Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: A Brief Tutorial

Not all bankruptcy types work in the same way. The one thing they have in common is a systematic process. It is important to understand these steps in order to successfully file and complete the bankruptcy process. Future posts will cover the steps in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 8. For now, let’s focus on Chapter 13.

First, you need to learn about what Chapter 13 Bankruptcy entails, consult a qualified bankruptcy attorney, and decide if Chapter 13 is right for you and your situation. Next, you must file your petition and other documents. These include the schedule of assets and liabilities, current income and expenses, executory contracts, unexpired leases, and a schedule of exempt assets. Your attorney will assist you with the paperwork. Then, you pay applicable fees to the court. At this point, you should receive a “stay,” preventing creditors from pursuit until your bankruptcy case is complete.

You must file a plan of repayment. This can be filed alongside the petition or within 15 days of filing for bankruptcy.

Next, attend a mandatory meeting of creditors, where you can discuss your situation and repayments. This typically occurs within 20-50 days after filing your petition. Next, you will attend a confirmation hearing, where the court will determine the feasibility of your payment plan, determining the outcome of your Chapter 13 case.

Typically, within 30 days of filing, you must begin making payments, even if your payment plans has not yet been approved by the court. Once your payment plan is approved, you must strictly adhere to the court’s ruling for your bankruptcy pans to remain intact. Otherwise, you may find yourself in further financial trouble and back in court due to default or a need to modify existing orders.


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