Joshua Z. Goldblum, Attorney at Law
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Chapter 13 Archives

Bankruptcy isn't an easy way out, so don't fall for that

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that enables you to repay some of your debts by following a set plan that is ordered by the court. This type of bankruptcy also allows you to hang on to certain assets. If you are swimming in debt and have some funds available for making payments to the bankruptcy trustee, you might consider this option.

Missing a Chapter 13 plan payment: not the end of the road

When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to come up with a plan for making some payment to some of your creditors. How much you pay and to whom depends on a variety of factors, and calculations can be complex, so it helps to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. He or she can usually help you come up with a plan that the court is likely to approve.

Do you have to pay back everything you owe in Chapter 13?

Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve a repayment plan. This means that all debts included in your bankruptcy are restructured and paid back through the trustee. Depending on what type of debt you enter the Chapter 13 with, however, you rarely pay back everything you owe.

Finding out whether you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

One of the biggest things we note when we speak to clients about bankruptcies is that they could have saved themselves time, stress or money by seeking assistance sooner than they did. Clients put off the bankruptcy process for so many reasons, not the least of which is fear.

Can you get easy access to bankruptcy court information?

If you are in the process of filing for Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy, you will receive mailings about your case from the court or your lawyer. Peace of mind can be a big deal when you're dealing with bankruptcy, though, and you might want to know more about what's going on or keep a closer watch on your case. While it's always advisable to open lines of communication with your lawyer, you can also create a free account with the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.

Even the Internal Revenue Service complies with Chapter 13

Tax debt can be one of the most frightening types of debts to deal with because the collection of such debt is backed by the power of the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS can do things when collecting debt that other creditors sometimes can't, and although most people won't end up in jail just because they owe taxes, prison time isn't completely out of the realm of possibilities if the IRS believes you purposely tried to avoid tax burdens via fraud. You do have options for relief when facing back logged tax debt, though, and one of those in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Do you need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Part of the determination on whether you can file bankruptcy -- and which type of bankruptcy you must file -- is made by going through the process of the means test. The means test is standardized by paperwork that has to be completed when you file a bankruptcy petition. This paperwork can seem complex and overwhelming, but experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help you quickly and accurately complete it.

Will a loan modification cause a problem with a Chapter 13 plan?

One reason many people file Chapter 13 bankruptcies is to save their homes. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan can take between three and five years, which means you are making payments to the bankruptcy trustee during that time. Your mortgage payment might be included in that plan, or it might not, depending on the specific needs of your case.

You do have some power over debt collection calls

Debt collection calls can become disheartening very quickly. If you are attempting to find a way to deal with your debt, constant calls from collectors can be stressful and can actually cause you to make decisions outside of your plan. You might agree to make a payment you can't really afford at the time simply to stop the person from making more phone calls.

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