Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving Cleveland, OH
When people in Cleveland are considering bankruptcy, they often fear that they’ll have to give up the personal property that they’ve worked so hard for. It’s important to understand that’s not always the case. You could reorganize your finances, protect your assets, and emerge debt-free without losing everything by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is a lot of work. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help.
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we help people in Cleveland, OH get rid of overwhelming debt. Our experienced team located nearby in Independence, OH knows how important your finances are. We’re confident that we can find the right solution for you. From reviewing your situation and recommending a personalized debt relief plan to help you navigate the often-confusing process, we’ve got you covered. We’ll always be available to talk, and we’ll always work to make the process as easy as possible for you.
If you’re struggling to pay your financial obligations and you’re considering bankruptcy, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact a knowledgeable Cleveland Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer today. For your free case evaluation, call us or contact us online.
About the Chapter 13, Title 11, United States Bankruptcy Code
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a common and incredibly useful type of bankruptcy that individuals can file for. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 7, where a court may liquidate a debtor’s assets, Chapter 13 focuses on building and following a repayment plan. Known as a “wage earner’s plan,” this type of bankruptcy can help people with some disposable income who want to hold onto certain assets.
Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll build a repayment plan that may last up to five years. Depending on your income, your needs, and your debts, you’ll build your plan with enough time to achieve your goals. If you select a shorter amount of time for repayment, such as three years, and you need more time or modify your plan in the future, the court may allow you to do so.
When you get to the end of your repayment plan, the court will discharge any remaining debts that qualify under your bankruptcy. This means that you won’t owe anything else on those debts. However, keep in mind that the court can’t discharge some debts such as student loans, child support arrears, most tax debts, and others.
If you have questions about Chapter 13 reorganization and whether it could work for you, speak with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Cleveland, OH today.
Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Each type of bankruptcy is different, and each one comes with its own advantages. If you’re considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Cleveland, it’s important to know how Chapter 13 could help.
Some of the key advantages of Chapter 13 include:
- Automatic stays can protect you from creditors. When you start the bankruptcy process, the court will put a stay in place. That means creditors can’t take actions against you, like foreclosure. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy court protects your assets while you’re going through the process.
- Chapter 13 can give you time to repay your debts. Sometimes you have income, but you’re overwhelmed and just need some time to organize your finances. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you up to five years to pay your debts and help you keep important property and assets.
- It can be an important step in rebuilding your finances and your credit. While bankruptcy can impact your credit for a time, it can also help you reorganize your finances and put you in a stronger financial position when you’re done with the process. That means Chapter 13 can be an important way for people to move past their debts and toward a stronger financial future.
- With Chapter 13, you may file for bankruptcy again in the future if needed. Generally, you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last six years. However, if you find yourself in financial trouble again after completing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are allowed to file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also, if you paid at least 70 percent of your unsecured debts during your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you would not have a six-year ban on your ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
These are just a few of the key advantages that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer you. If you have questions about whether it’s time to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, speak with our Cleveland bankruptcy attorneys today.
Steps for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Cleveland
Bankruptcy requires many different documents and careful preparation.
If you’re considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, these steps may be involved in pursuing a case:
- Speak with a Cleveland bankruptcy attorney. While some people go through bankruptcy on their own, an attorney can help you from start to finish. They can review your situation, let you know what type of bankruptcy may work best, help you build a plan, and handle everything the court needs.
- Pull together any documentation about your income and your assets. This includes property titles, mortgages, pay stubs, account information, and anything else that could affect your case.
- Complete credit counseling. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you pursue, you may be required to attend credit counseling before filing. If you need to attend counseling, an attorney can help arrange for it.
- Pay court fees, then file a bankruptcy petition along with any forms required by the court. Bankruptcy courts may require specialized forms that you’ll need to fill out as part of the process. If you have questions about which forms to use and how to fill them out, an attorney can help.
- Submit a repayment plan. This includes information about how much you’ll pay on your debts and how long you’ll take to do so. The plan may be challenged by the trustee and creditors who are involved in your case.
- The court will appoint a Cleveland Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will manage the case, review your plan, and oversee your repayment. If they need any additional information, you’ll need to provide it.
- The trustee will likely have a creditors’ meeting where the creditors can raise objections or try to get you to modify your repayment plan.
- Attend a confirmation hearing. If everything goes okay, then the court will hold a hearing to confirm your plan.
- Begin repayment of your debts under your plan. The trustee will send statements about repayment. If they need any documentation, you’ll have to provide it.
- Complete a financial management course before you finish making your payments under your plan.
The bankruptcy court should discharge your remaining debts if you’ve made all payments according to the plan.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Repayment Plans
Your repayment plan describes how you’ll repay your debts. The court and creditors will review the plan then let you know if they have any objections to it. If they do, you’ll need to work with them to resolve any issues.
In the repayment plan, your debts will fall into one of three categories:
- Priority debts, which must be paid off during your plan. Those debts include back taxes and child and spousal support payments.
- Secured debts, which you usually must pay back in full. Examples of debt in this category include a home mortgage and a car loan.
- Unsecured debts, which in many cases aren’t paid in full by the end of the repayment plan. Instead, outstanding balances are discharged and voided by the court. These debts include personal loans, credit card debt, medical bills, and many others.
Debt Consolidation vs. Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
When people in Cleveland are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they often don’t know that debt consolidation may be available to help them. Debt consolidation may allow you to take multiple debts and combine them into a single payment, perhaps even at a lower interest rate.
It’s important to note that debt consolidation may not always be the best option. Filing for bankruptcy such as Chapter 13 may be a better way to get the protection and debt relief you need. The best way to evaluate your options is to talk with an experienced Cleveland bankruptcy attorney today.
How a Cleveland Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, let a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney help you. An attorney can:
- Review your case and help you understand your options.
- Identify whether bankruptcy is the best path forward, and if so, help you choose the right type.
- Explain bankruptcy law and how it may affect you and your finances.
- Handle any court paperwork and forms that you need.
- Draft your repayment plan proposal.
- Help you revise your repayment plan if needed.
- Advocate for your rights and your interests in any court hearings.
If you’re considering bankruptcy in Cleveland and are wondering if Chapter 13 might be right for you, contact Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, today. With years of experience helping people just like you move on to a better, debt-free future, we’ll be ready to listen to your situation and advise you of your best options.
Call us or reach out online to find out how we can help.