In most cases, pay $0 to get started. Filing fees and attorney costs will be included in the plan.
WHAT IS CHAPTER 13?
Chapter 13 is designed for an individual debtor who has a regular source of income. Chapter 13 is often preferable to chapter 7 because it enables the debtor to keep a valuable asset, such as a house. It is also favored because it allows the debtor to propose a "plan" to repay creditors over time - usually three to five years. At a confirmation hearing, the court either approves or disapproves the plan, depending on whether the plan meets the Bankruptcy Code's requirements for confirmation. Chapter 13 is very different from chapter 7, since the chapter 13 debtor usually remains in possession of the property of the estate and makes payments to creditors, through the trustee, based on the debtor's anticipated income over the life of the plan. Unlike chapter 7, the debtor does not receive an immediate discharge of debts. The debtor must complete the payments required under the plan before the discharge is received. Thze debtor is protected from lawsuits, garnishments, and other creditor action while the plan is in effect. The discharge is also considerably broader (i.e., more debts are eliminated) under chapter 13 than the discharge under chapter 7.
HOW DOES BANKRUPTCY HELP?
From an individual debtor's standpoint, one of the primary goals of filing a bankruptcy case is to obtain relief from burdensome debt. Relief is attained through the bankruptcy discharge, the purpose of which is to provide a "fresh start" to the honest debtor.
WHAT IS A DISCHARGE IN BANKRUPTCY?
Under the federal bankruptcy statute, a discharge is a release of the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. In other words, the debtor is no longer required by law to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge operates as a permanent order directed to the creditors of the debtor that they refrain from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts.
Although a debtor is relieved of personal liability for all debts that are discharged, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.
Our Bankruptcy FAQ contains much more information concerning Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
We suggest that you review the information on this website to get a clear understanding of
your rights and remedies and whether filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 makes sense for you.
Remember: If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation.