Chapter 13 was created to help individuals who are facing a financial crisis and want to keep certain assets. Although filing this Chapter of bankruptcy may be able to prevent a vehicle from being repossessed or a home from being foreclosed, it is important that individuals understand Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules before they file.
When a person files Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay protects them from creditors. The automatic stay is nothing more than a court order. This court order prohibits creditors from contacting you about debt you included in your filing until your case is over. However, you must not only file for Chapter 13, you must also meet the rules the court has made regarding your case.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you file and ensure you meet the requirements and understand the Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules that are relevant to your case.
Who Is Eligible To File Chapter 13?
This Chapter of bankruptcy is not an option for everyone. You must qualify to file Chapter 13. These qualifications include:
- Have steady income so the court can predetermine your repayment amount
- Disposable income should be enough so you can pay living expenses while also making repayment
- Be within the limits for secure debts and unsecure debts
These rules apply only to Chapter 13 filings. Remember, they may not be applicable to you if you decide to file Chapter 7. The automatic stay grants protections to payments you make under Chapter 13. In order for the automatic stay to apply to your case, you must meet all qualifications.
Rules Prior To Filing
If you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a Credit Counseling Briefing. The briefing must be completed at a credit counseling agency that is approved by the U.S. Trustees. Once you have completed the briefing, you will receive a certificate that your attorney will file along with your other paperwork and your petition. The court may dismiss your case if your petition does not accompany with your certificate.
Rules before Discharge
In addition to making your payments on time, you will also be required to take a course in financial management before your bankruptcy case is discharged. A trustee of the court must approve the course. Your bankruptcy attorney will help you find an approved course in your area.
Deciding to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is just the beginning of the bankruptcy process. You must understand Chapter 13 rules so you will not have to deal with any complications or delays along the way. Retain a bankruptcy attorney so you will have a legal representative helping you navigate the court system and begin the process of financial recovery.
Do not make the mistake of filing bankruptcy on your own. Schedule a consultation with one of the experienced attorneys at Douglas Jacobson Law Firm and get the professional legal advice you need.