than most lawyers around here on that–on the other hand the judges around here are more conservative than most. You should discuss with your lawyer whether he will bring the car people into court for violating the “automatic stay.” Get you a little money and slap them down.

      The other problem, the credit report problem, is tougher. I lost on that in front of the bankruptcy judge here. Your bankruptcy lawyer would only want to tackle that if you have a really friendly bankruptcy judge. (On the other hand, going into bankruptcy court complaining about both the calls and the credit reporting could be a good plan. Because you should win on the calls while you educate the judge on the credit reporting.)

      I’m trying now to fight that as a Fair Credit Reporting violation. To have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have to dispute it first with the credit bureaus. Maybe twice. Then locate a credit report lawyer in your area who wants to take the case. This area of the law is pretty much unexplored on the Fair Credit Reporting Side, too. Good luck. Sorry I can’t be more encouraging.

  • Lisa

    December 15, 2011, am31 9:23 AM
    07

    Thanks for the advice…. I will contact my lawyer and see what can be done about it. It’s been so stressful dealing with this company and you would think this much time invested into the plan things would be easier. I just find it very unfair for them to try to make me liable for payments that I did not agree to make to them. They should have assessed the risk of letting my ex keep the vehicle before allowing him to keep it, but everything was fine until he stopped the payments now they want to come after me doesn’t seem right. BTW would they be considered of violating the automatic stay if the original company filed/was approved for motion to be relieved from the automatic stay ? They filed this since I had surrendered the vehicle as part of the BK. So they could have really picked up this car long ago when they were in contact with him instead of allowing him to keep it. I thought I had done my homework and knew what to expect, but I guess you can’t plan for everything. I really wish that I had been much better advised regarding this situation.

  • Geoff Tibbetts

    December 23, 2011, am31 6:30 AM
    08

    I have a question about how long a voluntarily dismissed chapter 13 stays on a credit report report. In my case, I filed a chapter 13 in October 2003 and then voluntarily dismissed it a month later in November 2003. No creditors were effected.

    Trans Union and Experian deleted the chapter 13 after seven years. However Equifax says that it won’t delete the report until 10 years. Equifax does not seem to have any congent justification for its policy on dismissed chapter 13 bankruptcies. In fact, it seems contrary to bankruptcy law: a discharged chapter 7 and 13 can be deleted in seven years, but a dismissed bankrupty (which didn’t even effect the creditors) must remain on a credit report for 10 years. At least that’s the postion of Equifax and they can’t really explain the inequity of it.

    I have been informally advised that maybe the best way would be to go before the bankruptcy judge and ask for an updated order that a voluntarily dismissed chapter 13 means the bankruptcy was for all intents and purposes a ‘nullity,’ and where no creditors were adversely effected, it would be inequitable to basic bankruptcy law and unnecessarisly injurious to the individual to keep this matter on my credit report for 10 years.

    Can you assist me on this matter? I am currently a deployed servicemember in Afghanistan, and this matter on my credit report is effecting my rights to obtain a loan with the Veteran’s Administration.

    Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Geoff Tibbetts

  • Robyn

    April 25, 2012, am30 11:33 AM
    10

    Hi, my bankruptcy attorney filed a modified plan a couple of months ago. I was already 26 months into the plan. For the first time, my mortgage company started reporting my mortgage as delinquent and included in chapter 13 payment plan. This is not true. I have been told they can do this just because they want to. I did not include my mortgage in the bankruptcy when I filed in 2009 or in 2012 when I filed the modified plan. I’ve paid two weeks early for nearly six years. They suddenly shut down my internet access so now I have to call them to pay my mortgage. This is the thanks I get for paying my mortgage early for six years? How is it legal for them to report this false information to my credit?

    • Robert Weed

      April 26, 2012, am30 10:23 AM
      11

      Robyn:

      Your question is really in three parts. First, if you dispute it with the credit bureaus, what will they do? Sometimes that works, some times it doesn’t. Second, if it doesn’t work, is there a credit report lawyer in your area who wants to take that on? So far, very very few lawyers have wanted to fight this, sorry. If you find one in your area, please let me know. Third, what will the judge say? So far, Judge Kelly in Wisconsin is the only Judge who has been helpful on this.

  • Rochelle Simon

    May 2, 2012, pm31 3:44 PM
    12

    My Chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed on April 14, 2003 – and was discharged 3 years later.. All of the creditors that were part of that discharge have since removed the accounts from my credit reports except Capital One.. they still report every month to Experian that I have an account that was discharged as part of Chapter 13. I tried to dispute (I even talked to Capital One) but they insist they can report for 7 years since the discharge until 2013. It is dragging down my credit score. Can anything be done? Very frustrating.

    • Robert Weed

      May 2, 2012, pm31 4:35 PM
      13

      Rochelle:

      They are allowed to keep reporting until 7 years and six months after the last payment.

  • Mena

    May 14, 2012, am31 8:29 AM
    14

    Good morning,

    I received your information from the NACA website and wanted to ask a few questions. I recently came out of a chapter 13 which should be discharged. I finished all my payments and took my credit counseling classes and was told the discharge was compete, end of 2011. Just last month I started to receive a lot of phone calls from creditors. One in particular pertained to my car. A company started calling saying that they are the lien holders of my car and they are ordered to pick up my car because I defaulted on my bankruptcy agreements. I immediately contacted the lawyer that handled my bankruptcy and was told that my bankruptcy was discharged incorrectly and that is why I’m receiving all these calls etc. They told me they would call the auto place and not to worry. About a week later my car was repossessed by this auto company which claims I still owe about $13,000.00 on a car I’ve been paying on since 2006. I called the lawyers again and asked them to do something about it they said they could not do anything about the car. I now have to handle it with the auto company and that the only thing they can do is go back to court and re-file the discharge properly but I have to pay an additional $500 for them to do this.

    For all the money I paid to the law firm I feel as if I’m not receiving full attention to what has happened to me. Plus I don’t understand half of what is going on. I completed everything I was instructed to do and I now have horrible credit & no car. Is there any help that you can provide or any information to who I could contact to try and correct my incorrect discharge on my credit and possibly some sort of assistance on the car?

    • Robert Weed

      May 14, 2012, am31 10:05 AM
      15

      Mena:

      Wow! What a mess. The lesson I guess is to be careful when you select a lawyer–bankruptcy is a very technical and very tricky area of the law. You need to be sure you have a lawyer who knows what he is doing.

