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FAQ's (Frequently Ask Questions)

The following questions and answers concern administrative and procedural matters only. If you do not understand them or have additional questions, please contact your attorney for legal advice.

1. How do I make payments for my case?

Chapter 13 plan payments should be mailed to:
D. Sims Crawford
Chapter 13 Standing Trustee
Department SF 3
P.O. Box 830525
Birmingham, AL 35283-0525

Personal checks, cashiers checks, and money orders are accepted by the Trustee at this mailing address.  Cash is not accepted at this address.  Please remember to write your full name and case number on the check or money order to receive proper credit for your payment.  If a personal check is returned for insufficient funds (NSF), the Trustee will assess a $10.00 returned check charge and this charge will appear on the interim statement for the debtor’s case.

In an emergency situation, if the debtor is required to make a plan payment to the Trustee in 7 days or less, the debtor or his attorney can make an "Over-the-Counter" payment, including cash payments, at the following location:

ServisFirst Bank
Downtown Branch
324 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(205) 949-2200

The Trustee no longer accepts walk-in payments at his business office location. All payments should be made to the P.O. Box in Tampa, FL or the Downtown Branch of ServisFirst Bank.

2. If my case is dismissed or converted, do I get any money back?

In confirmed cases, all funds received by the Trustee before dismissal or conversion will be paid to creditors pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code and Orders of the Bankruptcy Court.

In unconfirmed cases, the debtor may or may not be entitled to a refund of a portion of the money paid. Debtors should contact their attorneys for more information.

3. Can I stop the Chapter 13 payment deductions from my paycheck?

If a Bankruptcy Court Order or the Plan Summary requires payroll deduction to fund a Chapter 13 case, the Trustee will not withdraw a payroll deduction request without an Order from the Bankruptcy Court. Debtors should obtain legal advice from their attorneys regarding this issue.

4. When does the Trustee pay my creditors?

The Chapter 13 Trustee makes payments to creditors in eligible cases on or about the 10th day of each month. These payments are made as ordered by the Bankruptcy Court, depending on the funds available in each case at the beginning of the month.

5. Why are some creditors in my case receiving interest?

Certain creditors may be entitled to receive interest on the claims they file. If the Bankruptcy Court confirms a Chapter 13 plan that provides for the payment of interest on such filed claims, the Trustee will use the interest rate provided by the Debtor's plan and will follow the Confirmation Order.

6. If I'm a creditor and have filed a claim, what should I do when my disbursement check gets lost in the mail?

The Trustee's disbursement checks to creditors are good for 90 days. If you still have not received it after 90 days, please send an email or letter to the Trustee requesting a replacement check.

7. What happens when I finish paying my case?

After you have completed payments for your Chapter 13 plan, the Trustee will make the final monthly distribution, audit your case, and issue a Certification of Plan Completion to the Bankruptcy Clerk, if appropriate.

8. Can I buy or sell something like a house or car during my Chapter 13?

The Trustee believes that during your Chapter 13 case, Bankruptcy Court approval is required for you to incur debt or sell an asset that is property of the bankruptcy estate or necessary for the completion of your plan. The Trustee does not give his approval or disapproval for such transactions unless you and your attorney file pleadings with the Bankruptcy Court. You should contact your attorney about filing a motion with the Court before incurring debt or selling any of the property described above.

9. How can I request a Case Payout Quote from the Trustee?

The Trustee requires written authorization before releasing any case payout information. Click HERE to view and print the Authorization Form. This document must be signed by the Debtor, the Joint-Debtor (if applicable), or their attorney before it is submitted to the Trustee’s office. Otherwise, the case payout quote request will be denied. A borrower’s certification, signature affidavit, or other loan closing document will not be accepted in lieu of the Debtor’s signature. A case payout quote is provided for administrative convenience only.  The Chapter 13 case and the case payout quote are both subject to audit upon receipt of the final payment.  A case payout quote is an estimate of the remaining case balance based upon the information available.  In no way does a case payout quote constitute the Trustee’s consent or approval of any sale, purchase, or new debt by the Debtor. The Trustee does not give his approval or disapproval for such transactions unless you and your attorney file pleadings with the Bankruptcy Court. You should contact your attorney about filing a motion with the Court before incurring debt or selling any of the property described above.

10. How does active military duty affect my Chapter 13 case?

If you are on active military duty, or will be soon, we recommend that you notify your attorney immediately and provide him or her with a copy of your orders. This office refers you to your attorney for legal advice regarding the Service member's Civil Relief Act of 2003, 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 501-596. He or she can determine how and when to notify the Trustee's office of your military service.

11. What is the policy concerning the use of personal checks?

Beginning April 2007, the Trustee's office will hold all plan payments made by personal check for a period of 15 business days before their distribution to ensure that the funds are good. This represents a 7-day extension of the existing policy, and applies only to personal checks. It will not affect plan payments made by employer check, cashiers check, money order, or attorney trust account check. This change could affect the timing of certain pre-confirmation adequate protection payments, depending upon the debtor's plan. As a reminder, if a debtor's personal check is returned for insufficient funds, the Trustee will assess a $10.00 returned check charge that will appear on the interim statement for the debtor’s case.

12. How do I obtain case related information?

For approximately 6 years, the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office has provided computer-generated, automated case information to debtors, creditors, and other parties through its telephone system. Due to changes in technology and increased costs, this computer-generated, automated case information will no longer be available from the Trustee’s telephone system as of December 1, 2006.

However, case information will still be available from Trusteeship employees by telephone, facsimile and email during regular business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Case information is also available 24 hours per day via the internet at www.bankruptcylink.com. Please contact the Trustee’s office to learn more about obtaining case information online.