Thank you for trusting Westbrook Law Group with this exciting step toward financial freedom. We strive to add value to our clients lives in any way we can. We know that you are putting your faith in us, and navigating the legal process and your finances can be overwhelming.
To ensure quick and direct access to Brent and his staff we have created special client only email accounts that give you immediate access to our office that we monitor all day to ensure your questions and concerns are addressed. We guarantee a 24 hour response time to any email sent to: [email protected].
No one else has access to these accounts, ensuring that our clients go to the front of the line ahead of creditors, the trustees, and even the court! Our clients are our #1 priority. Please address all questions to [email protected] and you will receive a followup response within 24 hours.
Similarly, any documents you need to submit to our office can easily be done via email, saving our clients time and money by not having to drop them off or mail them in. You can certainly do so if you wish, but if you have access to a scanner or a scanner app on your phone, you can email the documents to us at [email protected]. You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours letting you know we have received them and we will proceed with them as necessary.
Welcome to the Westbrook Law Group family. Your solution starts here.
Filing a Chapter 13 case and getting that case confirmed by your bankruptcy judge are two very different things. The process of getting a Chapter 13 Plan confirmed can be a bit daunting, but like everything else in filing a personal bankruptcy, having an experienced bankruptcy lawyer along with a bit of patience and trust in your lawyer will make the process smoother. There are many moving parts in getting a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case confirmed, from filing a proper Chapter 13 Plan, to disclosing all of your financial information, to making sure you make your plan payments on time, and all of this can make the confirmation process somewhat dizzying.
If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in the St. Louis metro area, then you should know that the trustee assigned to your case, along with her staff of case analysts and staff attorneys, are efficient, fair-minded professionals who work with us to help get your Chapter 13 Plan confirmed. Yes, you may very well receive something called a “Trustee’s Objection To Confirmation” in the early weeks after your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed, and you might be tempted to think that the Chapter 13 Trustee has it out for you and does not want your case to be confirmed. But this is not the case. Yes, the Chapter 13 Trustee does represent the interests of your creditors. But it is also true, that the trustee and her staff generally want your plan to work, as long as it is filed in good faith.
It is helpful to bear in mind that proposing a Chapter 13 payment plan involves a bit more art than science. The debtor’s bankruptcy attorney is advocating for the debtor’s plan payments to be as manageable as possible while meeting various requirements. At the same time, the trustee is duty bound to make sure that the debtor’s creditors are receiving as much as the debtor can reasonably afford to pay. Hence, there is necessarily some back-and-forth between the debtor’s attorney and the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. It is not at all uncommon for a debtor to receive an Objection to Confirmation from the trustee. This simply means that you and your bankruptcy attorney still have some work to do. But the reality is that Objections can often be remedied in fairly short order with a quick amendment by your attorney and an e-signature.
In the Eastern District, every bankruptcy case is reviewed by the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office prior to the 341 Meeting of Creditors. If the Trustee’s office needs more clarification on certain portions of your bankruptcy petition, or needs to review additional documents like paystubs, profit and loss statements for a small business, tax returns, or trust documents, they will file an Objection on your bankruptcy case so that they can review these documents prior to moving your case forward for confirmation. This doesn’t mean your case will not ultimately be confirmed. It simply means that the trustee’s office is doing their own due diligence.
While it is true that if the objections aren’t resolved after some time has passed your case can be dismissed, this is not the primary aim of the Trustee’s office. The Trustee’s office wants to work with bankruptcy debtors to make sure that their cases and plans conform to the applicable bankruptcy laws in a timely manner, and are willing to work with debtors and their attorneys to make that happen.
If the Trustee’s office reviews your case further after the original Objection has been filed and has found certain objections to have been satisfied, but others have not, they may still object to confirmation until they are confident all issues have been resolved to their satisfaction.
Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney help you navigate through the complexities of getting a Chapter 13 case confirmed can mean the difference between a successful Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and a dismissed one. By hiring our firm you are one step closer to your successful Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to make regular payments to the trustee each month in order to repay certain creditors. If you miss payments or fall behind, the trustee may file a motion to have your case dismissed. Dismissal can have serious consequences, including the added expense of reinstating your case within 14 days. If your case is dismissed, all of your debts listed in the bankruptcy are no longer wiped out, and you may be liable for some, if not all, past debt, plus the interest incurred while the bankruptcy case was active.
