Bankruptcy is an important, but easily misunderstood process. If not approached carefully, it can cause enormous harm to the individual attempting to use it, rather than offering much needed relief.
If you believe that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right choice for your situation, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney before you make any desperate moves that could cause you further difficulties.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies are very complex, and without proper guidance, you may miss important discharges, or worse, falsely believe that your debt is dischargeable when it isn't.
Each person considers bankruptcy for slightly different reasons, but ultimately it is not wise to attempt without proper assistance, regardless of your reasons.
With the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can rest assured that your rights remain secure as you rebuild your life and use the law to fight for you.
How does Chapter 13 differ from Chapter 7?
These days, most individuals who choose to file bankruptcy pursue either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While they both offer relief from overwhelming debt, they do so in very different ways, and neither of them allow a debtor to simply wash his or her hands of all debt obligations.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating certain assets to pay creditors some or all of a debt, while Chapter 13 allows a debtor to create a repayment plan to repay some or all of their debts.
Also, Chapter 13 allows a debtor to discharge a slightly larger collection of debts, including some debts incurred in personal injury or property damage lawsuits, or debts incurred in a property division settlement.
What if I cannot complete the payment plan once I start it?
This is one of the primary reasons it is so crucial to seek proper guidance when considering filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you reach the point in the process where a judge agrees to your repayment plan and then you find that you cannot complete the plan, you have very limited options.
In some cases, a judge may agree to a hardship discharge, which allows a debtor to discharge some of his or her debts entirely, but only after meeting certain conditions.
Typically, hardship discharges only come into play when the debtor can demonstrate that they cannot complete their repayment plan due to circumstances beyond their control, that it is not possible to modify the plan, and that debtors have already received a portion of their repayment.
Get the help you need to make the most of your discharge
Bankruptcy can be an incredible opportunity to create a fresh start, but the guidelines and limitations are rarely flexible. It is usually most effective to approach bankruptcy with the guidance of an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of bankruptcy law and can help keep your rights and privileges secure throughout the process.