Both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies offer freedom from the burden of overwhelming debt, but they take different paths to reach that ultimate goal. While Chapter 7 eliminates most types of unsecured debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy restructures it into a long-term repayment plan, paid back in monthly installments over the course of three to five years. Here are some of the distinct benefits that come with Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Why Should You File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
1. Keep Your Property
Chapter 7 liquidates your assets as a way to repay your creditors. Chapter 13, however, allows you to retain property as long as you can keep up on current payments while still making the regular monthly payments on the agreement. For people whose homes are in foreclosure or have vehicles that are about to be repossessed, this can be a lifesaver.
2. Gain Valuable Time
Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you time to pay back what you owe, making it ideal for individuals who are currently employed and don't necessarily need a full discharge of their debts. They simply need more time to repay their creditors. Chapter 13 also buys additional time by initiating an automatic temporary stay on all collection and foreclosure action against you. You can stay in your house; stop receiving threatening phone calls, letters, and legal action; and design a repayment plan that will make good on outstanding balances.
3. Protect Your Co-Signer
If you have a co-signer on one of your past-due debts and then file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, creditors can pursue the other party for the balance owed. With Chapter 13, the bankruptcy courts will not go after the co-signer, but you need to make your regular plan payment on time every month. Failing to do so could compel the courts to seek the debt from your co-signer.
An attorney will be your biggest ally during every step of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. Attorney Rafael Gil III at The Gil Law Firm has been representing bankruptcy clients for nearly two decades. Located in Houston County, AL, and serving all of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, he also offers representation in Social Security disability and personal injury cases. Start on the path to debt relief today, and schedule a free consultation by calling (334) 673-0100 or visiting his website.