chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is provided for the wage earner who can use his/her income to pay creditors over a specified time period.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of the debt owed to creditors with a payment schedule set up whereby the wage earner makes timely payments to the creditors over a three to five year payment period.

The court may not allow a filing of chapter 13, depending on whether or not a person’s income is sufficient to repay some or all the debt. It has to be established with the court that the income is steady income and is not too low. Thus, chapter 13 is not suited for everyone.  Call us @ (313) 381-9000 for a FREE Consultation.

Also, there is a limit to the amount of debt a person is carrying to qualify for filing a chapter 13. Total secured debt must not exceed $922,975 and total unsecured debt must not be more than $307,675. Secured debt is backed up with collateral such as a home or a car; while unsecured debt is balances on credit cards, signature loans, medical bills, etc.

Before you can proceed with filing a chapter 13, you are required to complete a course in personal financial management. This credit counseling course has to be approved by the court trustee. There is a fee for this course, but if you are unable to pay, you may receive the counseling free of charge.

The court will determine how much of your debt you will repay and you must begin those payments within thirty days after filing. These payments are usually made to the bankruptcy trustee to be forwarded on your creditors. The court may require these monthly payments be automatically deducted from your wages and sent to the trustee. Three percent to ten percent of each monthly payment is collected by the trustee as their commission. It is absolutely imperative that these monthly payments be paid and be paid on time.

Under chapter 13, there are certain debts that must be paid in full. These include child support, alimony and some tax obligations. These debts are non-dischargeable and must be paid one-hundred percent.

Bankruptcy law is a federal law; however, there are state laws pertaining to bankruptcy, so specific rules governing bankruptcy depends on the state of residence and filing.

The purpose of chapter 13 is to give a person a chance for a fresh start financially. It gives them protection from creditors by placing a hold on all asset and debt collections and provides the court time to work out a legal judgment that is accepted by all parties. However, there are consequences of bankruptcy in the form of poor credit and having to pay higher interest rates because of the bankruptcy on the credit report. Thus, bankruptcy filing should be thought through seriously and advice should be sought through an attorney.

There are alternatives to bankruptcy such as debt consolidation, out of court settlements or to just simply do nothing. If you have little income and property, then you are ‘sue-proof’, which means if anyone were to sue you, they wouldn’t be able to collect anything anyway because you have nothing they can take. The law provides they cannot take your basic necessities such as clothing, food, household furnishings, etc. Most creditors will not bother suing someone knowing there is nothing for them to get. Instead, they will write off the debt, which does go on your credit report, but will be removed after seven years.

It’s important to weigh your options before making a final decision on whether to file a bankruptcy. Call All-Legal-Solutions, we will give you helpful insight.


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