Tampa Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Is Chapter 13 Right For You?
Some individuals may not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida. Others may have certain assets and property that they wish to hang onto that might otherwise be lost in a Chapter 7 filing, such as vacation homes, other real estate, multiple vehicles, and RVs.
For people in both categories, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a more suitable option. This type of bankruptcy consolidates all of one’s debt into one monthly payment to be paid to the court-appointed trustee who then dispenses it to creditors.
At Bankruptcy Defense Group we will provide the assistance necessary to determine your eligibility for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Once you qualify, our competent attorney will guide you every step of the way, from initial filing through the end of your repayment plan. Lean on our decades of legal negotiation to ensure that you arrive at a repayment plan that is designed in your best interest.
How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Works
Chapter 13 has been called various names based on how it works. It is known as the reorganization plan, repayment plan, and the wage-earner’s plan.
In a Chapter 13, your unsecured debt will be reorganized into a manageable monthly payment that will be repaid over a three- to five-year period. During that time, you must have a steady and reliable source of income so that you can handle your monthly expenses as well as make your monthly plan payment obligation to your bankruptcy trustee.
At the end of your repayment plan, whatever unsecured debt remains will be discharged. Unsecured debt includes debt not backed by property such as credit car debt, medical bills, and personal loans.
The Benefits of Filing for Chapter 13
Even if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may want to consider a Chapter 13 filing instead. A Chapter 13 petition puts you in control of handling and reorganizing your debts.
Some of the benefits of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:
- Manageable monthly payments - Chapter 13 allows you to consolidate your monthly payments into a plan that works for you, with the possibility to reduce penalties, fees, and interest rates
- Less impact on credit - While any form of bankruptcy will affect your credit, a Chapter 13 filing is less impactful than a Chapter 7 or a foreclosure on credit
- Ability to save your home from foreclosure - Chapter 13 allows you to halt the foreclosure process and can even provide a means to stop foreclosure on your home altogether
- Ability to stop repossession of your car - Just like with foreclosure, Chapter 13 can allow you to save your car from repossession, giving you the chance to catch up on payment arrears
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a viable option for those who want to keep assets that they might otherwise lose through liquidation in a Chapter 7. Examples are your house or car, where you have fallen behind in your payments. These are secured debts which must be reaffirmed through the bankruptcy process.
While Chapter 7 only allows you to discharge qualifying unsecured debt, Chapter 13 offers debtors the ability to resolve both secured and unsecured debts.
Chapter 13 allows filers to repay the following debts:
- Mortgage arrears
- Car payment arrears
- Child support arrears
- Property tax arrears
- Income tax arrears
- Medical debt
- Legal fees
- Credit cards
- Payday loans
- Personal loans (loans made on your signature)
- Student loans
By extending the length of your payments over three to five years, you may be able to lower the amount you owe on secured debt such as your mortgage or auto loan. All of this is arranged through the bankruptcy court.
Once you file for bankruptcy and are under the protection of the court, your creditors have no say in the matter of how these debts are repaid. In fact, as soon as you file your Chapter 13 petition, the court issues an “automatic stay” that puts a stop to a creditor’s right to seek payment through any means of communication. Any additional communications during the automatic stay would be creditor harassment.
Restructure Your Debt with Bankruptcy Defense Group
Filing for bankruptcy is a big step that has both benefits and drawbacks. It is best if you get a thorough understanding of what the process does and how it will affect your life and future.
At Grayson & Monroe, we are here to educate you on how it works, to advise you on your best options based on your individual circumstances and goals, and to help you move forward in whatever manner is right for you. If you choose Chapter 13, we can help you negotiate the best plan for you, help you avoid any errors, and help to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently.
Reach out to us at (813) 644-3730 to learn more about bankruptcy today.
Many of our clients have come across the same initial questions as they begin their journey to financial freedom. Visit our FAQ page to get some quick answers.