Wellington Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 13 is the chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that deals with what is called a wage earner’s bankruptcy, because most people who file for Chapter 13 relief have steady income – just not enough to pay their debts. If you have some assets and regular income, but need assistance reorganizing your debts, a Wellington Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can help you with your filing, and you will get to retain most or all of your assets while paying debt down.
Don’t Qualify For Chapter 7?
When someone is interested in filing bankruptcy, they very often think of filing for Chapter 7 first, but this type of filing is not open to everyone. Chapter 7 debtors must pass what bankruptcy law refers to as the means test, which establishes a limit for how much one makes in one year to be eligible – in other words, if someone makes too much annually or has too many assets, they may not file Chapter 7. Chapter 13 is the other common chapter used by individuals to file for bankruptcy if they make too much to pass the means test.
Be advised, however, that Chapter 13 differs notably from Chapter 7 in that Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy; assets are sold off to pay off creditors. Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy, meaning that most assets are retained, and a certain period of time is given in which debts must be repaid. This can be critical when dealing with assets such as your home – in Chapter 7, foreclosures are common, while most Chapter 13 filers are able to retain their house if they can pay a certain amount on the loan over time. A Chapter 7 filing may also wind up eating up some income that you might prefer to retain – a Chapter 13 filing generally allows debtors to keep their income unless required to pay a creditor directly.
Filing & Discharge
Filing a Chapter 13 case is fairly straightforward, requiring a petition and all the relevant financial information to be submitted to the court. Once the filing is accepted, the automatic stay comes into effect which prohibits any kind of collections activity, In Chapter 13, co-signers may also be protected, as there are limitations on trying to collect from co-debtors as well. However, the stay may last only a short duration for certain debts, especially those which are nondischargeable like child support or back taxes.
Unlike in Chapter 7, the debtor has to file a reorganization plan within 14 days of the petition, to be approved by the bankruptcy trustee and the person’s creditors. If the plan is approved, then creditors will begin to be paid back – but a discharge from Chapter 13 does not come simply when the plan period (usually 3 to 5 years) has passed and all payments have been made – certain criteria must have been met, including (1) all domestic support payments having been paid; (2) no other discharge in bankruptcy having been received within the previous four years (or two years for any other Chapter 13 cases); and (3) completing a course in financial management that meets federal specifications. All these requirements must have been completed before your case will be allowed to conclude.
Ask An Experienced Wellington Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney For Help
Chapter 13 filings can be quite complex and cost you significant amounts of time and trouble. Call our business minded Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys at Markarian & Hayes today to set up a consultation. We are happy to try and help you figure out how best to handle your case. Contact our offices by using our web form, or by phone. We serve Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, and Vero Beach.