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What is the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process?

Published on August 17th, 2020

Bankruptcy Lawyer

When it comes to filing for Chapter 13, you can rely on a bankruptcy lawyer to take care of the majority of tasks and issues related to the process. That said, your involvement and input will be necessary at times; therefore, it is important to take time to understand the proceedings and how they work. 

Prior to Filing

Within 180 days prior to filing a petition for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be asked to participate in credit counseling. This must be done through an approved agency by the court. In counseling, you will find out whether it is possible to reduce your debt without filing for bankruptcy. Upon finalizing the counseling, you will be given a certificate of completion that must be included in the documentation. 

When You File

The main form used to file for chapter 13 is the Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy. In this form, your basic information will be included. Any related documents that support your financial situation must also be attached. These include:

  • Your property, including homes, assets, vehicles, belongings, household items, and more
  • Your bank account information
  • Your income from any sources
  • Your monthly expenditures
  • Any secured and unsecured debt
  • Any exempt property that you can keep under state and federal laws
  • Other details/ documents as per the bankruptcy laws state

You must also include a proposed repayment plan. This is not a form, but rather a document that should be carefully drafted by a bankruptcy lawyer. 

The Initial Proceedings

Once you have filed, a trustee will be appointed to oversee the entire process. The trustee will have many duties, including maintaining communication with creditors, reviewing your documentation, assessing your repayment plan, and so forth. It is possible for your bankruptcy lawyer to be your named trustee. It is important to note that you typically must begin making payments within 30 days of filing. A lawyer can help you to understand when and how this is to be done. 

Working with Creditors

Your trustee or bankruptcy lawyer will notify all creditors about your chapter 13 case. At this point, the creditors can accept the plan or object it. WIthin 40 days of filing, a meeting will be held between your trustee, your lawyer, you, and your creditors. All parties can ask you questions about your case, and you will be expected to answer. Your lawyer will prepare you for this. 

If the plan is approved, you will continue making payments. Your case will conclude as soon as all legal obligations have been met under the repayment plan. 

Would You Like to Know More?

If you are interested in filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy, please call law firm to consult with  a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer. We would be happy to listen to your financial situation, and debt concerns, and guide you through what options may be available. In general, when it comes to debt relief, there is something for everyone. Call a bankruptcy lawyer, today for a consultation. 


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