In each instance there was a confirmed plan and a pay order in effect. In one situation the employer was acquired by another firm. Everything became new, including a new payroll department. In the second case the employer just stopped taking the plan payment from the wages and by extension stopped sending payments to the chapter 13 trustee.
The obligation to fund a plan in a chapter 13 case falls directly upon you, the debtor. This is rule one. If you are employed, the court requires that payments be made through a payroll deduction. The court will issue an order on the employer to do this. Most of the time the pay order functions without a hitch. Sometimes:
- The employer deducts the money and doesn’t mail it in.
- The employer ignores the court order.
- The employer deducts, makes payments, then abruptly stops.
- The employer changes.
Remember rule one. Lots of things can go bad. It is your chapter 13 case and you have to make sure it is funded. If your employer deducts the plan payments and does not send them in, I can make them answer to your bankruptcy judge. Likewise if they refuse to follow the order. The trustee has a way of convincing them to get on board. I don’t know what they said, but I had a case once where this happened.
If the deductions stop it is incumbent upon you to follow up and find out why. If the money does not come out of your check as planned, you have to make the trustee payment. It is your job, your responsibility, and your case. Excuses don’t cut it. Often I hear, “I don’t get pay stubs” or “the pay stubs are online”. You just need to keep up with it.
If you need a change in your pay order because of a new job, first apply rule one. Keep making the payment yourself, even if you have asked your lawyer for a new pay order. Once you see the actual deduction from your check you can stop the self pay. Assumptions regarding your plan payments are dangerous. By the time the chapter 13 trustee takes action for nonpayment you may be so far behind that you will not be able to catch up the missed payments. The case then gets dismissed for failure to fund.
If you are in a chapter 13 monthly payments need to be made every month. No exceptions.