  • AH

    May 28, 2012, pm31 2:58 PM
    16

    Hello,
    I have just been released from Bankruptcy and have surrendered a vehicle to capital one auto. In Nov of 2011 I filed and on Feb 2nd of 2012 the court gave legal approval for Capital one to pick the car up. It is now May 28th 2012 and they still have not picked the car up. I have continued to keep insurance on the vehicle and will until it is picked up; I need this money for other things. I have contacted them from Dec 2011 – Feb 2012 telling them I would be glad to drop the vehicle off at a Capital One Bank, they keep telling me that I cannot do this. Can I file for an abandoned auto in the state of Arkansas? It has been close to 4 months since the court approved pickup. I have asked my attorneys and they cannot answer this question for me.

    • Robert Weed

      May 28, 2012, pm31 4:27 PM
      17

      AH:

      I can only tell you two things. You might as well keep driving it. And make sure all your personal belongings are out of the car. Sometimes they never do come get it. What’s the year and make of the car? They might not think it’s worth the trouble to pick it up.

  • AH

    May 28, 2012, pm31 4:39 PM
    18

    It is an 08 Toyota 4runner SR5 V6 4×4 so I would think they would want it.

  • Shannon

    June 10, 2012, am30 10:42 AM
    19

    Hello,
    I have 9 more months left (of a 5 years plan) on my Chapter 13. I was just surfing and stumbled on this website and its very eye opening. I would of never thought to pull my credit report now. My husband and I wanted to buy a House when the BK is over… Do you think the banks would even consider us? What steps should I be taking to make this a smooth process? We have been paying $1200 a month and so excited for it to be over. Thanks in Advance for your Advise.

    • Robert Weed

      June 11, 2012, pm30 3:24 PM
      20

      Shannon:

      Get your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus individually by following the instructions on my page.

      If creditors are reporting you late, send in dispute letters to each of the credit bureaus. (You have rights against the credit bureaus–not so much against the creditors.) Tell them how you think it should be reported and INCLUDE the pages from the Credit Reporting Resources Guide (that link is in my post, too) that back up what you say.

      See how that works. If that does NOT get you the result you want, find a lawyer in your area who does Fair Credit Reporting Law. A perfect lawyer would do both FCRA and bankruptcy. One place to look is http://www.naca.net.

      Good luck. Would the banks consider you–I’m not sure. This is a mostly unexplored area. I’m guessing they will want to see two years after you finish your Chapter 13. That’s one of the reasons I try to help my clients to avoid Chapter 13 whenever possible. But if you clean up your credit first, it wouldn’t hurt to try. Let us know.

  • Jenny Henderson

    July 6, 2012, pm31 4:23 PM
    21

    I filed chapter 13 bankruptcy over a year ago. In my divorce decree I agreed to pay a Chase card account, even though, it is in my ex-husband’s name, I used the card more than he did and felt as like I should pay the debt. I had my attorney to include it in the bankruptcy but Chase has refused to cooperate with the bankruptcy ruling. A collection agency has called me several times trying to set up payment arrangements and Chase is reporting inaccurate balances and late payments on my credit report. Is there anything I can do to stop Chase? I read in your report that credit bureaus are suppose to inform credit card companies to stop reporting late payments once bankruptcy has been confirmed, is this true?

    • Robert Weed

      July 7, 2012, pm31 3:09 PM
      22

      Jenny:

      At least two issues going on here. I kind of agree with Chase that they do not have to cooperate with your Chapter 13 because you did not owe money to Chase. The person you owed money to was your ex. (Because you promised your ex that you would pay Chase.) So, it’s complicated, but I would have set it up so the Chapter 13 payment went to your ex (maybe at an address you could monitor) and then that money was used to pay Chase.

      The second issue is the collection agency contacting you? Are they contacting you looking for your ex? Or asking for you? It looks to me like there’s a Fair Debt Collection violation, because you are being harassed to pay a debt you don’t owe.

      What about late reports while in Chapter 13? The Consumer Data Industry Association says they should stop late reporting–and so did Judge Kelley in the Bankruptcy Court in Wisconsin.

      But, Judge Kenney at the bankruptcy court here said it was ok, and that set me back. I have a case in front of the US District Court here in Alexandria. The Judge said he’d rule on it in April–not it’s July and still no ruling. So the judge is obviously having trouble with it.

      (The US District Court here is called the “rocket docket”–it is VERY unusual that a Judge here sits on a case without ruling on it.)

      So,

  • Julie Dodge

    July 31, 2012, pm31 4:54 PM
    23

    Hello Mr. Reed,

    I in am in the last 10 months of a Chapter 13 and have learned that I can qualify for a home loan under the latest FHA guidelines. It took me sometime to convince the mortgage lender I was consulting of this fact, but after speaking to the underwriter desk he confirmed it. However, the underwriter says I have to get the derogatory attributes related to the first & second mortgage removed from my credit report. There are no local attorneys that practice FCRA Law and those I’ve called closest to where I live do not seem to be fully educated in this area. I am an attorney but my area of expertise in civil/family law self-help arena, so if I have to do this myself then that is what I will have to do.

    So, imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this article. I’m in the midst of dispute letters and the Reporting Agencies are sending blank “frivolous” letters and the creditors will likely follow suit. Before getting too crazy I wanted to confirm my understanding of the Reporting Resource Guide. The reporting status for a confirmed plan applies to ALL creditors whether secured or unsecured correct? In other words, if the creditors where paid $0 in the plan (liquidated?) this method of reporting would still apply, correct? I managed to find a current copy of the guide (2011) and didn’t see any other type of coding for those creditors who were not paid in the plan.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Robert Weed

      August 7, 2012, am31 7:12 AM
      24

      Julie:

      Thanks for sending me the 2011 version of the Guide–I didn’t have that one. I’m happy that it says the same as earlier editions–that they have to report stuff in a current chapter 13 as current. What seemed to be new is a little more detail that if the Chapter 13 plan isn’t clear as to how much the unsecured creditors are supposed to be getting, that should be provided. (The Chapter 13 trustee here at least does a report that covers all that.)

      So if they are supposed to get zero and they are getting zero, well, that’s current.

      The Guide, especially 2011, really shows a carefully thought out program for reporting debts in Chapter 13–and compliance is terrible.

      Do another round of disputes attaching the relevant pages from the Guide and details of your chapter 13 plan. Include the trustee report showing what people are approved to be paid and what they have been paid (if the trustee there does that kind of report.) If that doesn’t fix it, time to sue.

