Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for people who are looking to keep their property and repay their bills. A Chapter 13 requires a regular income that will allow the debtor to create a budget and make predictable and reliable payments every month to the trustee. This type of bankruptcy is ideal for people who have fallen behind on either mortgage or automobile payments but would like to keep their homes and automobiles but are unable to "become current" on the past payments due. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a consolidation of debts into one repayment plan and allows the debtor to reorganize the debts and pay some or all of the unsecured debt without any further interest accumulating.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor proposes a full or partial repayment plan which is administered by the bankruptcy court. The debtor makes monthly payments in accordance to the plan to the trustee's office and the trustee makes payments to the creditors. The repayment period may be from 3-5 years, depending on the debtor's disposable income.
Once a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed, there will be a "Meeting of the Creditors" scheduled approximately 4-6 weeks later. At this proceeding, the trustee will ask the debtor a series of questions and go over the terms of the proposed plan. The proceeding usually only takes a few minutes and the debtor's attorney will also be present.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is complicated and every case is different. It is very important that a debtor retains an attorney that he or she trusts because it is imperative and necessary to maintain continuous contact with the attorney throughout the course of the plan.
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