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Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide a fresh start over time and may be a good option for you if you have a large amount of equity in your home, or if you have other expensive assets. If you have not previously filed a Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12 bankruptcy in the last four years, or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last two years, you may qualify.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is frequently called a personal reorganization plan. Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to adjust your financial affairs without having to liquidate current assets. Rather than paying debts out of liquidated assets (in other words, selling your property and using the money to pay your debts), a Chapter 13 case usually involves paying debts out of future income. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is recommended if you are behind on your car or mortgage payment, and you have a regular monthly income to cover basic monthly expenses but not much more. You may be given the opportunity to restructure your debt by creating a budget and payment plan that usually lasts between three to five years.

Typically, your creditors will be repaid only a percentage of what you owe them. During a Chapter 13 repayment plan, creditors must adhere to the terms of the plan and cannot collect from you.

Boston bankruptcy attorney Tameka Grantham will help you develop a unique plan based on your ability to pay. Call 978-341-5044 today!

What kinds of debts can be consolidated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case?

In most cases, the following debts can be consolidated into one lump-sum monthly payment called the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan:

  • Mortgage Arrears or Home Equity. This includes the amount you are behind on your mortgage or home equity loan due to missed payments or escrow shortages.
  • Automobile payments.
  • Homeowners association (HOA) dues.
  • IRS debt. This may be wiped away depending how old it is.
  • Credit card debt.
  • Medical bills.
  • Property taxes.
  • Pay day loan, lines of credit, etc.
  • Child support arrears.
  • Student loans. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop a wage garnishment and pay all or some of the student loan debt during the length of the plan. However, any student loan debt not paid through the plan will survive the bankruptcy with accumulated interest.
  • Most other types of debts.

What are the steps in filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

The first step in filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to hire a skilled attorney who will work with you to determine whether Chapter 13 is the best solution for you. If you decide to move forward with filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the next steps are:

  • Prepare a budget.
  • Examine your case to determine whether filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is necessary.
  • Determine and implement methods of dealing with secured creditors.
  • Create a Chapter 13 plan and fill out the forms.
  • Complete the process of filing the forms and pleadings.
  • Attend required court hearings and meetings with creditors.
  • Obtain a discharge once all of the payments have been made, and the plan is terminated.

While bullet points can make things appear simple, creating a Chapter 13 plan can be complicated and time consuming. This is time you could be spending with your family or using to rebuild your financial future. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can work with you to create a plan that fits your situation. Call a Boston bankruptcy attorney today at 978-341-5044!

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