Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Brandon
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The Golden Law Group is a bankruptcy firm devoted to helping individuals reach effective solutions to their financial struggles. As a board certified specialist in consumer bankruptcy, bankruptcy attorney G. Donald Golden has been deemed as an expert in his field. This means that when you come to The Golden Law Group for assistance with your financial difficulties, you can trust that you are working with a team that is greatly equipped to assist you.
When you hire Attorney Golden you will receive:
- A customized plan of action
- Protection from harassing creditors
- Helpful counsel throughout the entire process
- Accurate representation you can rely on
- Minimal wait times and an expedited process
How Chapter 13 Works
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or, you would prefer not to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but still want to organize your debt and get relief from creditors, you may want to consider the possibility of filing under Chapter 13. When you file for this type of bankruptcy, Attorney Golden can help you develop realistic goals to incorporate all of your debt into one monthly repayment plan. The repayment plan will be supervised by the trustee of the bankruptcy court. Normally, the payment plan will last from three to five years, during which time you will pay consistently to establish good credit and eliminate the costs.
Learn more about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy by reading our blog!
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will provide your attorney will all records of your income, property and money assets and debts owed. You will not be required to take a means test to see if you are eligible for filing. Your lawyer will be able to immediately determine, based on your income level, non-exempt assets and debts owed.
Your attorney can work up a proposed debt restructuring and repayment plan of three or five years in duration, depending upon your level of income and the ratio of income to debt owed. This plan will be presented to a judge at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Within 45 days, the judge will schedule a Plan and Confirmation Hearing, during which lawyers on both sides will review the details of the plan and argue for any final changes. You are not required to attend the Plan and Confirmation Hearing. Your Golden Law Group attorney will handle all details and represent you in court. Of course, you may attend if you wish.
Upon approval by all creditors, which is typically the case, the judge will approve the terms and confirm the plan. The Trustee will then start disbursing money to your creditors according to the agreed-upon terms of the plan. During the repayment period, creditors are not allowed to act to collect further payments directly from you. Of course, the trustee will also ensure that you do not run up significant further debt while the plan is in force.
After making timely payments and fulfilling the obligations of the plan, any remaining debt not paid in the restructure will be discharged. This typically includes penalties, fees and interests that would have otherwise accumulated over the repayment period.
Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Although many people view bankruptcy as a process that financially irresponsible people must go through, this is not the case at all. Sometimes events occur in life leaving people in a position of financial distress, and bankruptcy can be seen as the opportunity to move forward and get a fresh start. There are a number of benefits of filing for bankruptcy and, with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can do some of the things that Chapter 7 will not allow. For example, Chapter 13 can allow individuals to strip off second or third mortgages and / or incorporate them into the original mortgage.
Chapter 13 can protect your car from repossession with a similar strategy regarding your car payments. Filing can also reduce monthly payments on student loans or government debts. You can include these costs in your payment plan and can avoid accruing arrears and penalties. Additionally, Chapter 13 does not have as big of an impact on the individual's credit report as other choices. Creditors know that you are meeting your obligations and have the cash flow to slowly pay them back.
Am I eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be an individual: You cannot file for under Chapter 13 as a business or a corporate entity. Married couples can file as joint petitioners if they consider all income to be marital income as well as all assets and debts joint.
- You must be able to meet the monthly terms: Normally, the bankruptcy court wants to know that you have a steady income, so that you will be able to meet your monthly payments. You may need to prove that you have an income that will allow you to steadily pay off the debts.
- Your unsecured debts cannot total more than $337,000: This requirement is based on the United States Bankruptcy Code. Secured debts cannot total more than $1,010,000.
- You cannot have had any debt discharged under Chapter 7: You cannot file for Chapter 7 and then subsequently file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You must wait 4 years after discharging debt in order to file.
Organizing Debt for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case
If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then the court will organize your debts into three separate categories:
- Priority claims
- Secured debt
- Unsecured debt
After your debts have been organized accordingly and your payment plan has been drafted, you will need to attend a confirmation hearing. At this hearing, the court will determine whether or not a repayment plan is realistic. Creditors can attend this hearing and have the right to object to the plan or specific elements of the plan.
Creditors typically object if the repayment of the debt is much less than they would receive if the debtor's listed asset were to be liquidated under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Creditors are also allowed to object if they believe that a plan doesn't commit enough of the debtor's disposable income toward repayment.
Six-Month Lookback Period
For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, individuals are required to submit to a six-month lookback period. The courts perform this check to make sure that there has not been a major liquidation of assets or a deliberate reduction in income in anticipation of filing bankruptcy.
Factors reviewed during the lookback assessment include:
- Tax refunds
- Retirement fund distributions
- Interest and dividend income
- Wages earned
- Significant gifts and personal loans from family members
- Bonuses earned
- Inheritance and trust distributions
If you are concerned about this lookback period, then The Golden Law Group can help. In most cases, the firm can help find a solution to make your bankruptcy petition successful, even if you are worried that you won't qualify.
How The Golden Law Group Can Help You
If you are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, don't hesitate to call a skilled attorney at the firm today. Your lawyer can attend your confirmation hearing and handle all records, petitions, and court meetings that will be a part of your bankruptcy.
If you want to learn more about Chapter 13, call The Golden Law Group today to receive a free consultation and discuss your case with a bankruptcy lawyer!