Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for people with a reliable income to help them repay their debts—without having to liquidate their assets. It has a number of advantages, including freezing the home foreclosure proceedings, but the strict payment schedule and reduced discretionary spending can be difficult for many people. To help you survive Chapter 13 restructuring, here are a few key suggestions.
4 Tips for Surviving Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
1. Budget Expenses
Create and stick to a budget to help you rein in your spending. You may have to give up dining out or weekend shopping trips. You should also put off significant home improvements and vacation trips. It's important that you learn to live within your means and make timely payments. You don't want to sacrifice the protections the court has provided, or you could face vehicle repossession or a home foreclosure.
2. Pay Bills on Time
It's crucial that you make timely payments to all creditors, even those not part of your bankruptcy restructure. For instance, stay current with child support, alimony, taxes, insurance, and other payments that aren’t supervised by the court, and never fall behind or default on your plan.
3. Develop a Support Network
One of the best ways to ensure a successful discharge of your debts is to develop a network of professionals to help you. For instance, a financial adviser will help you develop and stick to your budget, while an experienced bankruptcy attorney will inform you of your rights and responsibilities and act as an advocate for you when dealing with creditors and the court.
4. Avoid New Debt
You'll likely find lenders are less than eager to loan you money, but you should avoid incurring new debt when it is available. For example, don't rack up new charges on existing credit cards. Debt is what got you into trouble in the first place, so start paying with cash and spend only what you have budgeted for.
For help with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, contact The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL. They have served clients in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida since the firm's founding in 2000. They also specialize in personal injury and Social Security disability cases. Visit their website to read what previous clients have to say about them, or call (334) 673-0100 to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.