When we meet to discuss your financial situation, I’ll take the time to get to know the details of your circumstances so that we can create a custom solution to your debt troubles. For some people, budget and spending revisions and negotiating with creditors can help them to avoid bankruptcy altogether. Others may need the immediate discharge of a Chapter 7, and still others will use a Chapter 13 to get their debt under control while protecting their property and assets. In order to maximize the benefits of bankruptcy, a Chapter 20 may also be used. This is when someone files a Chapter 7 followed by a Chapter 13. There are some guidelines surrounding to this option, and we’ll work together to make the right choice for you.
Exploring Your Options
I’ll walk you through the benefits and eligibility requirements of each chapter and will guide you as we make these important decisions. A Chapter 7 is usually resolved in just a few months and discharges most types of unsecured debts, regardless of how much you owe. If you have secured debts, such as a car or house payment, you’ll need to stay current on these payments or face repossession or foreclosure. It may be possible to negotiate with secured creditors during a Chapter 7, but they are under no obligation to do so.
For my clients who have room in their budget to make some, but not complete, payments, a Chapter 13 may be the best fit. If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage, for example, filing a Chapter 13 gives you time to get caught up, and you may be able to roll your delinquent payments into your repayment plan. This means you get to keep your property, and many people end up paying nothing toward their unsecured debts. Some people hesitate to file a Chapter 13 because they will be in the bankruptcy process for 3-5 years. This type of bankruptcy also has limits on how much debt may be included.
Filing Chapter 20
One strategic way to take advantage of the benefits of Chapters 7 and 13 is to file a Chapter 20. First, a Chapter 7 is filed, which will discharge your unsecured debts. You can then file a Chapter 13, which will put you on a reduced repayment plan for any remaining debts. If you have debts that cannot be included in any bankruptcy, such as alimony, child support, back taxes, or student loans, these payments may help you to qualify for a Chapter 13 and reduce the total you’ll pay toward other debts during your repayment period.
An Experienced Professional
Before jumping into any chapter of bankruptcy, it’s wise to consult with a professional bankruptcy attorney who can ensure you maximize the benefits available to you. Bankruptcy law can be complex, but you can be confident that your case will be handled competently and completely when we work together.