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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Explained

Filing for bankruptcy can be the solution to your debt problems and help you gain financial freedom. Though, it is never an easy decision to make.

There are two types of bankruptcy available to individuals and families: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To understand the differences between the chapters read our article The Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Explained

Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a re-payment plan that lasts three to five years, depending on your specific situation. Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure on your home and even give you a chance to catch up on mortgage arrears.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans must be approved by the Bankruptcy Trustee and the Bankruptcy Court. It can be complicated. We’ve filed thousands of Chapter 13 cases. When you hire us, you are in experienced and capable hands.

It is our mission to ensure that you understand the power and benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We’re here to answer all of your questions. Call us right now (912) 351-9000 to schedule a free consultation.

Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

  • Stops wage garnishments, stops 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).
  • In some cases, allows a homeowner to “lien strip” or eliminate a 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.

 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the solution to your debt problems. However, it requires monthly payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee for three to five years, which can be difficult for some people to manage. Also, depending on your specific case, you may still owe on some debts after bankruptcy, such as student loans.

Filing for bankruptcy will adversely affect your credit score in the short term; however, if you have already fallen behind on paying your debts, your score has likely already decreased.

Qualifying for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

To qualify for Chapter 13, you must have a steady source of income, such as from a job, self-employment, a business, retirement income, or social security. This is not a requirement if you file for Chapter 7.

At our free consultation we will help you determine which chapter of bankruptcy is right for you.

Costs of Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Those costs of filing for Chapter 13 include: court filing fees, mandatory credit counseling fees, and attorneys fees. In our district, we have what is called a “no look” fee, meaning that the attorney’s fees are set by the Bankruptcy Court. Since Chapter 13 creates a monthly payment plan, the attorney’s fees can be paid from those payments.

When we meet for a free consultation, we will go over all of the costs together. There will not be any surprise fees or costs down the road.

After Filing for Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can help you save your house, catch up on missed payments, and eliminate unsecured debts like credit card debt.

We are here to help you understand the process and decide if filing for relief under Chapter 13 is the right choice for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel proudly serves Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City, GA.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Student Loans are Not Erased in Bankruptcy

In 2011 our nation’s student loan debt passed the $1 trillion mark. Student loan debt has exceeded credit card debt since 2010. A number of financial experts say that we’re in a student loan crisis. Many students leave school saddled with a debt load that isn’t affordable on their entry-level salaries.

As the law stands, student loans are nondischargeable in most cases and are not erased in bankruptcy. This means that students loans must be paid back even after successfully filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy May Still Help You If You’re Struggling with Student Loan Payments

If you’re struggling to make your student loan payments on top of credit cards, medical debt, and other monthly living expenses, bankruptcy may help you be able to better afford your student loan payments.

Bankruptcy can erase your unsecured debts, including your credit card and medical debts. Although bankruptcy may not erase your student loans, it can free up funds. The money you were using to pay monthly credit card and medical bills can then be directed toward your student loan payments.

Students Loans Have Repayment Options

If you’re struggling with monthly student loan payments, we encourage you to reach out to your lender(s)! Many student loan lenders offer options to lower monthly payments or pause payments for a short amount of time.

We encourage anyone with student loans to explore income based forgiveness programs for government backed loans.

Also, federal student loans have the options of deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily postpone or reduce your monthly payments. Be mindful to understand how these options will impact your overall repayment plan and interest rate. Consider too that your total amount owed will increase, typically including compounded interest fees.

We Offer Free Consultations

To discuss your financial situation and whether or not bankruptcy is the right choice for you contact us for a free consultation!

Follow the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel on Facebook for money saving tips and information on getting out of debt!

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Bankruptcy Can End Your Financial Struggle And Help You Gain Financial Freedom

Barbara started this law firm 35-years ago because of her own financial crisis. At the time, she was raising three children as a single mom. Barbara knows what financial struggle is. All of us here at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel want to help you get out from under the weight of financial stress and gain financial freedom.

We invite you to get to know us here and read about the clients we’ve helped here.

Bankruptcy Can End Your Financial Struggle

We know financial problems are stressful. Constantly worrying about mounting debt as well as keeping up with necessary living expenses can takes its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing.

Bankruptcy is your legal right and a tool to end your financial struggle. Bankruptcy has the power to:

  • Erase credit card debt
  • Erase medical debt
  • Erase most unsecured debt
  • Stops harassing phone calls from creditors
  • Stop wage garnishment
  • Stop bank freezes and levies
  • Stop lawsuits filed by creditors and other plaintiffs
  • Puts an end to all collection action
  • Allows you to keep most or all of your belongings, including your home and car (depending on your specific situation)

Bankruptcy Can Help You Gain Financial Freedom

To be certain, bankruptcy helps you gain your financial freedom by erasing debts. But the benefits extend further than simply getting out of debt.

