Folks here in the Gloucester County, New Jersey area that file a chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan struggle for anywhere from three to five years to pay back their debt.  Most of them don't make it to the end, but you can improve your odds by following these 5 Rules for plan payments.

Make your payment on time every month.  May sound simple, but getting behind is the best way to get the trustee to make a motion to dismiss your case.

Don't skip a payment, figuring you will pay double next month.  You are just kidding yourself here.  Don't tell yourself, well, this was just a bad month.  Next month will be better, and I will get caught up then.  This will just make it harder to stay current, because now you are behind.

Put your monthly plan payment into your household budget.  Your plan payment is just as important as your mortgage or car payment.  You have to allow for it in your budget or you will end up spending the money on something else, which will just cause a problem for you.

Make the full payment, not a partial payment.  This Rule is a corollary to the one on skipping a payment, as it is another way to get behind.  However, as between the two, it is the lesser of two evils, and making a partial payment at least gets you less behind the following month.  But if you think you can no longer afford the payment, you should contact your lawyer about trying to lower your payment.

Don't make more than the regular payment.  The reverse is also true.  Some people think that they can pay down the plan early by increasing the payments; this seldom works without the intervention of your attorney and can end up costing you more money.

If you live in South Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy, call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation to discuss your case.

If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.