      I’d suggest you only sue the credit bureaus at this stage of the development of the law on this. The creditors (furnishers under the FCRA) can dodge the Guide, but the credit bureaus can’t–basically they are author and publisher.

      We need a couple favorable decisions on credit bureaus before it would be time to start suing creditors, I think. (Should have taken my own advice.)

  • Kit

    August 1, 2012, pm31 1:33 PM
    25

    I filed Chapter 13 in July 2008, husband did not. Discharged in June 2012. I paid 100% of all my debts in the BK. We were never late on our house or the car. Only credit card debt. We pulled our credit reports. My husband’s states since 2009 that he has been 30 days late with the house payment. Told Citimortgage they were wrong. They said it was because of the bankruptcy. My husband told them he did not file and we were never late anyway. My lawyer never mentioned any of this would happen. At the time he said filing wouldn’t hurt my husband–only me. What a mistake. What should we do to get my husband’s credit report cleared up? Can we? Mine is ruined too. The car never reported on my husband’s credit report–only Citimortgage.

  • Daniel Spencer

    August 2, 2012, am31 9:59 AM
    26

    My chapter 13 has been discharged, can I ask my creditors to delete my bad credit from my report or do they have to leave it on there for the full seven years. thanks

    • Robert Weed

      August 2, 2012, am31 10:39 AM
      27

      Dan:

      First of all, under Fair Credit Reporting you make your requests to the credit bureaus, not the creditors.

      For sure, you debts should now show discharged by Chapter 13 and zero balances. Anything that is not showing that should definitely be disputed.

      The gray area is whether are allowed to report you as having been late the whole time you were in chapter 13, or whether those should show current–since they were getting paid according to a court authorized plan. That’s what I think–and that’s what the instruction manual says–the Credit Reporting Resources Guide. But I lost here in Alexandria Virginia when I complained to two judges about that.

  • Jennifer

    August 3, 2012, pm31 8:49 PM
    28

    In February 2006 an order was entered confirming my Chapter 13. The order also stated I would not be entitled to a discharge and no discharge would be entered in this case. I completed the Chapter 13 repayments in full in 2009. My mortgage company has only reported once in 2011 to the credit bureau. They tell me they can not report until they get a discharge letter and they are missing my certificate from the instructional course for personal finance management. I didnt know what that was until I looked it up today. So obviously I do not have either. What can I do? I am trying to get preapproved for a new home loan and my score is down. The bank tells me it would look alot better if the mortgage showed up on the report.

    • Robert Weed

      August 4, 2012, am31 7:23 AM
      29

      Jennifer:

      I’m assuming your Chapter 13 was closed in 2009 even if it wasn’t discharged. (Because you had a previous Chapter 7? Was this mortgage in the Chapter 7?) So there’s a closing letter even if there’s no discharge. Send them your closing order. (Where’s your lawyer in all this?)

      So it seems like the mortgage should be reporting, EXCEPT if there’s a prior Chapter 7 that covered the mortgage.

      Remember in Fair Credit Reporting your rights run mainly against the credit bureau.

      Here’s something that works some of the time. Write to the mortgage company and say “This is a qualified written request under RESPA. I want you to confirm that my mortgage is current, that it has been current every month since 2009. And I want a history of my monthly payments.” when they reply, send their reply to the credit bureaus and ask them to report it.

      I’m not sure, but I’ve seen that work. You should also talk to a lawyer who does Fair Credit Reporting law in your state.

  • Robert Weed

    August 6, 2012, pm31 3:56 PM
    30

    One of my readers located the 2011 edition of the Credit Reporting Resources Guide. I’ve excerpted the pages that reference Chapter 13 and you can download them here.

    http://robertweed.com/resources/2011%20Credit%20Report%20Resource%20Guide%20(1).pdf

  • Bonnie

    August 14, 2012, pm31 4:30 PM
    31

    My chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed 03/01/2006 and was discharged 06/23/2011. I live in PA. and my attorney advised me to pay both secure and unsecure debts via the trustee in my case. I wanted to pay my secured debts, 1st mortgage, 2nd mortgage and car payment on my own as I had never been late with payments and I did not want anything to go wrong. I was told I had to pay the secured debts through the trustee so I agreed.

    During my chapter 13 the bank that held my mortgages merged from Sky Bank to Huntington OCT. 2007. As a result the trustee required Huntington to provide proof of claim for all debts owed to them. The bank sent in an accurate proof of claim for my 1st mortgage, but did not send in a specific proof of claim for the second. They sent in a claim pertaining to an unsecured line of credit 05/2008 and they had the transforer and transferee reversed so the trustee asked for correction and on that. As far as the secured, unmodified 2nd mortgage they sent in a claim in jan of 08 saying it was for the second mortgage but the claim they sent was wrong it was the first mortgage claim. The trustee would not accept the claim she requested a specific claim for the 2nd. The trustee withheld disbursement on the second from Nov 2007 until July 28th 2008. She released a lump sum payment to the bank at that time. The reason she held the funds for so long is that the specific claim she requested was not filed until 07/24/2008.

    The bank charged off my 2nd mortgage and an unsecured line of credit as a result of this and did so on 04/22/08 which was before the bank sent in either the unsecured or the secured claim that they charged off. My credit report is a disaster. the charged off unsecured was put on my credit reports while I was in still in bankruptcy and it never mentioned chapter 13 it just read charged off line of credit. I disputed it in 2011 as it was unsecured and should have said ch. 13 and it was not changed.

    This year Huntington reported it as not only charged off but also showing a date of first major delinquency of 09/2011. My bankruptcy was discharged 06/2011. It made it look like I exited a bankruptcy and defaulted on a loan. This erroneous report caused denial of a parent plus loan I needed for my daughters 2nd year of college.

    My second mortgage that I never have missed a payment on before or after I filed; and was only late when the trustee withheld disbursements, is schedulded to stay on my credit report an additional year till Sept. of 2014 as they are counting the first major delinquency as 09/2007 which is when it reached delinquency under the trustees watch. The unsecured line of credit is also stating it will remain until 2014. The bank did not even file the claims needed to recieve payment from the trustee until after they charged off the loan. I noticed March of 2008 that payments were not being reported on my bank statement I called the bank and they said they were not recieving payment. I then called my attorney and he told me it was because they had not filed the appropriate claims to the trustee. He said it was between the bank and the trustee and was out of my hands. This has turned into a nightmare. I do not even know how to fix this mess. if you have any suggestions I’m open to them.

