In many circumstances, time is an invaluable resource.
You may have wished to add a few extra hours to a day to sleep (or get more work done). Or maybe you have fantasized about an 8-day week, with an extra weekend day to spend at your leisure.
Sadly, time is a non-renewable resource, and once it is gone, you can’t have it back.
If you struggle with debt, the march of time can be especially frustrating. Interest rates cause your balances to compound, turning time into an obstacle. Even if you make regular payments towards your debts, you can still find your liability growing.
How can you hope to get out of debt when your balances grow each day? And how can a Mission Hills lawyer help?
If you have a steady income and believe you could pay down your debt given some extra time, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be right for you.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 is a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that can give you extra time to pay off your debts. Your overall balances could also be lessened under such an agreement.
Individuals and sole proprietors can file for debt relief under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Unlike with Chapter 7, your personal assets will not be liquidated – there is no risk of losing your home, car, or other property. However, if your assets have equity, you may have to repay that amount of equity to your creditors during the span of your Chapter 13 plan.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay arises, prohibiting creditors from attempting to collect payments, repossess your property, garnish your wages, file a lawsuit against you, or impose a bank levy. Generally, the automatic stay lasts as long as you remain in bankruptcy.
A court-appointed trustee will assess your full financial picture, including your assets, debts, necessary expenses, and income. They will determine if your proposed repayment plan is reasonable, or if you will have to pay more towards your debts each month.
The terms of your Chapter 13 plan will be from 3 to 5 years, depending on your income. Your overall debts will be discounted, meaning you could end-up owing a fraction of your original balances.
If you make your payments on time throughout the terms of your payment plan, any remaining unsecured debts will be discharged. There are exceptions, such as student loan obligations, tax liabilities, and criminal fines.
While in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will continue to pay necessary expenses such as:
- Mortgage or rent
- Car loan
- Child support
Some debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 13 bankruptcy in California, such as child support, alimony, court fees, and more. In some cases, student loan debts can be forgiven. However, current laws make the discharge of student loans very difficult.
Can I File For Chapter 13 Myself?
Over 66% of Chapter 13 cases fail nationwide, meaning that the plan is never completed. That percentage increases to almost 100% when a debtor is not represented by an attorney in Chapter 13. It is possible to file for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney or tax professional. However, there are many risks involved.
Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process and can be confusing for people who are not intimately familiar with federal and state bankruptcy codes.
It is easy for laypeople to make mistakes in their filings, causing them to be rejected.
By working with a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy who has an extensive working relationship with the Chapter 13 trustees in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and Riverside, you ensure that your petition is correct, meaning that there is a greater likelihood that your plan will be approved.
Why Choose a Bankruptcy Law Firm Located in Mission Hills?
The Law Offices of Larry D. Simons is located in Mission Hills, adjacent to the 405 Freeway and is accessible by the Devonshire Street exit. We have helped thousands of San Fernando Valley residents navigate the bankruptcy process and discharge their debts.
We are a boutique law firm that works intimately with our clients. Unlike some other practices, your case will not be handed-off to paralegals. Our attorneys work directly with our clients, and you can be sure any advice you receive is accurate.
Rely On Your Local Bankruptcy Experts
You don’t have to go into Los Angeles to receive expert advice. Our Mission Hills attorneys are nationally recognized by Super Lawyers for our effectiveness and commitment to our clients.
Contact the Law Offices of Larry Simons right now to learn how Chapter 13 bankruptcy could benefit you.
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