AA CoupleA motion for moratorium in a chapter 13 bankruptcy is a request by the debtor to temporarily suspend normal chapter 13 plan payments. The debtor’s attorney must file a motion with the bankruptcy court requesting a hearing to obtain permission from the bankruptcy judge to temporarily suspend the chapter 13 plan payments made by the debtor.

The debtor must provide adequate reason to temporarily suspend the chapter 13 plan payments. Normal reasons for the suspension or moratorium of the payments may be temporary unemployment, illness in which the debtor cannot afford the normal chapter 13 plan payments, or other legitimate reasons as to why the debtor needs a temporary reprieve from making the chapter 13 plan payments. The debtor has the burden to prove as to why the chapter 13 plan payments should be suspended temporarily.

The moratorium does not eliminate the chapter 13 plan payments or the debts, but rather suspends the payments until the debtor can get back up on his or her feet financially. The moratorium will usually last from 3 to 6 months. At the end of this time the debtor will resume making the chapter 13 plan payments. However, the debtor’s monthly Chapter 13 plan payments may increase slightly to catch up with the payments that were missed during the moratorium period.

The chapter 13 trustee or a creditor could object to the motion for moratorium. At the court hearing, the bankruptcy judge will decide whether a moratorium of Chapter 13 payments should be allowed.