If you have enough disposable income to pay some of your debts, you can seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Under Chapter 13, your debts will be reorganized so that you can make payments to your creditors over a period of time. At Anidjar & Levine, our Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorneys provide experienced legal counseling in the area of bankruptcy law. We can offer you guidance on how to reorganize your debt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you want to learn more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact us today to see how we can help.Pursuing Reorganization in Florida Under Chapter 13
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy. If you filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 , your non exempt property would be liquidated, or sold, to pay your creditors. There is usually not enough money from the sold property to pay all your creditors, so any remaining debt is discharged except for child support and other non-dischargeable debt. Many individuals prefer filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because their debt is erased in months instead of years, as is the case with Chapter 13.
Not everyone, however, is eligible for Chapter 7. If you do not pass the “means test,” you have enough income to make at least some payments to your creditors. This means that the law requires you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 7.
Under Chapter 13, your debts are reorganized through a debt repayment plan. The goal of the reorganization is to make your debts manageable. You are allowed to keep whatever property you want as long as the debt repayment plan proposes a way for you to pay for the property and makes provisions for any back payments.
Your debt repayment plan is based on what you can afford. Living expenses are deducted from your income to determine your disposable income. There are certain debts that must be paid in full, such as priority debts. If you wish to keep certain secured property, such as your home or car, you can do so if you can reorganize your debt and continue to make payments on the property.
You should file your proposed repayment plan with your Chapter 13 petition. Approximately 21 to 50 days after you file your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, the trustee in your case will hold a 341 meeting, or a meeting of creditors. At the meeting, you will be placed under oath, and the trustee and any creditors that attend will ask you questions regarding your financial circumstances. Afterwards, the trustee may object to your proposed reorganization, either because it is not feasible given your finances or because he or she believes you may be able to pay more to your creditors. A creditor may also object to the proposed plan. You will be notified of objections before the confirmation hearing, which is when a bankruptcy judge confirms your proposed repayment plan. You can usually work out any objections to your plan prior to the confirmation hearing.
Debt repayment plans are typically three or five years in duration. You will pay a monthly amount to the trustee, who will in turn pay your creditors. In most cases, creditors are still owed money at the end of the debt repayment plan. Once you complete the plan, however, you are not liable for any outstanding debt you may owe your creditors because it is discharged.
Reorganization provides a way in which you can manage your debt while still retaining some of your assets, including your home and your vehicle. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you reorganize and develop a debt repayment plan that is appropriate for your specific situation.Hollywood Bankruptcy Attorneys Committed to Assisting You
The Hollywood bankruptcy lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to providing their clients with seasoned representation in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our lawyers will review the facts of your particular case and discuss whether debt reorganization can help you reach your financial goals. We represent clients throughout Miami and South Florida. For a free initial consultation, please complete our contact form or call us at (800) 747-FREE.