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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Ventura, Oxnard
Wrapping Your Head Around Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to re-organize your finances. You will be able to keep your assets and property, but in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will create a debt repayment plan that will pay some or all of your outstanding debts over a period of time.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy must be completed within a prescribed period of time, the minimum being three years, and the maximum being five years. The typical goal in Chapter 13 is to catch up on payments on secured debts, and reduce or discharge the payments on unsecured debts. How much you will have to pay on the unsecured debts is determined by your monthly income/expenses.
Understanding The Chapter 13 Process
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is significantly more complex than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To completely understand how it works, you should get in touch with an experience bankruptcy attorney so that he or she may evaluate your current financial situation. The consultation is usually free of charge, and should you decide to move forward, you will pay be quoted an amount for the attorney fees. You should also be aware that the Bankruptcy Court charges a filing fee of $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
When you file, you will need to provide the Bankruptcy Court detailed information about your financial situation, including:
- A list of all property that you own, in addition to all contracts and leases that are in your name
- A list of all your creditors, their addresses, and the amounts they claim you owe
- The amount and sources of your income
- A breakdown of your monthly living expenses
- Tax information including a recent copy of your most recently filed tax return
Act Diligently Before Chapter 13 Filing
Prior to filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency within 180 days of filing your petition. You must also declare that you do not have any other pending bankruptcy case, and that no bankruptcy petition has been dismissed in the previous 180 days prior to filing.
Business Entities And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you own a business, you may certainly file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but the business itself may not file under Chapter 13. Only individuals and their spouses in the case of a joint bankruptcy may file under Chapter 13. If you are looking to bankrupt a corporation or business, you are limited to filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 instead.
What About Your Prior Bankruptcy?
You will not be eligible for a discharge under Chapter 13 if the following apply to you:
- You’ve received a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last 2 years
- You’ve received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last 4 years
- If any previous bankruptcy case in your name was dismissed within 180 days (with exceptions)
However, in certain limited situations, Chapter 13 may still be of some assistance.
Income Tax And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Taxes that are over three years old from the time they became due may, depending upon the circumstances, be classified as non-priority claims and may be reduced or discharged like any other debt. Those that are not over three years old will be considered priority claims, and these MUST be paid in full through your Chapter 13 plan. In addition, if your Chapter 13 is not paying 100% of what is owed to your creditors, the Chapter 13 may require you to turn over any tax refunds you may be entitled to.
Call An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney!
As can be seen, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is by no means simple; the information above is general in nature and is by no means a complete explanation of the Chapter 13 process. Hopefully it has provided you some insight as to how it all works, but this is not something you want to experiment with on your own. Call an experienced bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with Chapter 13. In that way, you will get the fresh start you deserve and are entitled to.