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I own my own business, and that is a major source of my (or our) income. Will I lose my business?

 

No; not as long as your business makes money. You will probably be asked to show your tax returns for the past few years, and other basic profit and loss information that will prove that your business does make money. Even if it does not make money, or if you do not have a good chance of starting to make money in the near future, they would not make you close the business. You would simply not be allowed to use that as a source of income in a Chapter 13 ("wage earner") case. In extreme cases, assets of the business might have to be surrendered.

The most awkward thing about being self-employed is making your Chapter 13 Plan payments directly. Self-employed people are accustomed to making all of their own decisions about what bills to pay, and when to pay them, so maybe it’s understandable that they choose to skip this month’s Plan payment, while planning to catch up next month.

But the Trustee doesn’t look at it that way. He watches self-paying Plans very carefully, because he knows that those are the cases that fail more often than anything else. If payments are missed, or if they are too irregular, he will quickly file a motion to dismiss your case, especially if the mortgage payments fall behind. The Trustee’s motions are always granted, unless you can catch up on all of your missed payments, or unless you get a job with a paycheck that your Plan payment can be deducted from.