Often referred to as a “wage earners plan” Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay back your debts in full or in part depending on your type of debt over a three-five year repayment plan. Having a qualified attorney to guide you through the process will not only help you prioritize your debts in a way that will pay them off most effectively, but they will also help you fill out the extensive paperwork as well as help you navigate any unexpected circumstances that may occur.
Here are some helpful tips to make this complicated experience as painless as possible, the first being that when filling out the paperwork to be careful not to omit anything. Forms that are filed for bankruptcy are extensive for a reason; the courts want no room for error when deciding a person’s precise financial situation. Being diligent with the information you are filing is the best way to avoid any confusion.
It is also important to obtain and keep all of your financial records such as tax records, pay stubs, and bank statements. In addition to having these personal records on hand, it is important to be able to provide them to the Chapter 13 trustee or to your attorney at any given time. Once completed, a payment plan will be developed according to the total amount of debt that you will be paying off as well as the disposable income that you earn that will have to go towards paying down your debt. It is important that before filing that you have analyzed your finances and created a budget that you will be able to adhere to for the next three to five years. If this is something you cannot do you may need to realize that bankruptcy is not your best option at the moment.
Unfortunately, completing your paperwork and creating a working payment plan is not enough to be successful in surviving your bankruptcy. The truth is that once completed it is almost just as important to stay in constant communication with the various agencies throughout your bankruptcy, from the periodic ledgers sent to you by the trustees to the proof of claims filed by your creditors.
Never forget that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an ongoing process. In addition to these extra communications, you receive there is also the possibility that your circumstances can change, from losing your job to getting sick or any other monetary issues out of your control that you will need to deal with. This is why it is very important to be aware of your options, whether it be to temporarily suspend or modify your current plan’s payments or even getting permission to incur new debt or allowing you to refinance some of your current debt.
Bankruptcy can be the right option to get your finances back on track, but one false step can be the difference between more legal problems or a fresh start. Contact the Law Office of Joel R. Spivack at 856-488-1200 or by filling out our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.