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2012, pm31 1:44 PM
      32

      Bonnie:

      This is a good example of why I hate chapter 13. There are so many things that can go wrong–even if you, your lawyer, and the trustee are trying to look after you. When your lawyer doesn’t much care, you can feel pretty hopeless.

      You need to see a lawyer in your state who does Fair Credit Reporting Law. And your lawyer may want you to do another dispute before you sue–under the FCRA you have rights mostly only after you dispute. But since you have real, hard damages, denial of the parent plus loan, your FCRA lawyer might decide to sue just based on that first dispute. Look for a lawyer here. http://naca.net/

      My view is that everything should be reported current all through your Chapter 13 (see http://robertweed.com/blog/chapter-13-bankruptcy/chapter-13-bankruptcy-and-your-credit-report/#comment-2214) and a really pro-consumer bankruptcy judge on your facts might see it that way. That’s where Bankruptcy Judge Sue Kelly in Wisconsin stands. Maybe, if you first find an FCRA lawyer in your state, they might know of a bankruptcy lawyer who really battles for their clients.

      Anyway, you should be able to find an FCRA lawyer in your state who would take your case, maybe after another dispute, to fight that after discharge date of first delinquency and the failure to show the chapter 13 discharge. That should be pretty straight forward. While you are at it, you MIGHT find a lawyer who would get involved in whether you should be shown as current all through the Chapter 13, since you were doing everything you were supposed to do.

  • Tina N.

    August 17, 2012, am31 10:34 AM
    33

    You have the most informative and updated site out there and I really appreciate the time you took out of your busy life to respond to our questions.

    I started my Chapter 13 in September 2011 and I happened to check my credit report today and noticed that my auto loan company is reporting me as 120 days late. I was NEVER late up until I started my Chapter 13 plan and I suppose the trustee started disbursing the funds later than normal or whatnot.

    I disputed it with one of the CRA’s and mysteriously received a payment receipt from the auto loan creditor showing the last payment that was made.

    Is this their way of responding to my dispute and is it legal? I added a statement to that specific information stating that I was never late until the petition was confirmed because I know they can keep reporting even after it is submitted but they have not even updated it to reflect that I have a petition out there. It just says I’m 120 days late.

    Any answer is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Robert Weed

      August 17, 2012, am31 11:04 AM
      34

      Tina:

      Thanks for your kind words.

      If you look at my August 6 comment, you can see where I have the Chapter 13 pages of the Credit Reporting Resources Guide. (Sent to me by one of my readers. The latest I had was 2010.) It makes it clear that they are supposed to report you according to the Chapter 13 plan, once the plan has been confirmed. So it should be current. And for sure the 120 days late is wrong according to the Guide.

      You may want to do a second dispute, including the pages from the Guide, as well as your Chapter 13 plan. Maybe that will fix it. If it doesn’t, you should find a lawyer near you who does FCRA law. Keep us posted. Here’s a good place to look for a lawyer. http://naca.net/.

      This is a good case to sue on, because you should win for the failure to report the Chapter 13, even if the judge doesn’t by that they should follow the Guide. So you are your lawyer have a good chance of winning, at least a partial victory. (Enough to get paid.)

      There is an ENORMOUS gap here between what the CRAs say the creditors should be doing and what they actually do. We need a couple of fair minded judges to come down on them hard, and that will change.

  • Tina N.

    August 17, 2012, pm31 2:50 PM
    35

    Thank you again for your quick follow-up!!

    My case was filed in the state of Louisiana and I moved to Texas 6 months ago. Do I contact a lawyer in Texas or Louisiana?

  • Mike

    September 9, 2012, pm30 11:21 PM
    36

    Just a note to say thank you for the informative website and your continued responses to people’s questions. And thanks for the link to the Chapter 13 info in the 2011 Credit Reporting Resources Guide. I HOPE this helps me dispute tons of incorrect items in my reports. I didn’t have any late payments before my Chapter 13 plan was submitted, yet the reports continue to report late payments even though the plan was confirmed. According to this document, payment status is supposed to be reported as of the time of filing, correct? So if I had no late payments when the plan was filed, all of my accounts SHOULD show as “current”, and the “late payment amount” should be ZERO? Please, keep up the fight for us consumers! It is so sad.

    • Robert Weed

      September 10, 2012, am30 10:21 AM
      37

      Mike:

      Thanks for your kind words. Glad my material is helpful–please keep us posted on your fight.

  • Rich

    February 6, 2013, pm28 10:21 PM
    38

    Background, credit union is reporting discharged in chapter 13 on two auto loans that were current at the time of filing. It has been two years after discharge. At the discharge date they report PP or payment plan. Both loans were paid in full during the plan. Have since received tiles to both autos and have sold. How do I get them to stop reporting discharge or included in chapter 13?

    • Robert Weed

      February 7, 2013, am28 6:24 AM
      39

      Rich:

      Don’t know if you can. If you used the Chapter 13 to change the payment on the car loans, then I think the credit reporting is right. Or if you had any other debts with the credit union.

      If you kept paying the credit union directly, and if you had NO other debts with the credit union, then I agree with you that they should report the car loans current, paid in full.

      Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act run against the credit bureaus, so you need to start by sending dispute letters to them–send them certified, keep a copy. If two disputes don’t fix it, then it’s time to locate a lawyer in your state who does Fair Credit Reporting law. One place to look is the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

  • Cheryl

    March 2, 2013, am31 11:10 AM
    40

    I was discharged on a Chapter 13 in May 2012. Last payment made in March 2012. Reviewing my credit reports I noticed that Capital One has listed the date of last payment as 3/2012 for an account that was discharged. Can they do this? Also, HSBC sold accounts to Capital One and they are listed on my credit report. I do not recognize the account numbers and the report indicates that 1) I opened the accounts in 2007 when I was initiating chapter 13, and 2) the last payment was made in 2008 and amounts given, but I never opened accounts or made any payments to any account. I am wondering if creditors buy out an account and created a new account number in order to collect on a discharged account? I have written validation letters for each account, but would like to know if I should send these or take another step? Thank you for recognizing the problem with creditors, credit agencies and chapter 13.

    • Robert Weed

      March 2, 2013, pm31 4:31 PM
      41

      Cheryl:

      What I think–what the Credit Reporting Resources Guide–the instruction manual says–is Cap One should have reported your payment as CURRENT every month from your plan confirmation, when they started getting paid, until the last one in March 2012–as well as showing Chapter 13. BUT, I am 0 for 2 on getting any judge to agree with me on that–the second judge didn’t even really give me the time of day.

