Paying Off Your Debt Under a More Affordable Payment Plan
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that is designed for debtors who have the ability to repay most or all of their debt under more flexible payment plans. You need a chapter 13 attorney to guide you though this process. We serve chapter 13 bankruptcy clients in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Brandon, Largo and throughout Tampa Bay.
Individuals who file under Chapter 13 typically have regular incomes, and they also typically do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are also debtors who prefer Chapter 13 over Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it involves lower risk of property loss.
If you are overburdened with debt and you need a more manageable plan for paying back your creditors, then Chapter 13 might be for you! With more than 12 years of experience as an attorney, I can skillfully guide you through the bankruptcy process and help you work toward a brighter financial future. I am also a Florida Certified Mortgage Foreclosure Mediator and a Certified Circuit Court Mediator, which enables me to bring additional skills and insight to your bankruptcy case.
How does Chapter 13 work?
When you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be in a repayment plan for 3 to 5 years, paying back a portion of your unsecured debt. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be permitted to keep your property. Also known as reorganization bankruptcy, this effective debt relief solution is not for everyone, as it requires you to use your income in order to pay off your debt.
In order to become eligible, you will need to prove to the court that you have the means necessary to meet each of your payment obligations. If it is determined that your income is too low or inconsistent, or that your debt is too high, you will not be eligible to file under Chapter 13. Under the U.S. bankruptcy code, an individual who possesses over $383,175 in unsecured debts or $1,149,525 in secured debts will not qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.
Every applicant must receive credit counseling from a previously approved agency within the 180-day period prior to the bankruptcy petition filing. If you fail to make your payments, your case may be dismissed by the bankruptcy court. Furthermore, straying from your payment agreement may result in the liquidation of your property and a conversion of your case to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Your Chapter 13 petition will need to include the following information:
- A list of your creditors and the amount you owe each of them
- An explanation of the amount and source of your income, and the frequency in which you are paid
- A list of all property you own
- A list of your monthly expenses (food, bills, gas, etc.)
The Benefits of Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Once this process has begun, an “automatic stay” will be issued in order to prevent your debt collectors from continuing to contact you. If you maintain your mortgage payments as a part of your payment plan, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process could potentially protect you from foreclosure.
Another benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it allows you to resolve certain types of debts that are not dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A few examples include debts from separation or divorce-related property settlements, non-dischargeable taxes, and debts from willful damage to property. After a repayment plan has been established with your creditor, you can work to successfully pay off the agreed upon amount and begin your fresh start on your finances!
Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer Offering Effective Guidance
If you are fighting to save your home from foreclosure, contact my Tampa law firm. I can help you file your paperwork correctly and devise a personalized payment plan that can be submitted to your bankruptcy trustee. My team will work with you in order to build a consolidation and reorganization plan that details the amount you will pay on your unsecured debt.