Despite your best efforts to maintain financial responsibility, even short-term unemployment or a medical emergency can leave you behind on your mortgage or auto loan. Catching up in these situations while remaining current on your other loans can be difficult, especially if the lender refuses to accept partial payments on past due amounts. Fortunately, a chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide an opportunity to make up your arrears and restructure your finances.
What Borrowers Should Know About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Court-Managed Payment Plans
Under a chapter 13 bankruptcy, borrowers with the means to do so can catch up on missed payments through a plan administered by the court. By extending your past due amounts over three to five years, chapter 13 bankruptcy makes it possible to bring your accounts current and avoid the risk of default. This powerful debt relief option is especially useful for homeowners facing foreclosure or people who have debts secured by valuable property.
Unsecured Debts Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Along with allowing you to resolve secured debts, chapter 13 bankruptcy will also discharge most secured accounts, including credit cards, medical bills, and even some back taxes. However, each creditor must receive at least as much as they would have if you had filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Automatic Stay
Filing a bankruptcy petition immediately triggers an automatic stay, requiring creditors to stop any collections efforts, including letters, lawsuits, and foreclosure activity. In some cases, the court may even order creditors to return property repossessed shortly before you filed the petition.
With offices in Ava and Ozark, The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh has been serving Missouri borrowers for over 20 years. If you are struggling with debts you cannot pay, you can rely on this experienced team to guide you through the complexities of the bankruptcy process. Visit their website or call (417) 683-2987 to schedule your consultation, and follow their Facebook for more legal tips.