There is more than one type of bankruptcy option available to those struggling with debt and, depending on your specific circumstances, one may be more appropriate for you than another. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is generally designed for those who have regular income, which will be a determining factor in the length of time of your repayment plan. Depending on how much or little you make, repayment can take place over the course of 3 to 5 years.
Who Can File for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Before you begin the process of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will want to be sure you are eligible.
You should meet the following requirements before moving forward with this process:
- You have regular income
- You can provide tax returns and payments
- Your unsecured debts cannot exceed $394,725 and your secured debts cannot exceed $1,184,200.
- To successfully discharge your debt at the end of a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you must not have received a discharge from another Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past 2 years or from a Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12 within the past 4 years.
Repaying Your Debts
With the court’s approval, debtors can set their own repayment plan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is an essential part of this process and is written out on a form from a local court or on a federal form.
The repayment plan describes:
- Your trustee and how much you will pay them every month
- How you will make monthly payments to your trustee
- How long the repayment plan will last
Your debts will fall into three categories and, at the end of your repayment plan, some of them will be forgiven. Here are the three categories of debt:
- Unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, may be reduced and whatever remains once your repayment plan is completed will be forgiven.
- Priority debt includes child support, student loans, and tax obligations. These debts usually must be paid in full.
- Secured debt includes car loans and mortgage loans. These should be paid back over time and anything that is missed can be brought current.
Stretching repayment over the span of several years makes these debts more manageable and allows debtors to hold onto valuable property.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
If you are struggling to pay off your debts, the legal team at the Law Offices of Mark A. Bandy, PC can provide the advice and guidance you need to navigate each step of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process.