Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is a type of “reorganization” used by individuals to pay all or a portion of their debts over a period of 3 to 5 years using their current income (non-exempt assets are not liquidated).
You use a portion of your income to pay what you can afford to your creditors over a 3 to 5 year period, depending on your income and how much of your debt you can afford to pay.
In order to utilize a Chapter 13 bankruptcy successfully, you must have enough income to meet the payment obligations agreed to in your Chapter 13 plan.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee does not generally sell non-exempt assets. In such cases, the filer will retain those assets as long as the current value of those assets are paid to creditors through the filers disposable income over the life of the Chapter 13 plan. Under a Chapter 13 plan, the debtor can also retain their secured assets if their disposable income is sufficient to do so. Contact us now to discuss your details and better understand how a Chapter 13 repayment plan can benefit you.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13
The majority of personal bankruptcies filed in Florida are Chapter 7 filings. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will typically last around 3 or 4 months as compared to a Chapter 13 case, which will typically last between 3 and 5 years. Some of the benefits to filing a Chapter 13 over a Chapter 7 plan include:
- Potential to eliminate a second mortgage lien on your real estate;
- Potential to reduce your secured debts to the value of the collateral;
- Potential to make up for missed payments on a house, car or other collateral over a three to five year period;
- Potential to get rid of certain types of debts that aren’t dischargeable in Chapter 7 (for example, debts owed because of divorce or a separation agreement);
- Potential to continue operating a business while you are in bankruptcy (unlike Chapter 7, which may require that you close your business)
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