Many Americans find themselves overwhelmed by personal debts. If you’re in this situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer a way out of these hardships. Here’s what you need to know about Chapter 13 and how it can help you get back on track toward a debt-free life.
Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Also known as debt consolidation bankruptcy or wage earner’s bankruptcy, Chapter 13 provides a way for individuals to repay their debts without giving up their property. This type of bankruptcy is designed for debtors who have a steady income. Businesses are not eligible for Chapter 13, even if they are sole proprietorships.
Why file for Chapter 13?
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which the debtor must liquidate assets to pay their creditors, Chapter 13 simply lengthens the amount of time you have to pay back what you owe, typically over three to five years. This protects your property against foreclosure and repossession. Chapter 13 will appear on your credit report for seven years after filing, as compared to 10 years for Chapter 7.
How does the process work?
The first step is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if you qualify for Chapter 13. If so, the attorney will help you file. You will be responsible for paying the filing and attorney fees, as well as the cost of mandatory credit counseling classes. Next, you and your attorney will present the court and your creditors with a repayment plan. If the court determines that the proposal is feasible and fair, the judge will approve the plan. Upon completion of repayment, you must undergo a personal finance management course.
The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL, offers expert legal representation for bankruptcy, disability, and personal injury cases. Since 2000, their team has been dedicated to helping their clients achieve peace of mind. Call the firm at (334) 673-0100 to schedule a free consultation, or visit them online to learn more about their practice areas.