CHAPTER 13 Bankrup[tcy Attorney
THE REPAYMENT PLAN
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows debtors to create a plan for repayment generally over a period of three to five years. In order to qualify you will need to have a regular income. In a Chapter 13 the debtor will work with their attorney to create a repayment plan to some or all of their creditors depending on the types of debts and the income of the debtor. If the debtor’s current monthly income is less than the applicable state median, the plan will be for three years unless the court approves a longer period. During this time the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts.
How Chapter 13 Works
Steps in preparing for and filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
(1) When you call the LaVelle Law Offices asking about a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you will first speak with an attorney who will help you h/, though asking you a series of questions, if you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing and if filing bankruptcy is your best option.
(2) You will then set up an appointment to meet in person or via phone conference or zoom video conference with the attorney.
(3) You will be sent several documents to review that explain more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including a FAQ sheet as well as an explanation of the different types of bankruptcies. These are important documents required by the Bankruptcy Court and can be quite informative.
(4) At your meeting with the attorney, you will review in more detail your specific financial situation. You will review your credit report, liabilities (creditors) and assets. The attorney will explain how you may be allowed to protect these assets).
(5) You will work with your attorney to create a budget to pay off some or all of your creditors based on your current income.
(5) Your attorney will then work with the information you provide and fill out your bankruptcy petition and Chapter 13 plan.
(6) Before your petition is filed you must complete a credit counseling course approved by the Bankruptcy Court. The LaVelle Law Offices provides a free online course which takes approximately one hour and contains valuable financial tips and advice.
(7) Once you complete this course, and the petition and Chapter 13 plan is ready to be filed with the court, your attorney will have you review the petition and plan for accuracy and prepare a final draft to be filed with the court.
(8) The Petition and plan is then filed and an AUTOMATIC STAY is put in place. Your creditors are notified that the Bankruptcy Court has issued a stay against any efforts they have to collect debts from you. Creditors generally may not initiate or continue lawsuits, wage garnishments, or even make telephone calls demanding payments. The creditors must ask the bankruptcy court for permission if they want to continue to collect from you while this stay is in place. These requests are rare.
(9) Approximately 30 days after your petition is filed with the court, there is a meeting of creditors. The meeting of creditors is an opportunity for the the Trustee to ask you questions to clarify anything on your petition. If you have any creditors that would like to ask you questions about your petition, they may also show up, but this is extremely rare. In a majority of the cases, creditors do not show up for the “meeting of creditors;” it is just you, your attorney and the trustee. Before this meeting the Trustee will request copies of your most recent paystubs, tax returns and other financial documents.
(10) Within 45 days after the meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy judge will hold a confirmation hearing and decide whether to approve your budget. If your proposed budget is approved, you will continue making payments to the Bankruptcy Trustee for the amount proposed int he plan. If the plan is rejected, your attorney will work with you to make necessary revisions in the plan and resubmit it.
(11) This brings us to the final step, which is discharge by the Bankruptcy Court.After you make all of your payments under the plan, the court will issue an order of discharge 3-5 years from the time you filed the petition. This is time to celebrate your fresh start and plan for a better financial tomorrow!
Please be prepared to provide the following information:
(1) A list of all your creditors and the amounts you owe
(2) The source, frequency, and amount of the your income;
(3) A list of all of all your property; and
(4) A detailed list of the your monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.
(5) Your bank statements for the past three months
(6) Your pay stubs (if you have them) for the last six months
Many people use a chapter 13 proceeding to save their home from a foreclosure. The automatic stay stops the foreclosure proceeding as soon as the chapter 13 petition is filed. Chapter 13 may allow you to bring the past-due payments current over a reasonable period of time. If the foreclosure sale happens before the petition is filed the house may be lost. The house may also be lost if you fail to make the payments during the plan.