Hello! this is Jeff Kelly, today is July the ninth 2020 and today we are going to talk about what is strict compliance in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Strict compliance in a chapter 13 bankruptcy is when your case has been placed on a period where if you miss a single chapter 13 payment your case is automatically dismissed without a hearing. Dismiss without a hearing is a bad thing because you have no time to prepare. The second your case is dismissed, the creditors are free to legally take action against you as soon as the law is as soon as the law allows.
So how fast do you think a car creditor is going to come after your car and try to repossess it after your case is dismissed?
Answer, as fast as they humanly can contrast a chapter 13 on strict compliance versus a case where strict compliance does not exist. Normally When a chapter 13 debtor falls behind on payments to the trustee, the hearing is set down with the bankruptcy court which gives them time to come up with the plan to make up for missed payments or in the alternative if you know your bankruptcy case is about to dismiss you could make plans for alternative transportation, when you know your car is about to get repossessed. In contrast, if a case is is on strict compliance, or chapter 13 case will be dismissed shortly after a payment is missed. All bankruptcy protection is lost as soon as the dismissal order is entered.
Thank you, Lord, we do have gracious chapter 13 trustees.
So during this COVID-19 crisis, the chapter 13 trustees have been extremely gracious by not enforcing strict compliance orders. But now that we are months into the crisis and people are back to work, most trustees have resumed enforcing strict compliance orders. So how does someone end up on strict compliance to begin with? Well, in some cases, the debtors attorney might agree with a trustee for a requested period of strict compliance. For example, most chapter 13 cases have what’s called an employment deduction order. That’s where they’re going to take, you know, the chapter 13 payment directly out of your paycheck every single time you get paid. So your whatever your monthly payment is, it gets prorated. You know, like if you get paid weekly, then it would be divided by four and so forth. So, some people do not want a an employment deduction in order at any cost. And because maybe they’re, you know, give an example. Maybe they’re a supervisor and they’re worried. This is going to hurt their chances for promotion. So a trustee might say, okay, fine, you can pay it directly to me every month, on the condition that you agree to one year strict compliance for the first year of the case. This way that you know saves the trustee a lot of trouble if you don’t make your payment, they can just boom automatically dismiss it without having to set it down for a hearing.
So another situation where strict compliance could be added to a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is after a motion to dismiss has been filed. In some cases, you know, people miss work for extended periods, maybe it’s because of surgery, maybe, you know, the plant shut down for a short time, whatever. Your payments, get missed payments gets missed, the trustee files a motion to throw the case out. And we can go to the hearing and say, Okay, we’re back at work. Now we can make payments, and as a condition of allowing you to continue in the chapter 13 case, the trustee might require a period of strict compliance. Sometimes if you’re really far behind, they may say, hey, I want strict compliance for the rest of this case, and so that’s how that works.
If you think your case has been placed on strict compliance or you’re not sure, call us. If you’ve missed some recent payments, call us as soon as you can. Don’t wait for a dismissal order to come in the mail. It’s much better to address the problem ahead of time.
Thank you for tuning in today. Have a good one.