Could Filing Chapter 13 Be Right For You?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy helps hundreds of thousands of people in the United States regain control of their finances on an annual basis. Medical bills, unemployment, poor investment decisions, tax liability, and many other events can lead to difficulty paying your bills. You may start receiving phone calls and letters from creditors and may fear you may lose your car or even your home. Fortunately, filing for bankruptcy can be a solution to managing and wiping out your debts so that you can keep your property and start over with a clean slate.

If you're facing insurmountable debt, call Michael Siddons today for a consultation to discuss your options. Consultations are free, so call us at 610-255-7500 for assistance.

What is Insolvency?

Insolvency occurs when your debts are greater than your assets or you no longer have the ability to pay your debts. Generally, people file bankruptcy to try to resolve their insolvency. If you are not insolvent, an attorney can possibly help you find other debt relief options.

In you are insolvent, there are several different kinds of bankruptcy that individuals and businesses may file under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. While Chapter 7 is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy, it is not necessarily the right option for everyone. Experienced bankruptcy lawyer Michael Siddons can evaluate your specific situation and help you determine the right type of bankruptcy to leave you in the best financial situation possible when your case is over. Mike is an affordable attorney for an insolvent debtor and has your best financial interests in mind.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Understanding Chapter 13

In order to make a decision regarding Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is important to first understand some basic information regarding the Chapter 13 process and requirements.

What is Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a person or couple to reorganize their debts and pay one monthly payment to the bankruptcy court that is divided among their creditors for a period of three to five years. While you may be concerned about your ability to make these payments, the court will base the payment amount on your income and expenses so that it is a manageable amount. Once you complete your payment agreement, certain debts that remain can be discharged and you will no longer be responsible for paying them.

The Chapter 13 Process

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is complicated with many different requirements. To ensure you successfully navigate the legal system, you should seek assistance from a qualified bankruptcy attorney before you even begin the bankruptcy process.

An attorney will first help you prepare your bankruptcy petition to file with the court. Along with your petition, you must also file a significant amount of documentation, including all of your creditors. Your lawyer will also assist you in designing a repayment plan that you will submit to the court. When you file, the bankruptcy court will order an automatic stay into effect, which will stop any creditors from attempting to collect on any of your debts and will put your payments on hold.

A bankruptcy trustee will review your suggested payment plan and may negotiate to change the plan based on your financial information. It is essential to have any plan reviewed by your experienced attorney who can advise you whether a plan is too aggressive or otherwise unsuitable for you. Once a plan is agreed upon, you will start making payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who will distribute percentages of your payments to different creditors. When the payment period has ended, the court will discharge any qualifying debts and you should have significantly more cash flow to cover the remaining debts, such as your mortgage or car loan.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Should you File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Many people do not understand why they would make payments for three to five years when they could simply seek a discharge through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, Chapter 7 is not available for individuals or couples who have more than a certain amount of income each month. If you have regular income, you can instead qualify for Chapter 13 as you can demonstrate your ability to make the court-ordered payments.

In addition, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can seize a significant amount of property to liquidate and pay your creditors. If you have a lot of valued property--including real estate, vehicles, art collections, investments, and more--Chapter 13 may be the best option because it can allow you to keep your property.

Experienced bankruptcy attorney Michael Siddons can provide advice on whether you qualify for Chapter 13 and whether it is the preferable choice for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Hire a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

There are many decisions to make both before and during the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. It is critical to hire a chapter 13 attorney as soon as you believe you may be considering bankruptcy. Finding the right attorney can be a daunting task and you may not know where to begin. It is easy to be overwhelmed with all of the options you may find on the internet and you may be tempted to go with the first result you find, however, this is a choice you should carefully consider.

How to find a chapter 13 attorney

Not every attorney is the same and you want to be sure that you choose the one who will handle your Chapter 13 case in the most efficient and favorable way possible. The following are some things to remember when finding a bankruptcy attorney:

  • Ensure the attorney regularly focuses on bankruptcy law. While other lawyers may claim they know how to handle your case, if they do not focus at least part of their practice on bankruptcy, they may not know how to provide the best advice and guidance throughout your case.
  • Find a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with not only federal and state bankruptcy laws but also with the rules and procedures of your local bankruptcy court and the trustees in your area.
  • Ask about your lawyer’s experience with Chapter 13 cases, as this type of case may differ significantly from Chapter 7 cases or other types of bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can have many legal issues arise and you want someone representing who has sufficient experience to address any relevant issues.
  • Make sure your attorney will provide personalized attention and provides tailored advice based on your individual situation. You also want a lawyer who will inform you of any new developments in your case in a timely manner.

Attorney Michael Siddons focuses a significant amount of his practice on bankruptcy law and has helped numerous people find relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can trust our firm will always protect your rights and interests and provide the highest quality of Chapter 13 assistance.

How Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work

How Do I Discharge My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The end goal of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the discharge of your remaining debts. An attorney can help you through every step of the way to ensure you have the best chances of achieving a successful Chapter 13 discharge.

Do I need a chapter 13 trustee?

The trustee plays a key role throughout every Chapter 13 case, including working with you and your creditors to design a feasible payment plan and ensuring that all of the information you provided to the court is correct. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you successfully communicate with the trustee for the best results in your case.

Legal Representation

How do I discharge my chapter 13 bankruptcy?

You can obtain a discharge of your debts by successfully completing your Chapter 13 payment plan. A top attorney for chapter 13 discharge will work to make sure your plan is realistic and help to adjust your plan if needed so that you remain on track for a discharge. Some debts that may be discharged at the end of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy include the following:

  • Credit card balances
  • Medical bills
  • Certain tax obligations
  • Personal loans
  • Certain legal judgments

Certain legal judgments

At the law office of Michael Siddons, we have helped many individuals and households overcome financial difficulties and start over with a fresh financial slate. No one should be ashamed to admit they are in over their head in debt; in fact, waiting too long when there is no realistic way you can catch up with payments can only make your situation worse. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you keep your home and other valued property while providing a feasible solution for you to take control of your finances.

We understand that not being able to answer calls and constantly hiding from creditors can be exhausting and we are here to help you find affordable solutions for debt relief. If you would like more information about how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you and your family, please call our office as soon as possible at 610-255-7500.

Filing for Chapter 13
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