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I Got a Big Raise and I’d Like to Take Over My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Myself. – Zach

“Dear Lewis,

I am currently 1-year into a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. When I initially filed I was making a set income, after 6-months into the C13 I received a promotion and my salary increased substantially (90k per year to 130k per year). I would like to see what my options are on reclaiming my debt personally and managing it myself now that I possibly have the financial ability to do so. My payment has been adjusted to my new salary, $4,400 per month, and I feel with that high of a payment I could do it myself, plus I have no idea what creditors my monthly payment is being applied to?

1. How do I find out who my creditors I owe money to are?
2. How do I get a statement detailing where/what my monthly payments are being applied to?
3. How should I go about reaching out to my creditors to settle my debts directly?

Your input is appreciated. I look forward to your response. Thank you.


Dear Zach,

I am going to answer your questions out of order.

First, you can’t go about reaching out to your creditors on your own while you are in bankruptcy. The automatic stay prevents them from talking with you.

Second, I am assuming you have an attorney for your chapter 13. Why aren’t you reaching out to him or her to ask how the payments are being applied? I have no idea whether you are paying secured debts through your plan as well (like a mortgage payment and/or car payment). But in general your unsecured debts (like credit cards) are paid on a pro-rata share. But only creditors who filed claims will be paid.

For example, if you have $100,000 of unsecured debts that filed claims, and your Visa card balance at the time of filing was $10,000. Then Visa would get 10% of every payment you make to the trustee that goes towards unsecured creditors. To make numbers easy, if all $4400 of your monthly payment goes towards unsecured creditors, Visa would get roughly $400 of that payment (the trustee usually gets a 10% fee on each of your payments).

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Your attorney should also be able to tell you which creditors are receiving payments. Or, you can go to: and log on to track your payments.

As to dealing with the creditors on your own. That might not be the best course of action. If you were to dismiss out of your chapter 13, the creditors can potentially sue you rather than wait for lump sum settlement payments. Also, interest is not accruing on your balances while in chapter 13. If you were to dismiss out of chapter 13, your balances will start to rise again.

Without knowing exactly how your plan payments are being applied, total balance of credit cards, and which cards actually filed claims, it is very difficult to do an analysis of the benefits of your chapter 13 plan over handling the balances yourself outside of chapter 13.

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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About the author

Lewis Roberts

Florida Consumer Protection Attorney

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