Get out of chapter 13 payment plan?

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My income has been reduced due to an illness. Can I get out of my chapter 13 payments?


It is possible to get out of your chapter 13 payments if your circumstances have changed. You should do following things in this situation:

  • If you have legal representation, contact your lawyer to determine if your chapter 13 plans can be restructured to make it affordable.
  • If you do not have a lawyer, contact the trustee office directly and explain how your situation has changed.
  • If it is possible to maintain the Chapter 13 on your reduced income, a motion to modify the plan will need to be filed.
  • If your chapter 13 plan is no longer viable, you could request a hardship discharge under the chapter 13 or you could file a motion to convert your chapter 13 to a chapter 7 and receive your discharge in that manner.

Hardship Discharge

A hardship discharge is allowed in a chapter 13 bankruptcy in the following instances:

  • Your inability to complete the plan is due to circumstances beyond your control and through no fault of your own.
  • Creditors have received at least as much as they would have under a chapter 7 liquidation.
  • Modification of the plan is not possible.

A hardship discharge is more limited than a general discharge under chapter 13 or a chapter 7. Bankruptcy is complex. You should consult with counsel experienced in personal bankruptcy to get advice as to which of these methods will help you accomplish your goals.