Please know that we receive a copy of the motion to dismiss at the same time that you do. It is our policy to file a response to the motion stating that you will catch up the delinquent payments. This will provide us enough time to speak with you in person or by phone to determine what the best next steps are for you. If you receive a motion to dismiss your case, please contact Brent immediately to discuss the matter further.
A motion to dismiss does not mean your case is over, or that it will be dismissed immediately, but it does require a quick response so that the issue does not grow into something that is no longer manageable.
When you file for bankruptcy, you receive court protection from your creditors. This court protection is called the automatic stay. It is a federal court order that prevents creditors from taking collection action against you. This is powerful protection that can prevent your mortgage company from foreclosing, your car lender from repossessing your car, a judgment creditor from garnishing your wages, levying on your bank account or attaching a judgment lien to your real estate.
If you keep secured property after your bankruptcy is filed and you cannot stay current on the regular payments (ongoing mortgage payments or vehicle payments) your creditors may get relief from the automatic stay (your court protection) so that they can sell the collateral (typically your house or car). In general, the only defense to a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay is that you are current on the payments.
If you receive a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay, it is imperative that you contact our office immediately to discuss your options and advise us as to when you can be current on your payments.
Motions for Relief can be filed in more rare situations and the key to defending them or protecting your property rights is staying current on your payments and keeping in regular contact with our office if you get behind.
AFTER DECLARING BANKRUPTCY
After you’ve declared bankruptcy you will have a fresh start, free from the overwhelming burden of the debt that was previously weighing you down. During the initial months and years following your bankruptcy, it is often wise to act prudently in order to avoid finding yourself in a similar financial situation later down the line. Bankruptcy typically absolves you of the debt you owe; however there are a few exceptions that will remain your responsibility after the fact. Student loan payments, child support payments and alimony payments are debts that will remain under your name even after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. As such, you will be expected to continue paying for them.
With your bankruptcy filed and your other debts off the table, maintaining financial responsibilities such as those described above should be much more manageable. For some people, these finances serve as a good way to begin building a new system of financial management. It’s no secret that with a bankruptcy comes a dip in your credit rating. This dip does not have to be worrisome, however, because it is only temporary and it will begin to improve as you work to rebuild your credit. Making good on your student loans is one way to do this. You can also apply for small credit cards with low credit lines to slowly rebuild your credit.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU: BEFORE AND AFTER BANKRUPTCY
Stopping the creditor calls, the foreclosure proceedings, the wage garnishments and any of the other adversities you are facing is only part of our goal. We are dedicated to helping our clients successfully complete their bankruptcy, and also thrive in their post-bankruptcy life. Life after bankruptcy is the start of your next chapter, and it does not have to be done alone. At Westbrook Law Group, we can guide you through the process and make sure you have all the information and tools you need to succeed.
We appreciate you entrusting us with creating a roadmap to your financial freedom. We are confident that we can help you navigate this process and complete it quickly and successfully.
The next step is to gather the documents required to file your case along with any balance that is due prior to filing.
These documents include 1) tax returns for the most recent two years (state & federal returns required), 2) pay information for the last seven months (paystubs or income/expense if self-employed), 3) consumer credit counseling certificate (www.debtorcc.org; attorney code westbk332cc) & 4) every debt. We will pull a credit report for you that should list all creditors. However, if a creditor or bill is not listed it will not be discharged. Therefore it is important to bring in any bills you have so that we can double check against your credit report; & 5) the questionnaire, which can be found within the client portal as well.
You may email the documents to [email protected], mail them to our office at 515 Jefferson St., Ste. C, St. Charles, MO 63301, or stop by at any time to drop them off. If you want to drop them off at our Troy location please call ahead to ensure someone will be available when you stop by. You may also bring them with your to your filing appointment.
We look forward to seeing you for your filing appointment.
Please feel free to call our office with any questions or concerns you may have. Thank you for trusting us with something as personal as your finances and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Payments: Diana S. Daugherty, Chapter 13 Trustee PO Box 2112, Memphis, TN 38101-2112
Debtors may make payments to the trustee via the current epay method. This is the preferred method to make payments to the trustee. The trustee’s website has epay information. Got to www.ch13stl.com and click on “epay online payments” on the bottom left of the page. For your first payment you must register by clicking the register button and filling out the online form. Please remember your username and password as we will not have access to it and are unable to retrieve it for you. Once registered, you can make all payments online.