      You can check around and see if a credit reporting lawyer in your area who’s a member of http://naca.net/ wants to try it with a judge where you are.

  • Jessica

    March 5, 2013, pm31 8:01 PM
    42

    Robert,
    Thank you so much for your website. So very informative.

    I can’t seem to find information on this one regarding a Citibank credit card that still reports a charge off with a balance in my credit report even after filing chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    I filed chapter 13 in Oct 2011 (5 years).
    My last payment to Citi was Nov 2009. In Jan 2011, they started reporting the debt as a charge-off. They sued and got a judgement against me on Sept 2011. I filed for bankruptcy in Oct 2011.

    Citi is still reporting the charge off with a balance every month to this day.

    So I got a double whammy on my credit report: The judgement as well as the continuing charge-off which every month is considered a major derogatory in my credit report. (Triple if you consider my chapter 13).

    When I called them on the phone regarding this, they argued that the charge-off happened before the bankruptcy and they can continue to post the balance and charge-off.

    I included the charged-off debt and judgement in my bankruptcy but they did not respond as claimants (for both charge-off and judgement) so they are not listed as beneficiaries to the bankruptcy proceedings.

    I tried to dispute using via the credit bureaus but they sent me a letter saying that their information is correct.

    In Experian, Equifax, Transunion, it doesn’t show that it’s included in the bankruptcy.

    I thought that after chapter 13 confirmation, according to the Credit Report User Guide that they would need to report the balance as the current plan balance. But since they did not respond to the bankruptcy, shouldn’t it be zero? And so should be the amount past due?

    But I keep getting told the charge-off happened before the bankruptcy so it doesn’t count.

    What is the right answer?

    • Robert Weed

      March 5, 2013, pm31 8:07 PM
      43

      Jessica:

      Unless some judge will take your side, they have the right answer because they make the rules. I hope you will go to the NACA website http://naca.net/ and find a lawyer in your state who will take them on. Good luck.

  • Nan

    March 7, 2013, pm31 10:01 PM
    44

    You website is very informative. I am a paralegal in FL but work a totally different area of law and am very limited in my BK knowledge. But, unfortunately, I have first-hand knowledge, up close and personal. After my husband passed away, it was just me and our 7-year-old son and I ended up filing Chapter 13. Here is my questions. I had a student loan through Sallie Mae and was always current. Once I filed for Ch. 13, my payments were deferred (or stayed) until after the discharge. After filing, the account went to AES until discharge. They show the account with the credit bureaus as ‘included in chapter 13′. My student loan was NEVER included in my BK and I did not try to prove hardship to get it included. After discharge, Sallie Mae got the account back and I have paid them more than the required amount and have never been late. I filed in February 2007 with discharge in April 2010 (3 years). Did AES report this correctly as ‘included in chapter 13′?? Just because my payments were deferred until after discharge?? I have tried calling them, but because they have not had this account in so long, the automated system does not recognize my social security number…..So I can’t get to a live person to find out what the deal is.
    I thank you for all that you do and for taking the time to help so many people with their questions and uncertainties.

    Thanks again,
    Nan

    • Robert Weed

      March 11, 2013, am31 10:24 AM
      45

      Nan:

      Credit reporting in Chapter 13 cases is a mess. It’s covered in the Credit Reporting Guide of the Consumer Data Associaiton, but nobody seems to pay any attention to that.

      If you used the Chapter 13 to defer the payments on the student loan, then I doubt you’d have much luck fighting for something different. If you were my client, I wouldn’t try to fight it.

  • April

    March 12, 2013, am31 5:41 AM
    46

    I filed Chapter 7 Jul 2004, and then in August 2007, I filed a Chapter 13. My lawyer did not advise me that there had to be 4 years between bankruptcies in order for the Chapter 13 to be discharge as opposed to closed. My car was repossessed after completing all the payments to the trustee (19,676.00). The vehicle company states that I owe 16,300.00 for the interest accurred for the orginal loan interest amount of 23.8% – the bankruptcy plan interest rate of 5.25%. I wanted to know do I have any recourse to sue my attorney for legal malpractice? Because had I known that my Chapter 13 would not have been discharged, I would have never filed chapter 13 – or paid 5 years for I car that at the end of the Chapter 13 I would not own. And, I know that the car company will be coming after me for the above amount/& try to garnish my wages.

    • Robert Weed

      March 12, 2013, am31 6:21 AM
      47

      April:

      You have it right now. Your chapter 13 crammed down the payment on the car, but at the end of the chapter 13, you still owed the balance. What a mess! Now the car is repossessed, you have no way to get around, and you’ll need to file a chapter 7 again, or expect to get garnished.

      What should you do about that bad advice from your lawyer? That I really can’t say, sorry.

  • Rudy Ramirez

    March 26, 2013, am31 11:57 AM
    48

    we were loosing our home and a tactic the person helping us save the home used was to file BK Chapter 13 and purposely leave some information off the forms.
    so that it would buy us time to file other doc’s in county court to save home.
    the information was never submitted to the state BK dept.

    Q: on my expedian credit report it show’s a BK. the BK was never completed, can this be taken off of my report?

    • Robert Weed

      March 26, 2013, pm31 12:01 PM
      49

      Rudy:

      No it can’t. You filed bankruptcy and it was never completed. That hits your credit really hard, and is not something you should do lightly.

      Sometimes filing a Chapter 13 to stall of a foreclosure is a good choice. But you should only do it on the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can tell you the advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is its really hard on your credit. (Of course a foreclosure would be really hard on your credit, too.)

  • Harley

    April 1, 2013, pm30 3:06 PM
    50

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing issues
    with your feed. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    • Robert Weed

      April 1, 2013, pm30 8:18 PM
      51

      Harley:

      My website people are beginning the process of redoing my entire web presence. May take a while. sorry.

  • R Clary

    August 6, 2013, pm31 12:16 PM
    52

    I’m 2.5 years into my Bk 13.
    I’m fighting 2 CRA’s (2 small $ credit cards banks actually) who are repeatedly reporting past due amounts on reports. Prior to my filing all accounts were current, never late, pd as agreed.

