To many people, bankruptcy feels like the final stop to financial ruin. It’s viewed as the last remaining option when surrounded by overwhelming debt. But there is hope even in bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 may offer the softest landing in a fresh start. Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you sort through the process and determine what path is best for you and your financial journey. Bankruptcy isn’t the end of the road. It’s the beginning of a new one.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as the Wage Earner’s Bankruptcy or restructuring bankruptcy. It is bankruptcy for those working and making money but have fallen behind on payments for things bought on credit. Chapter 13 allows you to develop a plan to repay all or part of your debts and gives you the time to catch up.
Under Chapter 13, you have three to five years to repay debts. Most, if not all, of your disposable income will be used directly to pay creditors a portion of what is owed. You may be able to eliminate unsecured debt, such as credit card payments, while catching up on your mortgage or your car.
Chapter 13 begins with filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. Once filed, the automatic stay becomes effective. This prohibits most creditors from taking further collections action against you; It halts calls, lawsuits, garnishments, and foreclosures. Chapter 13 reorganizes your debt and consolidates it into one monthly payment made to your trustee. The trustee then disburses the funds to your creditors as decided in terms of your repayment plan.
To qualify for Chapter 13, you must:
And you must provide:
Chapter 13 suspends pending foreclosures and payments of other debts owed. This gives you breathing room while the court considers your repayment plan. Keep in mind that this does not eliminate the debt. This plan hopefully frees up enough of your income to make regular payments and keep your property.
Chapter 13 buys you time to get your finances in order. It extends the time you have to repay debts. It also offers several other advantages:
As with any form of bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit for seven years. Chapter 13 may make borrowing more difficult in the future also. Finances may be tighter during the process of paying back debts. And as overwhelming as all of this sounds, working with a Florida Chapter 13 attorney can make the process a little less scary. Miller, Hollander and Jeda know the ins and outs of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have 35 years of experience helping individuals eliminate their debt and keep their hard-earned property. They can assist you in all areas of Chapter 13, including:
Getting a fresh start doesn’t have to be intimidating. Contact us to determine the path to recovery that best suits your needs.
Miller, Hollander & Jeda’s founding attorneys began practicing in the early 1970s before putting down roots in the area and joining forces in 1992 to create the Naples, Florida, law firm that bears their names. Since its inception, Miller, Hollander & Jeda has focused on bankruptcy. The goal of our attorneys and our experienced staff, established at the outset and built upon year by year, is to use our extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law to answer the complicated questions you have regarding your financial trouble and help you solve your problems. We take pride in helping clients get a fresh start.