If you are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or have already decided to file, it is important that you understand the bankruptcy process and what to expect. We’ve put together this Survival Guide to Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy so you can have an overview of the entire process.
Quick Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debts that create a three to five-year repayment plan and allows debtors to keep most or all of their belongings.
Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Stops wage garnishments, stop lawsuits filed by creditors, stops harassing creditor phone calls, and stops automobile repossession.
- At the conclusion of the Bankruptcy, remaining credit card debt, medical bills, or other unsecured debts, and some tax debts, are discharged (erased).
- Stops all collection action.
- Can stop foreclosure and allow a homeowner to catch up on mortgage arrears.
- In some cases, allows a homeowner to “lien strip” or eliminate the second mortgage.
- Creates an opportunity to catch up on missed car payments.
- Creates an opportunity to catch up on other missed payments, such as back taxes or child support payments.
The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will also file a proposed repayment plan. It lays out what debts will be paid back in the plan, to which creditors, and what your proposed monthly plan payment amount will be. Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans must be approved by the Bankruptcy Trustee and the Bankruptcy Court.
Once approved, you will make monthly plan payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee. He or she will then distribute those payments to your creditors being paid in the plan. The plan will pay back either all or a portion of your debts over the life of the plan. Some debts must be paid 100%, while other debts, such as credit card debts, may be partially paid back or not paid back at all.
Your monthly play payment amount is based on your monthly disposable income. Each Chapter 13 plan is case specific, so without sitting down and fully reviewing your situation, we cannot predict what your monthly plan payment amount would be.
For your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case to be successful, it is critical that you pay your plan payment on time, every month. We invite you to learn more in our article Chapter 13 Keys to Success.
The Process of Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Meeting For A Free Consultation
First, come meet with us for a free consultation. Together we’ll review your debt relief options and explore if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice for you and your family.
Preparing the Bankruptcy Petition and Plan
Prior to filing for bankruptcy, it is necessary to gather the necessary documents, prepare the bankruptcy petition, the Chapter 13 Plan, and complete a Credit Counseling course.
When you work with The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will prepare your bankruptcy petition. Then we will review it together to make sure that it is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Bankruptcy is a complex area of law, and bankruptcy petitions are filed under the penalty of perjury.
File with the Bankruptcy Court
Once your bankruptcy petition and proposed plan are complete, we will file them with the Bankruptcy Court on your behalf.
As soon as your case is filed the Automatic Stay immediately takes effect. This means that all of your creditors must stop all collection action. The Automatic Stay stops foreclosure proceedings and repossessions. It stops wage garnishments and bank levies and puts an end to collection phone calls.
Attend the Meeting of Creditors
You must attend a Meeting of Creditors, also known as a 341 Hearing, approximately one month after filing for bankruptcy. The meeting is conducted by the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case. At this meeting, the Trustee will ask you questions under penalty of perjury and may ask you questions about your proposed plan. When you hire us to file your bankruptcy case, we will prepare you for the meeting and we will be sitting by your side at the table.
Get the Fresh Financial Start You Deserve
Filing for bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start. It can be your chance to get your financial life in order. Once you are out from under the burdensome weight of debt, you are empowered to make wise financial decisions for your future.
We Will Help You Through Your Chapter 13 From Start to Finish
It is our mission to ensure that you understand the power and benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious financial decision. If you are feeling apprehension about the process, we understand. Know that if you hire us to file your bankruptcy case, we will be by your side from start to finish. We will prepare your bankruptcy petition and Chapter 13 plan, file it with the court, and assist you until you receive your Bankruptcy Discharge Order.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Find out more about Bankruptcy in our guide: All About Bankruptcy.