When you’re no longer living under a massive amount of debt, you can really start anew. The monthly payments you were making toward credit cards or medical bills is now freed up. You can redirect that money to creating an emergency fund, building a retirement account, and making wise financial choices for your family’s future.

When it comes to savings and building financial health, every little bit helps, every penny counts. We are proud to be a law firm that helps our clients get out of debt, and helps them get the most out of their fresh financial start.

We offer free information on financial management and tips to help you save money! To learn more:

 

All of us here at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel are here to help you end your financial struggle and gain financial freedom. We offer free consultations and affordable payments plans. Contact us at (912) 351-9000 today!

We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Filing for Bankruptcy is Not Shameful. You’re Not Alone.

We’ve been practicing bankruptcy law for over 35-years. One of the things we hear most from our clients is that they feel guilty or ashamed about filing for bankruptcy. They want to pay back their debts, and they feel badly that they are not able to do so. In our experience, the majority of debtors truly deserve the benefits of bankruptcy. Few people actually want to file for bankruptcy and fewer still are taking advantage of the system.

If you file for bankruptcy, you are not alone.

Across the nation, nearly 1 million people filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015. The previous year, well over 1 million people filed for bankruptcy protection.

In Georgia, 50,344 people filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2015.

By these numbers, you can see that bankruptcy is not uncommon.

There are many reasons why people file for bankruptcy. Prior to filing many people experience a job loss, divorce, death in the family, a costly medical emergency, or another unavoidable situation. The types of debt that cause the most problems are medical debts and credit card debts.

There is a common misconception that everyone who files for bankruptcy is bad with money. That is simply not true. Often it is an unavoidable and unforeseeable situation that leads to bankruptcy. Consider too that many successful people have file for bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be in the likes of Walt Disney, Billie Joel, and Mark Twain.

Filing for bankruptcy is not shameful.

As we discussed in our article Living With The Stress of Debt vs. Bankruptcy, living with the weight of debt affects more than just your credit score. Financial stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, migraines, and sleep disturbances.

You do not deserve the financial and emotional stress of trying to pay back debts you cannot afford. Filing for bankruptcy is not shameful. It does not make you a bad person, and it does not mean that you’re a failure.

Filing for bankruptcy is your legal right.

You deserve a financial fresh start, and we’re here to help you achieve it. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Contact us today!

We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Living With The Stress of Debt vs. Bankruptcy

Have you fallen behind on your bills? Is your phone ringing off-the-hook with harassing phone calls from creditors? Have you been served a lawsuit? Is the stress from your massive debt and missed payments keeping you up at night?

Often our clients come to us feeling completely overwhelmed. We understand that financial problems and the accompanying collection actions cause extreme stress.

You do not have to live with the stress of debt.

The choice is yours. You can continue to live under the debilitating weight of debt, or you can choose a debt relief option that is right for you and your family. There is light at the end of the long debt tunnel.

If you are exploring debt consolidation, read our article Why Debt Consolidation Rarely Works for more information.

To be certain, filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision for anyone. Though it can be the choice that gets you past this difficult time. Filing for bankruptcy can be the choice that gives you a clean slate and a fresh start.

If you are deciding between living with the stress of debt versus filing for bankruptcy, consider the following:

The Stress of Collection Actions Against You

It doesn’t take long before creditors become aggressive with their collection tactics. It begins with incessant collection calls. Law suits, wage garnishments, and bank levies are soon to follow. Collection actions cause stress. Even wondering if or when collection actions are going to happen can cause stress.

Bankruptcy can put an end to this stress. Bankruptcy stops all collection action. Once you file, it is illegal for any creditor to attempt to collect from you.

Avoiding Bankruptcy Is Not Helping Your Credit Score

We often hear from people that they want to avoid bankruptcy for fear of tanking their credit score. Consider this: if you’re thousands of dollars in debt and missing payments, your credit is already being adversely affected. While filing for bankruptcy lowers your credit score, it is still the better option for rebuilding credit than carrying forward unpaid debts, missed payments, and charged-off accounts.

Your Mental & Physical Health

The American Psychological Association found extreme financial stress to be associated with increased risk for a number of health problems, including heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, migraines, and sleep disturbances. It’s clear the weight of debt can affect more than your credit score.

You do not have to live with the stress of debt. Here at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel we make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free no-obligation consultation.

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.

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The Benefits of a Budget and Sticking To It

The benefits of creating a budget and sticking to it cannot be underestimated! For many families setting a budget may not be a fun task. It may even be downright difficult. However, there are numerous short-term and long-term benefits to budgets that make sticking to a budget worth it!

