Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are looking for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles please feel free to give us a call today. You may also be interested in The Ultimate Guide to California Bankruptcy.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who desire to pay their debts but are currently unable to do so. The purpose of Chapter 13 is to enable financially distressed individual debtors, under court supervision and protection to propose and carry out a repayment plan under which creditors are paid over an extended period of time. Under this chapter, debtors are permitted to repay creditors, in full or in part, in installments over a three to five-year period, during which time creditors are prohibited from starting or continuing collection efforts.

Eligibility

Any individual, even if self-employed or operating an unincorporated business, is eligible for Chapter 13 relief as long as the individual’s unsecured debts are less than $383,175 and secured debts are less than $1,149,525.

Discharge in Prior Case

You are eligible to receive a discharge in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy even if you previously received a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge, as long as the prior Chapter 7 case in which you received a discharge was filed at least four years before the filing of your new Chapter 13 case. You can also receive a Chapter 13 discharge in your current case if you previously filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, so long as the prior Chapter 13 case in which you received a discharge was filed at least two years before the filing of your new Chapter 13 case.

Credit Counseling Requirement

For cases filed after October 17, 2005, you must obtain a certificate from an approved credit counseling agency before you can file your case. This can be done over the internet and will likely cost approximately $35-$45. Your attorney will provide you with information on how to obtain this counseling.

An individual cannot file a Chapter 13 case unless, during the 180-day period before filing, he or she has received an individual or group briefing from and approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency.

Chapter 13 Trustee

Upon the filing of all the required documents with the Court (petition, schedules, tax returns for the four years prior to filing your case, statement of financial affairs and Chapter 13 plan), an impartial trustee is appointed by the court. A primary role of the Chapter 13 trustee is to serve as a disbursing agent, collecting payments form debtors and making distributions to creditors.

Automatic Stay

The filing of the petition under Chapter 13 “automatically stays” most actions against the debtor of the debtor’s property. Creditors receive notice of the filing of the bankruptcy petition from the clerk or trustee. The automatic stay immediately stops any lawsuit filed against the debtor and virtually all actions against the property by a creditor, collection agency or government entity. Especially if a debtor is at risk of being foreclosed on, losing such basic resources as welfare or unemployment benefits, or a driver’s license or a job (because of a raft of wage garnishments), the automatic stay provides for immediate protection.

Repayment Plan

In Chapter 13, along with other documents, you file a “Plan” of repayment with your creditors. The main provisions of the Chapter 13 plan are as follows:

You are paying all your projected disposable income into the plan for a minimum of 36 months, and a maximum of 60 months. The length of the term depends on numerous factors.

Financial Management Course

For cases filed after 10/17/2005, you are required to complete a financial management course before receiving your discharge. You must have completed this course (usually about two hours) and submitted the certificate of completion.

Sherman Oaks, CA

Law Offices of Steers & Associates
5900 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 270
Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
Phone: (800) 824-5416
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Los Angeles, CA

Law Offices of Steers & Associates
445 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 2700
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Phone: (800) 824-5416
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Lancaster, CA

Law Offices of Steers & Associates
1805 West Avenue K
Lancaster, CA 93534
Phone: (800) 824-5416
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Riverside, CA

Law Offices of Steers & Associates
11801 Pierce Street, Suite 200
Riverside, CA 92505
Phone: (800) 824-5416
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Long Beach, CA

Law Offices of Steers & Associates
111 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 400
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (800) 824-5416
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 9:00am - 5:30pm