Individuals who can’t pay their debts on time and face harassment or collection actions from their creditors might be able to take advantage of a legal remedy that can make their debts more manageable while allowing them to keep their property, including their homes. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, known as a wage earner’s plan, may give you a three-to-five-year window in which to repay most of your debts, after which the remainder may be discharged. At Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, we have four decades of experience helping California individuals and families ease their debt burdens while protecting their property.
Not everyone is eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To file, you must:
Before you file for Chapter 13, you will need to complete an approved credit counseling course, which will teach you about other options and help you decide if this form of bankruptcy is right for you. To begin the process, you will need to file a petition setting forth detailed information on your financial condition, including your assets, income, expenses, debts and creditors. If we represent you, we can determine if you qualify and prepare and file the petition and necessary paperwork on your behalf.
The most critical part of the Chapter 13 process is the repayment plan, which you must propose to your creditors and get confirmed by the court. Most plans allow the debtors to pay less than the full amount of their debts, but creditors have the right to object. You will need to satisfy their objections or negotiate a compromise. The court will confirm the plan if it determines that you submitted it in good faith, it is feasible and you are otherwise eligibility. As your counsel, we will analyze your debt situation, negotiate with your creditors and fashion a plan that will meet court approval.
Not all debts can be reorganized under Chapter 13. You must pay certain “priority debts,” such as child support and alimony, in full. You must also pay secured debts, like mortgages and car loans, if you want to hold onto the collateral, such as your home and car. However, arrearages on secured loans can be repaid in installments over the length of the plan. You don’t have to pay unsecured debts in full, as long as you pay all of your disposable income toward them. You can also keep some or all your property, either by claiming them as a bankruptcy exemptions or by paying the value of non-exempt property. As your counsel, we will work out a plan designed to protect the maximum amount of property while minimizing your debt payments.
Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation represents debtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients from our main office in Fresno and locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.