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Debt Relief – Insolvency – Bankruptcy Information » Bankruptcy Help » Filing Bankruptcy ? How A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Plan Works

Filing Bankruptcy ? How A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Plan Works

Many Americans turn to filing bankruptcy when they are overwhelmed with outstanding debts or facing foreclosure. Personal bankruptcy can offer financial relief, but may not be the best solution. New bankruptcy laws have made filing bankruptcy confusing and expensive.

Filing bankruptcy requires assistance from a qualified bankruptcy lawyer. It is best to consult with three or more lawyers to determine which one is best suited for your needs. Most law firms offer complimentary consultations to discuss your situation and needs. Filing bankruptcy is emotional and stressful, so it is best to work with a lawyer whose personality matches yours.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) require petitioners to obtain credit counseling through an approved U.S. Trustee Program agency. Debtors are usually required to repay a portion of debts under Chapter 13 unless income levels fall below median income levels.

Debtors must undergo the ‘means’ test to determine if they must file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. This financial tool compares debtors’ income to their states’ average income levels and determines how much debt they will be required to pay.

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BAPCPA rulings state, “all debtors must repay of portion of their debts when possible.” If income levels allow debtors to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all outstanding debts will be discharged with the exception of IRS debt, child support and federal student loans. Otherwise, debtors will be required to file Chapter 13 and adhere to a debt repayment plan.

The first step of filing bankruptcy requires debtors to petition the bankruptcy court in the jurisdiction where they reside. Debtors must attend a 341 creditor meeting and develop their repayment plan. Oftentimes, debtors must contribute up to 60-percent of disposable income toward Chapter 13 payments.

Chapter 13 plans usually extend between two and three years. If debtors do not adhere to their repayment plan creditors can petition the court to request dismissal of the bankruptcy. A judge will review the petition to determine if the debtor qualifies for Chapter 7. If the judge dismisses the bankruptcy, debtors lose all protection from the court.

When debtors fail out of bankruptcy, creditors can commence with collection action, including foreclosure. Debtors who file bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure must take every action to remain current with chapter 13 payments.

Mortgage lenders can initiate the foreclosure process from the date it expired when borrowers file for bankruptcy protection. Oftentimes, borrowers are days away from eviction at the time of filing. If they fail out of bankruptcy, the lender can foreclose in a matter of days.

Filing bankruptcy has many adverse effects and should be considered when all other debt reduction strategies have failed. These can include debt consolidation, debt settlement, and credit counseling.

Bankruptcy is reflected on credit reports for up to ten years. Negative credit can prevent consumers from obtaining any type of credit for several years. Those who are able to obtain loans will pay much higher interest rates and may require a co-signer.

It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of filing bankruptcy. Conduct research online or consult with a bankruptcy attorney. When possible, seek out bankruptcy alternatives that can provide the same result without the serious financial consequences

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