    Two credit card accounts, Premier BankCard and Merrick Bank are holding my credit score hostage. Reporting past dues, Charge Off, Collections, CO in credit history that used to be reported as OK before I filed (meaning in months during 2010), balances higher than the claim filed, and derogatory comments that I filed BK13 in 7-2012, 5-2103, 6-2013, 7-2013. I filed Jan 28, 2011 – There is after all the Public Record in my credit report – I pointed this out to the CRA’s. This bad information is changed around month after month on credit reports. Just because I filed doesn’t give them the right to say anything they want. They have literally posted garbage in any field of my report that was possible to populate because I dare dispute this.

    I’ve sent Certified Mail-Return Receipts. One CRA sent me results of my dispute stating “Please note that no balances or past dues are being reported”. However, the report still showed the same past due, etc. I called- a Rep said I can fix this. She only cleaned up the history. Sent me the results and the same thing as before. I called again. This Rep said we can fix it here when the furnisher reports it incorrectly if you fax us your Schedule F from Bk13. I did this. That was two weeks ago. They say it’s still pending. The last CRA has refused saying they only report from the furnisher. I found the CDIA’s MERIT II guidelines Q&A page on how to report a Confirmed BK13. PAST DUE is 0.
    Seeking advice from online consumer attorney who advertises for free reviews of your situation – One asked me to call from this website. I called him last week at the appointed time. When I called he said he hadn’t had time to review the material yet but began to admonish me for wanting the 2 Credit Card companies to report the truth and remove past dues and false information. He arrogantly said you were insolvent and now you want to remove all traces of negative information from your reports after you defaulted on them. Well that’s just too bad you filed Bankruptcy. It gives you bad credit! This is like asking me to sue a company for reporting $251 past due on your reports when you complain you only owe them $250. Ok – I was completely thrown off by his demeanor and hung up.
    I think the Credit Card Industry is very fortunate to have this atty on board the Consumer Protection.
    When I got home tonight a bill was sent in the mail for half hour consultation @
    $ 125.00. Charming.
    Am I crazy? What is the law? I haven’t had anything past due in over 5 years and these two CC are holding my credit score hostage.

    When and how much does the FCRA laws NOT apply to people in BK13 ?

    My score will never rise above the repeated serious past dues – the balances are wrong. Am I wrong? Is this it? I have to wait until it’s discharged and then resume the fight all over again. Is there no recourse here?

    • Robert Weed

      August 7, 2013, am31 11:50 AM
      53

      Ms Clary:

      You’ve laid out the problem really clearly. Most people in Chapter 13 are afraid they don’t have any rights. You think you do–and you should. But this is a tough problem; hardly anybody in the bankruptcy lawyer community and like nobody among the credit report lawyers wants to take it on.

      The guy you talked to, in Louisiana, is one of the top credit report lawyers in the country. He is the kind of guy we need to take this on.

      You said you sent him all your stuff. And went over that with him. I bet you didn’t send him the Chapter 13 sections from the Credit Reporting Resources Guide. I’ve got the link again here. http://robertweed.com/resources/Chapter%2013%20reporting%20Credit%20Reporting%20Resources%20Guide.pdf.

      Here’s the situation. The people who wrote the instruction manual for the credit bureaus agree with you–and me–and Judge Kelley in Wisconsin that you should be reported as current, if you are current on your Chapter 13 payments. But they are not enforcing it–and I’m 0 for 2 trying to get judges here to enforce it. (Virginia judges are NOT good on this stuff.)

      But the bureaus are in trouble because they are not doing what they say they are supposed to do.

      So send those pages to that Louisiana lawyer. He may have looked at them and decided it’s not his fight, but I’m guessing he’s NEVER looked at that. Never heard of it probably.

      See if he’s interested.

      Another guy you might want to talk to is Jim McMillan, who is primarily a bankruptcy lawyer, but also does a lot of consumer law stuff. He’s in Houston. http://naca.net/find-attorney.

      James Manchee, also in Houston, http://naca.net/find-attorney, is one of the handful of bankruptcy lawyers, along with me, who got after the credit bureaus on credit reporting after Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That area shaped up a lot–although it’s still a mess–because of what he and other people did on that. He might want to take this on.

      • R Clary

        August 7, 2013, pm31 7:12 PM
        54

        Thank you for the post – I’m not as eager to speak to said atty from LA. as before because I was so disappointed by the things he did say. Also the more I read the more I realize the credit card industry calls the shots. CRA’s can’t do what they are supposed to do for fear their clients won’t report to them – as this is half of their business. However we are clients too. Paying clients. If CRA’s can’t perform their services for us too, when actual documented truth is presented, then I’m for boycotting their services altogether. Lenders should stop getting services. Just dont use them. Lenders could get their own scoring models to decide when and how much to extend credit based on factual evidence and documents. There are other consumer reporters out there that obtain information on us everyday of our lives. If we just stopped using them because they provide confusing and poor service to the other half. CRA’s may as well be called Equifax (a division of CitiBank) or TransUnion ( a division of CapitalOne) or some other none sense like that. And one last thing. If you don’t think it’s hard work and confusing to keep straight what three CRA’s are reporting on just one of your accounts much less 5 or 6. It’s the credit cards though that are out of control and the practice of reporting to three bureaus inaccurate and confusing information for them to track is just crazy to me. The practice of scoring being based heavily on your use of credit cards is somewhat crazy too. Anyway thank you for the info and for letting me sound off here. R.

  • R Campbell

    August 22, 2013, pm31 11:49 PM
    55

    I filed chapter 13 bankruptcy June 28,2013. My bank account had a negative balance at that time which my attorney was aware of but I didn’t add it at the time in hopes of getting it caught back up. The account is being closed because I could not get it caught up because it took every penny of my check and I still had automatic payments coming out of it keeping it negative. The bank is now calling my cell phone and my place of employment threatening legal action against me. My attorney hasn’t been able to return my call and I need advice soon. Can I have this added to the bankruptcy since the negative balance occurred before I filed?

    • Robert Weed

      August 23, 2013, pm31 1:12 PM
      56

      Campbell:

      Yes you should correct your Chapter 13 filing to include that overdrawn account. Usually filling in the papers the right way the first time is easier on everybody than being sneaky, and making a mess. I don’t think much of an attorney who “hasn’t been able to return your calls.”

  • A. Black

    August 26, 2013, am31 1:58 AM
    57

    We are 4 months away from our last chapter 13 payment. We will have completed the 5 year plan. We have extra monies monies in our trustee acct in the amount of 1500.00 and we pay 936.00 a month and only 735.00 goes out every month since feb of 2013. I was told that we cant get out of the bankruptcy early and any extra monies will be paid to unsecured creditors at the end of the 5 years…Is that correct info? Also we are in desperate need to buy a fuel efficient car would that be a bad idea to try and do since we only have 4 months left?

