Do you feel like your debts have gotten out of control and you no longer believe that you will be able to manage them? Are you considering filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, but don’t know where to start? The very first thing you should do is reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can analyze your finances and guide you through your options. The bankruptcy code is quite complex. Moreover, it can be confusing for individual debtors trying to figure it out on their own. A lawyer specializing in bankruptcy will be able to help you determine whether you even need to file for bankruptcy and whether you should be filing Chapter 7 or filing Chapter 13.
Before doing anything else, you must determine whether or not this is the right option for you. An attorney might be able to find alternatives like debt consolidation. Or, loan modification if you are simply struggling to make a few payments. Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a great option for people who have a steady income, but just fell behind on a good deal of payments. It allows you to propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors and to prevent foreclosure and repossessions. If this sounds like you, Chapter 13 might be the best path forward for you. Here are some further steps to take when filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Before deciding anything, analyze all your debts honestly since Chapter 13 has certain limits to keep in mind. If your debts are too high, you may not be eligible for this kind of bankruptcy. During the entire process of a Chapter 13 filing, you will need to still be able to pay debts like your mortgage and taxes. You will also be placed on a repayment plan during the bankruptcy filing, so you must have a steady income to be able to fulfill your new payment plan obligations.
You need to evaluate your property, including how much is owned outright or jointly and how much can be protected. You may be able to keep property like your car or house. There will also be a certain property that will get exemption from liquidation to repay creditors.
You must set realistic expectations of your debt to income ratio. Your current income must be able to cover living expenses, the non-exempt property you intend to keep, and the debt payments that you will be required to pay. If the court finds you do not have sufficient income, they can stop your filing Chapter 13 and you might need to consider filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy instead.
Once you’ve analyzed your debts and income and have decided to go ahead with filing Chapter 13, you need to fill out bankruptcy forms. You need to be completely transparent with the court and report all of your debt and assets. You will also need to draft a repayment plan. This is an essential part of the process where an attorney should be involved to make sure nothing is missed. It could mean the difference between having your bankruptcy case approved or not.
When filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will be required to take a pre-filing credit counseling course that goes over financial information and makes sure you understand what you are doing. Once this course is complete, you will obtain a certificate that will need to be filed with your bankruptcy paperwork.
The next step is to file the forms and pay the associated fees with the court.
The court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to handle your case. You must provide them with all relevant papers for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and anything else they request. An attorney can help you stay on top of everything.
There will be two hearings, one where you will meet with the bankruptcy trustee appointed to you, and the second is a confirmation hearing where your attorney will be present as well. The court will go over everything and decide whether to approve your repayment plan or not.
Once a repayment plan has been established, you will need to begin making payments within 30 days. If you fail to make on-time payments, your case can be dismissed.
There is another course necessary for you to take before your debt can be fully discharged. It is meant to guarantee you can manage your finances and make your payments.
When all courses and paperwork are complete, your bankruptcy is confirmed by the court. You then can simply make payments to your trustee and they will disperse it to your creditors. After you finish making all payments under your plan, your bankruptcy will officially be discharged and you can start rebuilding your credit.
When filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, call The Law Offices of Emil Fleysher at 888-886-0020 or reach out to us online immediately. We will be able to walk you through the entire process and help you get the best outcome.