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Chapter 13: The Wage Earner’s Plan

When most people think of bankruptcy, they think of a complete discharge of all debts and all property that is subject to those debts. That, however, is not the individual’s only option. Liquidation bankruptcy is Chapter 7, where all property that is part of the bankruptcy estate is liquidated and the proceeds are used to pay off creditors. Chapter 13, however, allows an individual who is working to make installments to pay off creditors over time and keep their property.

There are some significant advantages to filing for Chapter 13 as opposed to Chapter 7. The most important is the ability to keep a home out of foreclosure proceedings. Under federal law, once an individual files for Chapter 13, foreclosure proceedings are stayed and the homeowner has an opportunity to make payments to keep their house.  Filing for Chapter 13 is similar to consolidating loans in that one payment is made to the bankruptcy trustee and the trustee then pays the creditors.

Chapter 13 has eligibility requirements. Any individual is entitled to Chapter 13 protection as long as their unsecured debt is less than $360,475 and their secured debt less than $1,081,400. During the 6 months prior to filing the petition, the debtor must also have gone through approved credit counseling.

In addition to the petition for Chapter 13 protection that must be filed in the bankruptcy court of the federal district where the debtor resides, the debtor must also file with the bankruptcy court the following documents: (1) a list of assets and liabilities; (2) a list of current income and expenses; (3) all executor contracts and current leases that have not expired; and (4) a statement of financial affairs. Also required is the certificate that the debtor has completed the approved credit counseling program as well as tax returns and statements from. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 petition is $235.00 plus an additional $46.00 administrative free.

As you can see from this detailed account of what it takes to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is always advisable if you are considering filing for bankruptcy that you consult an attorney. The Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys at Ariano & Reppucci, PLLC will be happy to assist you with filing a Chapter 13 petition or any other bankruptcy claim. Call today at (602) 515-0841.

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