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2013, am31 10:31 AM
      58

      A:

      It will be a lot easier to buy that car when you are out of Chapter 13. If you can hang on until then, you should.

      Can you get out early? Or does extra money paid in just mean higher percentages? Different judges see that differently. If somebody where you are tells you how they do things there, they know more about your judge than I do.

  • Patrick

    September 8, 2013, am30 9:26 AM
    59

    We have been on a Chapter 13 for a little over a year on a five year plan. We are consistently out of money before the end of month. If my wife gets a job what percentage of her take home pay she makes will they take? Do we have to report her new job the same day she acquires one? Also, will they allow me to take out school loans to retrain myself for a better paying job?

    • Robert Weed

      September 9, 2013, am30 11:40 AM
      60

      Patrick:

      Don’t know. There’s no consistent answer to any of those questions; depends a lot on what your judge says.

      Judge here does NOT require you to report a new job right away–the Chapter 13 trustee looks at your tax forms every year. This court used to not care if you got a better job–you had to pay what you agreed to pay at the front of the case. But that’s changed over the last two or three years.

      How much will they take? I don’t know the answer to that here, much less where you are. Where I am, the Chapter 13 trustee jumps on your better job once you are making 25% more than you were. I do NOT think that’s what the law says–and so I fight those. We win some and lose some. Most lawyers here just cave in.

      (Saw a guy just last week who started–with a different lawyer–at $380 a month and was now up to $975! He was making that payment by changing his withholding and NOT PAYING HIS INCOME TAXES. Not a good plan. I told him I think I can get him down below $200.)

      I had one guy this year–my client–that the trustee wanted to raise from $200 a month to $1100. I got him back to $250.

      So its depends. Depends on the details of course case. Depends on the policy of your trustee. Depends on whether your lawyer will fight for you. And finally depends on your judge.

      Student loans? Around here you are required to ask for permission but people always seem to get it.

  • mccoy

    September 16, 2013, pm30 2:59 PM
    61

    My husband is being forced to file a chapter 13 due to a forclosure I recently purchased new furniture on my credit and we dont have any joint credit. The attorney is asking for my income . If I file with him would I have to give back the furniture or can it be filed it has only been a month and the mortgage company is trying to sue my husband for past due debt. Also I have a house in my name only

    • Robert Weed

      September 16, 2013, pm30 4:18 PM
      62

      McCoy:

      Your husband’s lawyer is asking for your income because he is REQUIRED to do a whole family budget. There are reasons why you might want to join in the filing sand reasons why not. So talk to the lawyer about that. But either way, he needs to know your income.

  • Anthony

    September 25, 2013, am30 4:40 AM
    63

    Hello Robert:
    Any information would help!
    I was in a chapter 13 bankruptcy from 2008 to 2009 and it was dismissed. I ended up file for Chapter 7, but I did not include my car. NOw as I glance at my credit report, it shows good and late payments when I was granted Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The car was paid off in July 2010. What can I do about this?

    • Robert Weed

      September 25, 2013, am30 10:00 AM
      64

      Anthony:

      I just don’t know how to fight anything they put down while you are in chapter 13. Sorry, lost on that. Then it should show Chapter 7 and nothing after that. I don’t know any way you can get paid in full on there.

  • Randall Thorstad

    September 28, 2013, pm30 4:09 PM
    65

    Robert,

    I have been searching high and low for information and maybe you can help me

    I recently have had my chapter 13 discharged. I am trying to get a house loan and there is one thing that is keeping me down. My student loans held by Alaska are showing late for 1 whole year during my bankruptcy. I thought they were not aloud to report late during my bankruptcy. I even included them in the plan and they did receive partial payments. I know that they can’t be discharged but the fact is that they reported me late for 1 year is bothering me and is real set back. I disputed the information twice with no luck. I called them twice and they said they have the right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to keep reporting me late even during bankruptcy. Is this true?

  • Robert Weed

    September 28, 2013, pm30 10:08 PM
    66

    Randall: Chapter 13 credit reporting is a mess, but I have given up, for now, trying to do anything about it. Sorry. I don’t know what to tell you. Not because I haven’t thought about it, but because I can’t get a handle on it after a lot of work.

  • Herbert Hernandez

    November 24, 2013, pm30 6:32 PM
    67

    I have a similar situation with a Credit Union. I finished ma Chapter 13 pay plan in April of this year and got my Discharge letter in July. This Credit Union is still showing me as late and with balance. How is this possible? The other other debtors shows Bankrupticy Discharge but no this CU. I’ve disputed this like 3 times and always comeback the same. How can I fix this?

    • Robert Weed

      November 24, 2013, pm30 6:44 PM
      68

      Herbert:

      It’s possible because they don’t get sued enough. Hope you kept copies of your disputes. You need to find a lawyer in your area who does Fair Credit Reporting law. One place to look is here. http://naca.net/find-attorney

  • David chesna

    November 26, 2013, pm30 4:13 PM
    69

    My question is I’ve defaulted on chapter 13 payments and I was dismissed last week. We are in the 5th year of our repayment plan and I was wondering if it would be easier to pay the people I owe outright and not reinstate my chapter13. How does getting your chapter13 dismissed effect your credit? Worse than filing bankruptcy? Because I have a report of what is left to be paid from the trustee. I wonder if I could use that to my advantage and not refile. Have you ever heard about anyone doing that?
    Thanks

    • Robert Weed

      November 26, 2013, pm30 4:17 PM
      70

      David:

      I’m sorry but you need to ask your own lawyer–I do NOT know anything about you so I can’t tell you what you should do. I can tell you that getting dismissed in your fifth year of a Chapter 13 is probalby NOT the result you wanted.

  • Conrad

    February 10, 2014, pm28 10:24 PM
    71

    What is the bankruptcy law or credit reporting act on someone that has been making payments directly to your mortgage company outside of the chapter 13 and the mortgage company has not reported any payment history? The creditor also did not report payments made before the chapter 13 filing. Are the mortgage companies not suppose to report history when payments are not from trustee?

    • Robert Weed

      February 11, 2014, am28 11:50 AM
      72

      Conrad:

      Obviously I think the mortgage companies should be reporting your current payments. So you should try to dispute it with the credit bureaus. And it may be the credit bureaus, not the mortgage company, who are blocking the reporting. Maybe.