Short-term Benefits of Sticking to a Budget

Sticking to a budget makes sure that you’re in control of your finances. Budgeting controls your expenses, which ensures that you’re able to pay your bills. Keeping a close watch on your income minus expenses is critical to maintaining financial health, and building financial wealth.

Further, budgeting gives you a clear picture of your expenses. This empowers you to make wise spending decisions. Taking a close look at your expenses also shows you where you can reduce expenses.

For example, the joy that your daily $5 Starbucks latte brings you may be worth it – or, you may decide that spending $150.00 a month on coffee (that’s $1,800 per year!) isn’t worth it and that one latte per week is the better choice for you.

Long-term Benefits of Sticking to a Budget

Sticking to a budget has massive benefits on the grander scale. Of course proper budgeting allows you to save more money. But what does this really mean for you and your family? Sticking to a budget allows you to plan for vacations, putting a down payment on a house, home repairs and upgrades, long-term retirement, buying a car outright, and living with the comfort of having an adequate emergency fund.

So even if setting a budget isn’t a fun task, or you’re finding it difficult, rest assured that the benefits make it worth the effort. There are a number of free tools, apps, and other resources available to help you create a budget! If you don’t know where to start, check out these 7 Simple and Free Budgeting Tools from US News & World Report.

For tips & tricks to help you budget & save money follow us on Facebook!

We Offer Budget Consulting

Our goals are to help you get out from under the weight of debt, have a fresh start, and be equipped to fully provide for the needs of you and your family. In an effort to reach these goals, we offer budget consulting free of charge to our clients.

The benefits of budget consulting include:

  • Gaining a clear idea of where your finances are.
  • Creating a clear plan of where you want your finances to be.
  • Creating a budget that is in line with your needs and your family’s needs.
  • More confidence with managing your finances moving forward.

Read more about our free budget consulting services here.

We Offer Free Consultations

Meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at right now at (912) 351-9000, or email info@BrazielLaw.com. We are here to help you evaluate if bankruptcy is the right choice for you.

We are proud to serve people in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, and Ludowici Georgia.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Catch Up on Missed Mortgage Payments with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When the first of the month comes, and you do not have the funds to make your mortgage payment it is a difficult time. But missing a mortgage payment can happen to any home owner. At any time unexpected expenses can arise. Perhaps you or your spouse lost a job, reducing your household income in half. Or, you had to make an emergency trip up north to attend a memorial service. Maybe your child had an emergency that created thousands of dollars in medical bills.

When you miss one payment, it becomes difficult to catch up that payment while making your current payment, too. This can lead to penalty fees, and for many, it leads to many months of missed mortgage payments.

We understand that falling behind on your mortgage is emotionally taxing. We understand you’re afraid you will lose your home. We’re here to help. You have options that will help you make up those missed mortgage payments and save your home from foreclosure. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the solution for you and your family.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy empowers you to catch up on your missed mortgage payments.

 

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Helps You Catch Up On Missed Mortgage Payments 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy sets up a three to five year repayment plan to help you repay some or all of your debt. Your mortgage arrears (the amount you are behind on your mortgage) are included in the repayment plan. Each month you make a payment to the Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case, then he or she distributes those payments to your mortgage lender and other creditors you owe money.

The ins and outs of Chapter 13 can be complicated. Here at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel we’ve filed thousands of successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases over the past 30 years. Call us right now (912) 351-9000  to schedule a free consultation.

 

Additional Benefits to Homeowners Who File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Eliminate A Second Mortgage 

In addition to catching up on mortgage arrears, you may also be eligible to eliminate a second mortgage. Eliminating a second mortgage is called a “lien strip.” This is literally stripping away a lien on your house, so that you are no longer liable to pay back the debt. Lien strips can only be applied to houses with two or more mortgages, with a first mortgage that is under water.

An underwater mortgage means that the current fair market value of the house is worth less than the amount owed on it. The following illustrates when a lien strip is possible:

Current fair market value of the property: $100,000

Amount owed on the first mortgage: $125,000

Amount owed on the second mortgage: $50,000

Under these facts the home is considered under water because the value of the home is $100,000, which is $25,000 less than the amount owed on the first mortgage. In this case, a lien strip of the $50,000 second mortgage would be possible at the conclusion of the Chapter 13 repayment plan.

This means the homeowner would not have to pay back the $50,000 second mortgage, and once the first mortgage of $125,000 is paid off in full, the homeowner would own the house free and clear.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is A Powerful Tool for Homeowners

Have you fallen behind on your mortgage payments? Are you facing a foreclosure of your home? Is your house underwater? If so, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the tool to save your home and give you the financial freedom that you need.

