Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a court-approved plan to pay back part or all of your debt over five years. You must have a reliable source of income to be eligible to file this type of bankruptcy. Your income is the basis for figuring out the amount of your repayment plan.
The first step should always be to speak to a qualified attorney.
Next, your financial situation will be analyzed by an approved credit counseling agency. You will be advised of which bankruptcy procedure will suit your needs.
You will be required to complete an approved credit counseling course before you are allowed to file your bankruptcy petition with the court.
File the Petition
The legal part of your bankruptcy begins when you and your attorney file the official bankruptcy petition with the court. You will have fifteen days from the date you filed the petition to submit the repayment plan with all the details of your financial situation. As soon as the petition is filed, an automatic stay is in effect. This protects you from all collection activities including foreclosure proceedings and lawsuits from your creditors.
The 341 (creditors) meeting will take place approximately 30 to 45 days after you file your bankruptcy petition. You, your attorney, the trustee and creditors will attend. The trustee will ask you questions under oath to confirm the facts about your assets, debt and your documentation. When the financial information is verified the trustee will go over the repayment plan that you and your lawyer prepared.
Once the 341 meeting is completed, your bankruptcy plan is sent to the judge for approval at a confirmation hearing. The judge will determine whether the repayment plan complies with the law and made in a good faith effort to repay your creditors. The judge will also confirm that you are able and likely to meet the payment plans requirements.
Within thirty days of filing, you will start making payments to the trustee. During this repayment period, the trustee will disburse your payments to the creditors in accordance with your plan. The repayment plan can be organized over a three or five year period.
You will also need to complete a debtor education course from an approved provider before you receive your bankruptcy discharge.
If you are facing the tough decisions if bankruptcy is right for you. Please contact an experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney to learn if you can get out from under crushing debt.