      Everything I know is in this blog. If you don’t get what you want from a dispute, see if you can find a credit report lawyer near where you are who will take this on. One place to look for a lawyer is here. http://naca.net/

  • Tina N.

    February 13, 2014, pm28 7:00 PM
    73

    Hello Again,

    I was thinking about converting from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. My 13 was in LA and I now live in TX. Do I have to retain a new lawyer in TX and pay Chp 7 fees in order to have it converted? Do they discourage converting for a “just because I want to” reason?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Robert Weed

      February 15, 2014, am28 11:39 AM
      74

      Your old lawyer can convert you in LA–if you have Chapter 7 eligibility.

      You could dismiss your Chapter 13 in LA and get a lawyer in TX to file a new C7.

      I don’t know why you were in Chapter 13 so I don’t know if you are eligible for Chapter 7. If you are eligible for Chapter 7, then you should be able to file Chapter 7 “just because.”

  • Mary M

    March 15, 2014, pm31 8:59 PM
    75

    I filed Chapter 13 60 month plan on Feb 2012 after moving to Florida for a new job.. I gave up my house in Georgia because Chase would not accept any short sale offers. The house was taken back in August 2012 and sold in November 2012. My student loan payments in the plan have been going to a wrong PO Box. My lender has only credited 3 payments out of 6. The first payment was never credited. It took a good 6 months after making payments for some of my payments to be routed to the correct po box. I asked my paralegal to change the payment address, however the address has not been updated in the National Data Center. i fear that some of my payments will get lost and cost me more money later on.

    I am thinking that I would be better off dismissing my 13 and making payments to my student loan lender myself, and settling with my credit card companies if they bill me again. . Most of my debt is with student loans. Car was just paid off in the plan. I understand that my car lender would most likely send me a bill for the interest due. My big worry is with Chase- Would I need to worry about Chase sending me a 1099-C? I know the mortgage debt is off my credit reports. So what can I expect if I dismiss my 13? Thanks.

    • Robert Weed

      March 16, 2014, am31 11:28 AM
      76

      Mary:

      A lot of people are better off dismissing their Chapter 13 and just dealing with their debts. Or converting to Chapter 7. But that’s way too complicated to decide what you should do based on a couple emails.

      Here are a some thoughts.

      If you have Federal student loans, usually they will work something out with you. Private student loans are a whole lot harder to work with.

      As the Chapter 13 to save the house in Georgia? If your plan was to save the house, then that debt is NOT discharged in chapter 13. That debt survives the Chapter 13–and it would lean toward converting to Chapter 7.

      You need to go over your complete picture with a lawyer an decide what to do.

      Why were your in Chapter 13 from the beginning? (Did you have a lawyer in your Chapter 13? A good lawyer might have handled your case differently form the beginning.)

      • Mary M

        March 16, 2014, pm31 4:46 PM
        77

        I made too much money to go the Chapter 7 route. My plan was to sell the house but Chase was giving me a hard time. I had moved to a different state so there was no need to keep the house. I voluntarily gave up the house after chase denied about 5 short sale offers on my home. The house was included in the 13 when I filed. The house has been foreclosed on and sold. . My student loans are federal. The rest of my debt is unsecured debt.

  • Robert Weed

    March 16, 2014, pm31 6:23 PM
    78

    I do NOT know anything about whether first mortgages often (or can) come after people after a foreclosure in GA. But I would be real CAREFUL about dropping out of Chapter 13 is there’s a foreclosure deficiency that could come after you.

    You’re worried about tax on the debt is Chase forgives it. I’d be a lot MORE worried about garnishment if they don’t.

    But you need to talk to a lawyer who has good info on what first mortgages usually do in Georgia. I know NOTHING about that.

  • Terri

    June 16, 2014, am30 7:21 AM
    79

    Hi,
    I am 3 months away from completing a chapter 13. All of my court payment and mortgage payments were made on time. I am wanting to sell my condo and get into something more affordable, will my timely mortgage payments during chapter 13 help to rebuild my credit?

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      June 16, 2014, am30 10:35 AM
      80

      Terri:

      My answer is they SHOULD. You can look at your credit report yourself and see what’s there. http://robertweed.com/2013/08/20/the-credit-report-you-need-is-the-credit-file-disclosure/

      If it’s showing bankruptcy and not current, I’m convinced that’s not right, but I’m not sure you can successfully fight it. You’ll need a really dedicated mortgage guy or a good credit report lawyer in your area to help you if your mortgage payment does not show what it should show.

  • Robin

    June 17, 2014, am30 12:09 AM
    81

    Hi I am in a Chapter 13 and had included both my first mortgage and my second which was with Beneficial and was actually an equity line at approx. $30K.. My atty said it was secured but I had called Beneficial after a year of paying and the person I spoke with as I new I was going to be late that month due to car repairs. The person said my loan was an equity line and was treated same as a credit card in bankruptcy, so I stopped paying it . and have for the last 3+ yrs to this date. I am about 4 months away from end of plan and the 2nd mortgage was just transferred elsewhere. My first mortgage is $160K and the value of the house is much less so I am underwater with the first still (A new identical house totally gutted with all new siding new roof new appliances, new rehabbed bathrooms, new paint & carpet and was on just listed at $179K) so I feel my value is probably much less in the $140-$150K range. Can I approach my atty at this point to have the 2nd mortgage removed? I honestly feel my atty should have done this for me in the beginning but don’t think they could negotiate with mortgage lenders back in 2009 as a bill did not pass until a few yrs later for attys to do so. I appreciate any advice if I should not pay this new 2nd lender at this or contact my atty and how I should word it.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      June 17, 2014, am30 10:31 AM
      82

      Robin:

      Huh. After a year you stopped paying your second mortgage with Beneficial in your Chapter 13. And now four years later with four months to go you wonder if you should talk to your lawyer to figure out what to do?

      It may be that your chapter 13 could have and should have been used to knock the second off the house. Obviously the communication between you and your lawyer broke down–maybe at the start.

      You need to talk to a lawyer who knows a lot about bankruptcy in your area and figure out your next move.

  • Brenda Rhodes

    August 8, 2014, pm31 2:10 PM
    83

    I filed chapter 13 in 2013. I was to surrender my pontiac 2001 to citibank because they have the title loan, I took out which my court papers states they are to pick up the car. Citibank refuses to pick up the vehicle and my lawyers response to me is put the car in storage. I don’t feel like I should have to store the vehicle for 5 years if the court papers state surrender the vehicle. Can you give me some advice on this situation please?

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