What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows people to pay off their debts over a period of 3 to 5 years.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to get a handle on both your secured and unsecured debts.
- Secured debt refers to debt that is backed by collateral (such as a home or car).
- Unsecured debt refers to debt that is not backed by collateral (examples include medical bills, credit card debt, and personal loans).
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to continue making payments on secured debts or surrender certain property. At the end of your plan, the unpaid portion of your unsecured debts (such as credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans) will be discharged.
Will I lose my property if I file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
When you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are protected by a type of injunction called an “automatic stay.” This shields you from repossession, foreclosure, wage garnishment, and collection actions by creditors.
You will not lose your car or home in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as long as you make the required regular payments.
At the end of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your personal liability for unsecured debts will be discharged. This means a creditor can’t sue you for the unpaid portion of the debt.
Which debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:
- Student loan debt (except in rare cases)
- Child support or alimony
- Certain tax liabilities
- Debts that arise from death or personal injury you caused while driving intoxicated
- Debts that you failed to list in your bankruptcy filing
How much will I have to pay each month?
Your Chapter 13 plan payment is based on your income, not how much you owe.
Here’s how it works: A plan is proposed to the chapter 13 trustee after the income and expenses are calculated. You will make payments to the bankruptcy trustee each month, and the trustee will distribute the money to your creditors based on the proposed plan.
You will not have direct contact with creditors under Chapter 13 protection.
Who can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
You are eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if your debts are below the following:
- $419,275 for unsecured debts
- $1,257,850 secured debts
These numbers are scheduled for revision on April 1, 2022.
Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7
Chapter 13 – Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps you protect your assets while gradually repaying what you owe. It’s known as a “wage earner’s” plan.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop wage garnishments or levies and help keep your property, such as your car and house, but certain types of unsecured debt (such as tax liabilities, child support, and student loans) cannot be discharged.
Chapter 13 is a good option if you have a stable income and want to keep property that’s not protected by an exemption. It also may be the best option if you’re behind on your mortgage and want to catch up or you have debts that can’t be discharged (such as alimony, child support, or student loans).
Chapter 7 – In most cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to keep all of your assets, including your car and house. Creditors must stop garnishments and other collection activities.
However, certain types of unsecured debt (such as tax liabilities, child support, and student loans) cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 may be the better option if you have more debt than you’ll ever be able to pay back given your current income, Chapter 7 may be a better option.
Is Chapter 13 bankruptcy right for you?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help get creditors off your back and allow you to keep your home, car, and other property.
Chapter 13 may be right for you if:
- You have fallen behind on your mortgage payments or your house is in foreclosure
- You are behind on your car payments, or your car has been repossessed
- You are having a hard time keeping up with your bills because your wages are being garnished
- You have a large amount of credit card debt or medical debt
- You have back taxes and need time to repay them
You do not qualify for Chapter 7 but still need debt relief
Why choose the Law Offices of Kevin T. Simon?
The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Kevin T. Simon are well-versed in both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our team will help you determine which course of action is best for your situation.
Our reputable Los Angeles-based Chapter 13 attorneys have filed more than 7,500 bankruptcy cases, and our discharge rate is over 70%—more than five times the national average.
We handle bankruptcy cases efficiently while striving to keep costs low, because we know the last thing you need to worry about is excessive attorney’s fees.
Our team will take care of everything so you can focus on work and family. We will prepare and file all paperwork with the court, attend all court hearings, and develop an affordable repayment plan approved by the court. Our skilled attorneys manage your case to its conclusion, so you can rest easy.
Call (818) 783-1674 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with Kevin T. Simon, an experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does it cost upfront to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Our fees range from $500 to $1,500 upfront depending on your financial situation.
Will I lose any of my property?
No. While Chapter 7 sometimes requires you to liquidate certain non-exempt assets, Chapter 13 is a repayment plan wherein you can keep all your assets.
How much do I have to pay every month?
The monthly repayment amount depends on the amount of money you owe and your current income. We prepare your schedules and work with the Chapter 13 trustee to determine a repayment plan. This is the amount you will pay every month.
Am I eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Under current bankruptcy law, you are eligible to file for Chapter 13 if you owe no more than $1,257,850 of secured debt and $419,275 of unsecured debt. (These debt limits are effective through April 2022.)
When filing for bankruptcy, any Chapter 13 repayment plan must be approved by a judge, Chapter 13 trustee, and your creditors. That is why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Come to us for an affordable bankruptcy lawyer in the San Fernando Valley and L.A. who will fight for you.
Contact the Law Offices of Kevin T. Simon, APC to schedule an appointment with an affordable Los Angeles Chapter 13 lawyer. Debt relief is just a phone call away. Remember, your initial consultation is free.