If you can’t keep up with your debts and you’re feeling overwhelmed, filing for bankruptcy can give you much-needed relief and a new start. One of the options is Chapter 13. If you’re considering this Chapter, you’d want to know all about it, including every stage of the process.
Keep reading for a detailed breakdown so that you get familiar with the steps and know what to expect before searching for one of San Diego’s leading Chapter 13 attorneys to assist you.
What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 is one of the most common choices for dealing with bankruptcy. Through it, you’ll be able to restructure your debt and create a repayment plan lasting from three to five years. This way, you’ll be able to catch up with certain debts and eliminate others while keeping your assets.
Do you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
To be eligible for Chapter 13, you:
- Should have a regular income
- Must keep up with your tax filings
- Cannot have secured and unsecured debt exceeding certain amounts
- Can’t have filed for bankruptcy in the past 180 days and had it dismissed
- Can’t have filed Chapter 13 in the past two years or Chapter 7 in the past four years
What does the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process look like?
Whatever your reasons for filing for bankruptcy, it’s best to hire a lawyer before taking any steps. This way, you can get answers to your questions from an expert, analyze your debt in detail, and ensure Chapter 13 is the right choice for you. Then, you can start the process:
Take a credit counseling course
Before you take any other step, you need to complete a credit counseling course which should be approved by the Department of Justice. You can get it done online or via phone in about an hour. Once you finish, you’ll receive a certificate. Make sure to keep a copy of it as you’ll need to file it with the rest of your paperwork.
Fill out and prepare the necessary paperwork
With the help of your bankruptcy attorney, collect and complete all the required forms honestly and in detail. You also need to draft your repayment plan.
File your bankruptcy petition along with other documents
Once you have filled out all the forms, make sure to print them out, sign them, and file them with the court. Don’t forget to include your certificate as well as the proposed repayment plan.
Get a trustee assigned to your case
A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to your case. They will review your plan to make sure everything is in order and that it complies with the law. They’ll also collect your payments, distribute them to your creditors, and keep track of your income and expense reports.
Automatic stay begins
As soon as you submit your documents, automatic stay starts. Your trustee will notify your creditors about the bankruptcy filing and the automatic stay. This will stop collection activities.
You’ll have to attend the 341 hearing with your trustee and creditors outside the courtroom. You’ll also need to attend the confirmation hearing to go over any objections to the plan and get it approved.
Make your payments
You should start making payments according to your plan within 30 days of the filing. Be sure to keep up with them and not be late.
Complete a debtor education course
You need to attend a personal financial management class before your case ends. You’ll also get a certificate and file it with the court.
Get your discharge
Once the repayment period is over, the court grants a discharge which will eliminate the remaining qualifying debt.
Where in San Diego can you hire a reputable Chapter 13 attorney?
If you’re looking for a knowledgeable professional and expert legal representation, you can count on our team at Law Offices of Mark L. Miller. Our specialized bankruptcy lawyers will provide you with the guidance and support you need to go over each step of Chapter 13 bankruptcy with ease and regain your financial freedom.
We’ll handle everything so that you can enjoy worry-free time at Torrey Pines State Beach. Reach out to us today and schedule a free consultation.