At Wadhwani & Shanfeld, we believe choosing the right attorney is the first step in overcoming your financial debt. Our firm has successfully filed more than 10,000 bankruptcy cases and we are dedicated to helping people get back on their feet after a financial set-back. If you need to resolve your debt, but you did not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then Chapter 13 may be the ideal alternative for you.
Should I File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a viable option for individuals who need to resolve debt issues without liquidating their assets. Instead, Chapter 13 enables the indebted party to schedule manageable payments over a 3-5 year duration to reconcile any financial obligations. Also called reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 13 gives individuals suffering under hefty debt the opportunity to pay off debt and regain financial stability without losing valuable possessions.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may benefit individuals in the following situations:
- Seeking resolution for overwhelming debt, but wanting to keep nonexempt property
- Need to pay off non-dischargeable debt
- Failure to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Wishing to avoiding home foreclosure
- Capable of repaying debt through a payment plan
- Self-employed business owners looking to retain business property
How to Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In order to qualify for reorganization bankruptcy, you must file as an individual or sole practitioner, and you must have enough income to afford the monthly payments. The debt repaid through Chapter 13 must also meet the limits set forth by Congress in 2016. The current limit for Chapter 13 is $394,725 for unsecured debts and $1,184,200 for secured debts.These amounts are subject to change according to fluctuations in the consumer price index. An individual must be able to prove they have the income required to make their payments, and must then receive credit counseling and debtor education. Their payment plan must first pay “priority debts,” including any wages, child support, or alimony they may owe, and any remaining income must go toward the repayment of their unsecured debts.
Once the payment plan is completed at the end of three or five years, any debts that still remain will be discharged, providing that you are current on your priority payments and that you have received budget counseling from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee.
Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer a debtor several benefits that are unavailable under Chapter 7 liquidation and is an effective way to provide relief from uncontrollable debts.
Some of the benefits of filing for Chapter 13 include:
- Avoid foreclosure: Chapter 13 can allow you to halt foreclosure proceedings, and give you the opportunity to catch up with their mortgage payments over time.
- Avoid repossession of your vehicle: Vehicle repossessions are also halted once Ch 13 is filed, and car payments can be included in your payment plan.
- Manageable payment plans over a longer period of time: Chapter 13 bankruptcy conveniently acts like a consolidation loan, in which the debtor makes one consolidated payment to a trustee. Because it is the trustee’s responsibility to distribute payment to various creditors, the individual never has to have any contact with them while the plan is in effect.
- You can keep nonexempt property: You can keep your nonexempt belongings if you include them in your payment plan.
- Third party liability protection: If a third party is partially liable for the debts of someone filing for bankruptcy, such as a co-signer, a special provision under chapter 13 may provide them protection.
If you have questions about whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, don't hesitate to contact our bankruptcy team in Los Angeles to discuss your situation.
Chapter 13 Repayment Plan Options
Each person’s situation is different, which is why repayment plans vary by individual income and average state income. If your income is below the median, you will likely be set with a 3-year repayment plan, while those above the median will repay for 5 years. During the period of repayment, each debtor may have a different repayment method, depending on their needs and the debt you owe. Because of the complex repayment rules, Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually takes much longer to negotiate than Chapter 7.
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Struggling With Debt? Contact Our Firm, Today!
At Wadhwani & Shanfeld, we have helped more than 15,000 clients find stable ground after suffering financial hardships. If you trust our firm with your debt issues, not only will we make an individualized solution for you, we’ll stand by you every step of the way. With over 65 years of collective experience, we are confident our attorneys can represent your bankruptcy case in Los Angeles.
Schedule a free consultation. Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld.