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We Need Some Answers About Our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. – Ross

“Dear Steve,

My wife initially filed Chapter 13 in 2004 after she was laid off from her job. She made payments on time for 2yrs until she was laid off again in 2006.

After 6 months passed she did not have a job and we could not afford the payments and eventually her case was dismissed due to non-payment. Fortunately and Unfortunately we experienced a house fire in 2007 and the foreclosure process was placed on hold. The house was not completely repaired until 6 months later. After the home was repaired the bank continued with the foreclosure. She filed Chapter 13 again in order to keep the home. She have been paying $1,700.00 a month on time for over a year now.

My wife make $35,000.00 Annually. During this times I have also been laid off and I have also filed Chapter 13 however my case was dismissed. We have talked to the attorney on several occasions asking them for a modification since she has made on time payments for over a year. We were told there was nothing they could do because we were $32,000.00 dollars in the arrears. She has paid over $17,000.00 dollars towards the bankruptcy and only $1,500.00 has gone towards the mortgage.

The house is the only thing that is under the bankruptcy. We contacted the attorney and requested an itemized statement to see what the money was being applied to. We haven’t gotten any correspondence from them. We think something is not right about this picture and we need some answers. We are both currently employed and we really want to get from under this bankruptcy. We can no longer afford to pay $1,700.00 a month and the only advice our attorney is telling us is to surrender our home. This is not helping us at all.

Is there anyone we can seek legally to help us? How can we get another attorney without having to file again? What can we do?

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Dear Ross,

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the attorney actually has nothing to do with the receipt and distribution of funds. That is handled by the bankruptcy trustee appointed to manage the case.

You should have correspondence identifying who the trustee is in your case. Contact the trustee for an accounting of funds. If you are not satisfied with the answer you can contact U.S. Trustee Program for help or to file a complaint. You can email them at [email protected] and if you do, be sure to include your name, address, and phone number on all inquiries. If you are writing about a particular bankruptcy case, please specify: (1) the bankruptcy court location and (2) the debtor’s name and/or bankruptcy case number.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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