If you have fallen being on your mortgage payment, we are here to help. Together we will explore your options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel proudly serve people in Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Have Your Case Managed By An Attorney From Start to Finish

Filing for bankruptcy and navigating the bankruptcy court system can be an intimidating process. Many of our clients express to us that they’re nervous about the process, or that they’re nervous about attending the Trustee Meeting.

We strive to ensure that our clients understand the bankruptcy process and feel secure knowing that their case is safe in our care. At the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel your bankruptcy case will be managed by an attorney from start to finish.

 

We Practice Exclusively Bankruptcy Law

We do not dabble in bankruptcy law, it is all we do. And we’ve been doing this for over 30-years, we are experts in our field.

Bankruptcy law is a specialized area of practice. We are a premier bankruptcy law firm in Savannah, GA because we focus solely on bankruptcy. We understand the nuances of the law. And we know how to make the law work for you.

 

Your Case Will Be Managed By An Attorney From Start To Finish

We pride ourselves on providing hands on service to our clients. We answer your calls. We are available to you to help you through the entire bankruptcy process.

We have exceptional paralegals on our staff, but you will never be left in the hands of a paralegal. Only attorneys are authorized to practice law. And at the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel your case will be managed by a licensed attorney from start to finish.

 

Savannah Bankruptcy Attorney, Barbara B. Braziel

A graduate of John Marshal Law School, Barbara has been practicing law for over 35-years. With Barbara at the helm, our law office has helped thousands of families get out of debt while being able to keep their cars, their homes, and other belongings.

Barbara raised three children as a single mom, so she understands the burden of financial struggles. She strives to help our clients gain financial freedom.

Get to know us! Read Barbara’s bio, and the rest of our staffs’ bios, here!

 

Our Commitment To Our Clients

We are committed to treating all of our clients with dignity and respect. We are not here to judge you. We are here to help you overcome your financial burdens and gain financial freedom.

Learn more about the bankruptcy process here. Review the list of documents you need to bring with you to your free consultation.

At the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel we file hundreds of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases every year. But our clients are never just a number. You will not be left in the hands of a paralegal. You will have access to your attorney throughout your bankruptcy case.

We are here to give you the fresh start you deserve. Call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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The Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals or married couples are Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases all or most of your debts, without a repayment plan, and in general allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debts, creates a three to five year repayment plan, and also allows you to keep most or all of your personal belongings.

 

The “chapters” come from the United States Bankruptcy Code. There are benefits and drawbacks to both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies. And in fact, both chapters offer many of the same benefits.

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 eliminates credit card debt, medical debt, and most unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are debts that are not backed by anything. Meaning they do not have property attached as collateral. Generally, it is the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy. And takes roughly four to six months to complete.

 

The benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Erases most unsecured debts: including credit card debt and medical bills.
  • Stops harassing phone calls from creditors.
  • Stops wage garnishments.
  • Stops lawsuits filed by creditors.
  • Depending on your specific situation you will most likely be able to keep your car and your home. It is more likely that you can keep your car or home if your payments are current and there is not significant equity.

 

The drawbacks of Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cannot help you catch up on mortgage arrears or missed car payments (though Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can, see below).
  • Filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit score – however, if you have already fallen behind on your debts, your score has likely already decreased.
  • Student loan debts are not generally discharged.
  • Depending on your specific case, you may still owe on some debts after bankruptcy, such as tax debts.

 

 Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a three to five year repayment plan. The repayment plan gives you a chance to catch up on mortgage arrears, missed car payments, back taxes, and other debts. To qualify, you must have a steady source of income, such as from a job, self-employment, a business, retirement income, or social security.

 

Chapter 13 has many of the same powers as Chapter 7, plus additional powers.

 

The benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:

  • Stops wage garnishments, stops lawsuits filed by creditors, stops harassing creditor phone calls, and stops automobile repossession.
  • Can stop foreclosure and allow a homeowner to catch up on mortgage arrears.
  • In some cases, allows a homeowner to “lien strip” or eliminate a 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.
  • At the conclusion of the Bankruptcy, any remaining credit card debt, medical bills, or other unsecured debts, and some tax debts, are discharged.

 

The drawbacks of Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:

  • Requires monthly payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee. We all understand that unforeseeable things happen. If a plan payment cannot be made, there are processes to address it.
  • You cannot take out a loan while in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy without prior permission from the Bankruptcy Court.
  • Student loan debts are generally not discharged.
  • Depending on your specific case, you may still owe some debts after bankruptcy, such as tax debts.

 

Bankruptcy is a Powerful Tool

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are powerful tools to stop harassing phone calls, stop collection actions against you, and help you get out of debt.

At the Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel we file hundreds of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases every year. But our clients are never just a number. You will not be left in the hands of a paralegal. You will have access to your attorney throughout your bankruptcy case.

We are here to give you the fresh start you deserve. Call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us via the web to schedule a free consultation.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

READ MORE