CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
Control of Your Finances
Let Us Help You File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Are you behind on your mortgage payments or already in foreclosure? File for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save your home, catch up on your past due payments and pay off some or all your unsecured debts while keeping your assets.
Our firm offers personalized bankruptcy services that are tailored specifically to your financial situation. If bankruptcy is not the right choice for you, we’ll refer you to legitimate credit counseling agencies. Get in touch with Simonetta & Associates, P.C. to learn more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Commonly Asked Questions About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
1. What is the difference between Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 is also called straight liquidation. In Chapter 7, we can usually eliminate unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills, repossession deficiencies, and signature loans, which allows you to get a fresh start, and financial independence.
Chapter 13 is also called debt consolidation or the wage earners plan. Chapter 13 is primarily designed to allow you to stop foreclosures and repossessions and to make up the back payments in a 36 to 60-month plan. In Chapter 13, we can also consolidate other bills such as your car payment, whereby you only pay the value of the car, and not the loan balance. Other debt that can be consolidated includes tax debts, student loans, and child support or alimony arrears.
2. Do I qualify for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
As long as you have a regular source of income, you should qualify to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
3. Are certain debts dischargeable in Chapter 13 that are not dischargeable in Chapter 7?
4. Will I lose any property?
You shouldn’t lose any property in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, unless the property is not necessary for an effective reorganization.
5. Do I have to list all my creditors?
Yes. The bankruptcy law requires you to list all of your creditors. Bankruptcy schedules are signed under the penalty of perjury and you will be asked under oath at the meeting of creditors if all debts were listed.
6. Can I transfer ownership of my assets to someone else prior to filing bankruptcy so I don’t lose them in bankruptcy?
No. These type of transfers within one year of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will almost always be considered fraudulent and could result in loss of your Chapter 7 discharge. You could also be subjected to criminal prosecution.
7. If I am married, can I file separately, even if a foreclosure has begun, and both names are on the mortgage?
Yes. If one of the spouses does not need to be in bankruptcy, other than for the foreclosure, that spouse can remain out of the bankruptcy.
8. Will my bankruptcy affect a co-signer on the debt?
If the debt is not paid in full under the Chapter 13 plan, the creditor may continue to try to collect the debt from the co-signor.
9. What is the meeting of creditors?
This is a scheduled meeting which takes place approximately 30 days after your bankruptcy has been filed with the court. It is not before a judge, but before a Trustee, which is usually a lawyer appointed by the court to oversee your case. The Trustee has the opportunity to ask you questions under oath about your assets and debts, which usually lasts five minutes or less. Creditors are also allowed to attend and ask you questions as well, although they rarely attend.
10. How long does it take?
The minimum period of reorganization is 36 months, and the maximum period of reorganization is 60 months.
11. How many times will I have to go to court?
Once. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy you only have to go before the Chapter 13 trustee once. This is commonly called the meeting of creditors. Although creditors rarely appear. You do not have to appear before the Judge.
12. What is a Chapter 13 Plan?
This is a plan prepared by your attorney in which the method and amount of repayment of your debts is outlined and proposed. The amount to be repaid is dependent upon your assets, disposable income, secured debt, and arrearage owed.
13. When is the first Chapter 13 Plan payment due?
The first payment is due thirty (30) days after the Chapter 13 plan is filed. The Chapter 13 plan is usually filed with the initial bankruptcy petition.
14. How long does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy remain on my credit bureau report?
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be kept in the public records section of your credit report for 10 years.
15. Can my employer fire me for filing bankruptcy?
No. Federal law 11 U.S.C. 525 precludes a public or private employer from discriminating against any employee for filing bankruptcy.