Re: Journey through Chapter 13
06-24-2012 10:24 AM
Just finished reading this thread and it brought back some tough memories. My 36-Month Chapter 13 was discharged on 08/2011 and it was a HUGE relief. Imagine the relief you feel when you filed and multiply it by a thousand. The process was not fun and there were many maddening moments where I was wondering whether it was worth all of the frustration. In the end it is totally worth it.
My Sallie Mae loans were IIB and they were getting paid at a fraction of the normal payment but they were getting something. The first thing I did was to pay them off after the discharge because by far they were the most complicated and worst people to deal with and the balance was small.
Something to keep in mind is tax refunds. Every state is different and I am in Indiana, but I was allowed to keep a certain percentage of my refund up to a certain amount. The remaining amount went to the trustee. These additional payments helped to shorten my payment schedule by 4 months. It is little silver linings in the dark clouds of bankruptcy that help keep you sane during the whole process.
It was mentioned here earlier but I want to reiterate too: Don't bother the trustee with requests unless it is an absolute emergency. One thing about living under the rules of an open Chapter 13 is that it should force you to always look 5 steps ahead and plan for any issues that may arise that can potentially deplete any cash reserves you may have. Think twice before you have to go to the trustee looking for permission to do anything that will increase your debt load. Fly low under the radar.
In the end, when you recieve your discharge paperwork (which takes about 6-8 weeks after your last payment to the trustee) keep it in a safe place and when you start thinking about making purchases on credit or taking out a mortgage or a car loan (all of which will be difficult to do at first) take a look at the discharge paperwork, think about what you went through during the chapter 13 and decide whether the financial committment you are about to make is worth it.
Remember: There is light at the end of the tunnel and it's not attached to a train!