Tampa Bankruptcy Chapter 13 Lawyer
Under the rules of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers must provide full disclosure of income, assets and debts to be included in a debt restructure and repayment plan within 14 days of initial filing. The judge will review the proposed plan and forward it to all creditors listed in the petition. Within 45 days, the judge must then schedule what is known as a Plan and Confirmation Hearing.
Debt is categorized into three primary categories:
- Priority claims: Those claims determined to have special status under bankruptcy law. Taxes, other forms of government debt and the cost of the bankruptcy proceedings typically fall into this category.
- Secured debt: Debt backed by collateral, usually the item purchased with the loan. This often includes automobiles, boats and airplanes, but can also include expensive jewelry and artwork. Creditors will make decisions on each item, to determine whether recovering the collateral item will have a greater value than repayment of the debt. If the petitioner elects to keep the collateral, the amount of repayment through the plan must be equal to the determined value. The petitioner may continue payments on the original terms of long-term debt, such as mortgages or auto loans, and exclude it from the plan, as long as there is no arrearage owed to the creditor..
- Unsecured debt: In almost all cases, this is credit card debt but may also include debts such as medical bills and gambling debts. Creditors may investigate specific purchases to determine whether a high-value purchase may be a valuable asset for recovery, as opposed to payment through the plan. The total amount of unsecured credit card debt repaid over the life of the plan depends upon the amount of disposable income the courts rule is available over the course of the three or five years. Creditors will receive at least as much repayment under the Chapter 13 plan as they would if the debtor's assets were to be liquidated under Chapter 7.
The Chapter 13 Plan and Confirmation Hearing
The Plan Confirmation Hearing is scheduled among creditors and the petitioner (or attorney) to determine whether the repayment plan is realistic, given the creditors' demands and the petitioner's financial status. Creditors may use the hearing to object to specifics of the plan. Typically, creditors are apt to object if the repayment of debt is significantly less than they would receive if the debtor's listed asset were to be liquidated under Chapter 7. Creditors may also object if they determine that the plan does not commit enough of the debtor's disposable income toward repayment over the course of the three or five years.
. During the plan repayment period, creditors have no further right to approach the debtor directly for collections purposes. Everything must go through the courts, including discovery that the debtor failed to list an asset or failed to make payments through the court judgment.
Like the Chapter 7 Creditors Meeting, there is also a Chapter 13 Creditors Meeting that you will need to attend. However, it is not necessary that you attend the Confirmation Hearing. Your Golden Law Group attorney will handle all records, petitions, court meetings and presentations at all hearings. Of course, if you choose to attend, you are welcome to do so.
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Learn more about the advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer at The Golden Law Group to schedule a free initial consultation. Offices are conveniently located in Brandon, Tampa and Bradenton, Florida. The firm represents clients in communities throughout Manatee County, Hillsborough County and Saratoga County, Florida.