The payment address in Memphis is a bank lock-box and is to be used only for the purpose of tendering payments to the trustee. Do not mail correspondence, tax returns or any other documents to the Memphis payment address. Do not attempt to send anything to the Memphis address via UPS, FedEx, or courier. The PO Box cannot accept such deliveries and they will be returned to you at your expense.
It is that time of year again, and this is a reminder regarding your tax returns and potential refunds. Please make sure to timely file your taxes and send a copy to my office. You can send them by mail, email ([email protected]) or fax (636-493-1758).
Shortly after receipt, I will forward a copy to your trustee and let you know if there is any portion of your refunds that needs to be turned over to your trustee. Do not spend any portion of your refunds without first checking with my office. This will help insure that you are successful in your chapter 13. Failure to turnover your tax returns or necessary portion of your refunds may result in your chapter 13 being dismissed.
Don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions. As always, we are here to help keep your bankruptcy on the path to successful completion and a bright financial future.
During a chapter 13 proceeding, any purchases on credit must be approved by the court. Your trustee and judge just need to see that you can make your chapter 13 payments along with the new proposed payment. Vehicle payments are the most common incurred debt in chapter 13 as accidents or the need for expensive repairs can make purchasing reliable transportation to work absolutely necessary.
There are several pieces of information that are needed to obtain court permission to borrow money. These include:
1. Past 60 days of paystubs
2. Terms of the proposed loan
3. Amended budget filed with the court showing ability to pay
4. Motion filed
Keep in mind that it can take up to 30-60 days to get court approval. If you know that you need to purchase new transportation, please alert our office as soon as possible so that we can get approval for you quickly.
Thomas F. Eagleton US Courthouse
111 S. 10th Street, Rm. 341
St. Louis, MO 63102
Addresses for 341 Meetings not held in St. Louis are as follows:
Wentzville: Criminal Justice Center – 1002 Schroeder Creek Blvd., Wentzville, MO 63385
Hannibal: Chapter 7 341 Meetings
U.S. District Courthouse, 8th and Broadway, Room 312, Hannibal, MO 63401
Building Access and Parking Information
The public entrance to the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis is located on the East side of the building at Level 1. There are numerous parking lots in the area with varying costs. There is also a small amount of metered on-street parking. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Clerks Office is located on the Fourth Floor. Public transportation is available in St. Louis through Metro Transit. Bus schedules and other information can be obtained by calling the following numbers:
• Missouri residents (314) 231-2345
• Illinois residents (618) 271-2345
The public entrance to the Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. Courthouse in Cape Girardeau is located on the East side of the building on the first level. There is public parking available on the South side of the building.
The public entrance to the Federal Building in Hannibal is located at 801 Broadway, Hannibal, MO 63401. There is street parking, and there is other parking near the Federal Building.
Visitors must have a valid ID and must pass through security screening before being granted entry to the courthouses. All of the district’s courthouses are fully accessible to people with disabilities. For more information on accessing the courthouses, please call: (314) 244-4500 for the Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis and the Hannibal Federal Building, and (573) 331-8950 for the Limbaugh Courthouse in Cape Girardeau.
What to wear: the meetings are not held in a courtroom so formal attire is not required. Standard casual or business casual attire is acceptable. Please be aware you may have to go through a metal detector. Firearms are not permitted.
What to bring: your driver’s license and social security card are required. If you have questions about this please call or our office prior to your meeting.
Who will be there: Brent will attend the meeting with you. You will meet with the Trustee, whose job it is to ensure that everything you listed in your petition is true to the best of you knowledge.
How long will the meeting last: Your actual meeting will last less than five minutes, but plan to be there for at least an hour, as there will be many cases scheduled for the same day and time.
What to expect: The Trustee will ask you some variation of questions regarding you familiarity with the documents filed in your case and the debts and assets listed. When the Trustee has completed his questions there is a chance for any creditor that appears to briefly ask questions as well. In the hundreds of cases I have handled each year, this might happen once or twice. It is not common at all, and if a creditor is planning to show we would likely suspect that ahead of time and be prepared.
