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Monday, February 16, 2009

Things To Know About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Laws

By John Steed

A person's debt is reorganized for repayment. To be eligible for this type of bankruptcy, you must have a steady source of income from which you can make monthly payments to your creditors for the next 3-5 years. How much you have to pay back and what your monthly payments will be are determined by the bankruptcy court and based on things like how much money you owe, how much money your creditors would have received had you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you can afford to pay per month.

Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who want to pay their debts, but need some time to do so. To be eligible for this type of bankruptcy, you must have a steady source of income from which you can make monthly payments to your creditors for the next 3-5 years. How much you have to pay back and what your monthly payments will be are determined by the bankruptcy court and based on things like how much money you owe, how much money your creditors would have received had you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you can afford to pay per month.

Unlike a Chapter 7 filing, is that the debtor is required to follow a rigid repayment schedule making payments on both unsecured and secured debt for years to come are the draw back of a Chapter 13 filing. During this period of repayment, the bankruptcy proceeding remains open and it is often difficult for the debtor to get a credit card or even open a checking account.

Exactly how much debt will be forgiven under a Chapter 13 repayment plan and how much debt must be repaid depends on the financial circumstances and ability to of the debtor to repay the debt. The repayment is generally classified in terms of percentage, for example 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% forgiveness of unsecured debt. The remaining percentage is paid through a court ordered payment plan monitored by the court appointed trustee. The debtor's secured debt is generally monitored by the plan and must continue to be paid by the debtor. Primarily, this type of filing prevents the distribution and/or sale of many nonexempt assets such as consumer goods purchased with a credit card. An individual person can file a chapter 11, but this should be done only in rare cases where there are many assets. The legal fees associated with the more complex Chapter 11 filings can be astounding.

Exactly how much debt will be forgiven under a Chapter 13 repayment plan and how much debt must be repaid depends on the financial circumstances and ability to of the debtor to repay the debt. The repayment is generally classified in terms of percentage, for example 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% forgiveness of unsecured debt. The remaining percentage is paid through a court ordered payment plan monitored by the court appointed trustee. The debtor's secured debt is generally monitored by the plan and must continue to be paid by the debtor. Primarily, this type of filing prevents the distribution and/or sale of many nonexempt assets such as consumer goods purchased with a credit card.

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