Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Who Can File For Chapter 13?

Under the current law, only individuals and legally married couples can file for Chapter 13, and no corporations or partnerships are allowed to file a petition.

There are also jurisdictional limits, aka debt limits, for anybody with a secured debt over 1.1 million or more than $383k in undisputed, unsecured debt. These can change accordingly. Therefore, ask your bankruptcy lawyer to confirm the amounts at the time of your filing.

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Chapter 13 is ideal for people who want to save their home from foreclosure, lower car payments, consolidate debts, or save other valuable assets when Chapter 7 won’t allow them to accomplish their financial goals.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are typically an alternative for individuals who need to propose longer-term negotiations to pay back debts over a longer period of time or to save their properties. This can take anywhere between three and five years.

People who are already in the foreclosure process for their home and want to try and keep it would normally file for Chapter 13. This is a common occurrence when people don’t qualify for Chapter 7, or it would not allow this to happen.

Chapter 13 is also helpful to people with student loans, unpaid tax debts, delinquent spousal support, or equalization payments from a divorce when these types of debts cannot be eliminated or discharged in Chapter 7.

If you have assets that are ‘non-exempt’ and the available exemptions can’t protect you, then Chapter 13 would be appropriate to file. This is especially true for people who want to arrange a payment plan to keep their property.

What if your house is already in foreclosure?

You can save your home with a Chapter 13 Plan, which usually includes the defaulted amount of past-due payments paid back over the agreed-upon term at zero interest.

Chapter 13 can stop the foreclosure when you file your petition, and as long as you stay current with the new payment schedule, you will be able to keep your property.

Can Chapter 13 help with past-due car loans?

In some cases, Chapter 13 may lower the interest and payments on your car loan. Depending on the terms, it can also stretch out some existing automobile loans.

The goal is to make your car loan more affordable by including the default payments in the Chapter 13 Plan.

Can Chapter 13 eliminate student loan debt?

Most debts are ‘discharged’ after completing all your plan payments, except most student loans. However, your plan might be able to lower your student loan payments during the plan term, and any other amounts due are deferred during the plan’s duration.

This can be a powerful tool for temporary relief from overwhelming debt, including student loan payments. Speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

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