DIRECTIONS TO DOWNTOWN STL 341 MEETING AT: 111 SOUTH 10TH STREET, ST. LOUIS, MO 63102
From West St. Louis
• Travel I-64 E/US-40 E toward St. Louis
• Take the 11th St. exit- exit number 39C on the left toward Stadium
• Stay straight to go onto South 11th St.
• Turn Right onto Walnut St.
• Turn Right onto S. 10th St.
• End at 111 S. 10th St.
From Southwest St. Louis
• Travel I-44 east to Lafayette (Left lane exit)
• Turn Right onto Lafayette
• Take Lafayette to Tucker
• Turn Left on Tucker to Clark
• Turn Right on Clark (Court will be on your left.)
• End at 111 S. 10th St.
From North St. Louis
• Travel I-70 E toward St. Louis
• Take the Memorial Drive exit – exit number 250B toward Downtown/Pine
• Stay straight to go onto N Memorial Drive
• Turn Right onto Market St.
• Turn Left onto S. 10th St.
• End at 111 S. 10th St.
From South St. Louis
• Travel I-55 N toward St. Louis
• Merge onto exit number 290B I-70/Illinois
• Continue on 290B to the Memorial Drive exit 251C toward Downtown/Arch/ Stadium
• From Memorial Drive, turn Left onto Market St.
• Turn Left onto S 10th St.
• End at 111 S. 10th St.
DIRECTIONS TO WENTZVILLE 341 MEETING AT SCHROEDER CREEK BLVD. WENTZVILLE, MO 63385:
From St. Charles:
• Take I-70 W toward Wentzville
• Keep left to stay on I-70 west
• Take exit 210B to merge onto us 61 N toward Hannibal
• Take the county rd. a/Wentzville pkwy exit
• Turn left onto Wentzville pkwy
• Continue on Wentzville pkwy to Schroeder Creek blvd.
• Turn left on 1002 Schroeder Creek blvd. the building is on your right
• Take us 61 s to Wentzville pkwy
• Take Wentzville pkwy exit
• Turn right onto Wentzville pkwy
• Turn left onto Schroeder Creek blvd.
• 1002 is on your right
Whether you are with our office for a few months or a few years, we hope that you will always reach out to us with any legal questions you may have. we have made a list of different lawyers & businesses that we have used and trusted and feel confident in providing to our clients. If you have any questions feel free to follow up with us.
- FAMILY LAW/DIVORCE ATTORNEY:
- TODD MARLER, 636-757-3636
- KYLE BURROWS, 636-232-9700
- KIM TOMKO, 636-462-1373
- ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY:
- CORT SMITH, 636-949-3701
- PAT FLYNN, 314-267-0670
- BUSINESS LAW/LEGAL DRAFTING:
- JIM BORCHERS, 636-578-5510
- TRAFFIC TICKETS
- KYLE BURROWS, 636-232-9700
- JUSTIN BUTLER, 636-462-1373P
- BOEHMER LAW, 636-916-4040
- BROCKMEYER LAW, 636-946-0960
- PERSONAL INJURY
- RYAN COX, 636-946-6886
- NATHAN STEIMEL, 636-244-3737
- MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
- ASHLEY RICKETT, 816-895-9090
- JOE EASTER, 417-888-0258
- SOCIAL SECURITY/DISABILITY
- LESLIE YOFFIE, 636-946-6166
BUSINESSES THAT WORK WITH CLIENTS WHILE IN CHAPTER 7 OR CHAPTER 13
- NEW/USED CAR PURCHASE:
- KELLY ROUSSIN, NAPLETON NISSAN, 314-997-3400
- APARTMENT RENTAL
- COUNTRY CLUB APARTMENTS, 636-946-9100
- FIFTH THIRD BANK, ST CHARLES BRANCH
MONEY SAVING TIPS & WHERE TO SHOP
- SHOP N SAVE
- WALMART GROCERY PICK UP – IT’S FREE!
- THRED UP – ONLINE THRIFT SHOP
- FLIPP APP – LISTS ALL SALES AND DISCOUNTS AT BIG BOX STORES IN YOUR AREA
- CAROUSEL KIDS – CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT STORE
- ONCE UPON A CHILD – CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT STORE
- TARGET CARTWHEEL APP
- POCKET GUARD APP – BILL PAY, SAVINGS GOALS & SPENDING LIMITS
- MINT APP – BILL PAY & BUDGETING APP