Newburyport, MA asked in Bankruptcy for Massachusetts

Q: In chapter 13 plans, what happens if my town doesn't file a proof of claim for property taxes owed?

I finished a Chapter 13 plan (in Massachusetts) 6 months ago. I had claimed approximately $4000 in property taxes under the plan, my down filed a proof of claim for $2600. I made all the payments according to the plan, but now the town is saying I owe another $1400 in back taxes for which they never offered proof of claim. Do I still owe them that money if they submitted a lower proof of claim than the amount I claimed to owe in my filing?

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers

Timothy Denison

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: If they filed a proof of claim for $2600 and you paid it and completed the plan, then you don’t owe the money. You need to put this back in front of the court and get an order against them for violating the stay.

John Martin Hilla

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Farmington Hills, MI

A: I think more information is required to answer your question. What tax years are involved? Is the $1400 pre-filing or post-filing? For what tax years did the proof of claim account vs. this $1400 balance?

It could be that it is a discharge violation, but it is also important to remember that a bankruptcy sweeps in debts owed prior to the filing of the case and not necessarily debts incurred post-filing, even a 3- to 5-year-long Chapter 13 payment plan. If you owed taxes for a post-filing tax year and didn't work with the municipality and the Chapter 13 Trustee to get a proof of claim filed and paid through the plan, it may be legitimately owed post-filing and would not be a discharge violation to collect.

You should discuss this with the attorney that assisted you with your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case or another local bankruptcy attorney if your Chapter 13 counsel is unavailable for some reason.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.