Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision that no one should ever take lightly. As you consider your options and conduct research, you might begin to question which type of bankruptcy is the best choice for you. At this point, you are likely aware of the two main types of bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is also sometimes referred to as a “wage earner’s plan,” gives you the chance to keep your property while paying off your debts through a structured repayment plan that can last anywhere from 36 to 60 months.
Here are some facts you should know about Chapter 13 bankruptcy to help determine if it is right for your situation:
- Eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy: If you have a stable job, have a regular source of income, and have enough disposable income, you will likely be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You must also be able to provide your last four years tax returns. If you recently received bankruptcy relief, you might not be able to file again, unless enough time has passed. For example, if you filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had your debts discharged, you will have to wait 4 years before you can file for relief under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Paying your debts: Debtors submit a repayment plan when they file for relief under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The court will either approve or deny the plan. A Chapter 13 Trustee will receive your payments and split the money you pay up among your creditors. Your plan will be in the form that the local court requires and will describe how much you will pay your bankruptcy trustee every month, and how long the repayment plan will last. Generally a Chapter 13 Plan will repay amounts that you owe on vehicles and taxes in full and any mortgage payments that are due or come due during your case. Chapter 13 Clients generally pay little or nothing toward unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. Note that you will still be obligated to pay any non-dischargeable debts like student loans, child support, and mortgage debts after your case is over.
- The process: The entire process of filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually takes under a hundred days, though the actual repayment plan itself will last for 36 to 60 months. During the filing process, you will complete an online credit counseling class, file paperwork showing your financial situation and history with the Court, submit a repayment plan, and attend a meeting with your trustee. The bulk of the work involves filling out and submitting the proper paperwork, which is why it is crucial to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
Debt can be a frustrating and overwhelming burden, especially if you can never seem to make a dent in it. Luckily, bankruptcy provides an effective solution for those seeking relief from insurmountable debt. At The Law Office of Mark B. French, our legal team will guide you through the process of filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy from start to finish, so you can have a fresh start in life.
Contact our law office today at (817) 381-9855 to schedule a consultation and learn more about what a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can do for your financial situation.