Chapter 13 FAQ
Do not let the term “liquidation” scare you because the law has many exceptions in place which allows debtors to keep their personal belongings and in most cases their home and cars (these are called “exemptions”). Contact us for an appointment to discuss your situation. Learn more about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy below:
Do I Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Many times a debtor who has too much income or assets will not be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but can file a Chapter 13. In a San Mateo Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will repay a certain percentage of your debt over a 5 year period. The bankruptcy law has a “means test” to calculate how much a debtor needs to repay. A seasoned attorney will be able to help you figure out a proper payment plan, taking into consideration your monthly living expenses and income. This can result in the debtor paying back pennies on the dollar to the unsecured creditors.
There are a few restrictions to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy: 1) You do not qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if your secured debts exceed $1,149,525. Home loans and car loans are the most common examples of secured debts. 2) Your unsecured debts cannot exceed $383,175. Most debts are unsecured, including credit card debts, medical and legal bills, back utility bills, and department store charges.
If you would like more information on the means test and whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, please give us a call or fill out our submission sheet online and we will discuss these issues with you.
Will I Have to Go to Court After Filing?
Only a few debtors ever have to go to “Court” for their bankruptcy. Every debtor must attend a 341 meeting of creditors. The meeting is in court but is run by the Chapter 13 Trustee. The Trustee will review your case with you and ask questions to make sure you did not miss anything. We will be with you every step of the way in the meeting.
How Long Is the Repayment Plan?
Generally speaking, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be either 3 years or 5 years long. The Bankruptcy Court wants you to make an orderly repayment of your debts that won’t put you back in the hole.
How Am I Protected From Creditors?
The law protects you from creditors after bankruptcy is filed. The creditor may not call you, your workplace, your friends, or your family to ask for the money. This protection is called the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay is so powerful that lawsuits, wage garnishments, bank levies or repossessions all must stop immediately. Until you file, our firm will filter calls by your creditors so you can complete the process in peace.
I Got My Discharge but the Creditor Is Still Calling
This means your creditor is breaking the law. Creditors are not allowed to continue to contact you or collect any money except under very specific conditions. If creditors continue to contact you, each incident is an egregious violation of the law. Our office can help you take the law and fight back. Depending on your case, we can start a lawsuit against the creditor and make them pay for these violations.
If you would like more information on post-discharge collection violations, please contact us today. We look forward to clarifying your concerns and helping in any way we can.