If you find yourself in a remarkably tough financial situation, you are probably ready to consider your options. Chances are, you’ve heard of Chapter 13 bankruptcy before, but do you know what it means? If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to pay back all or most of the debt that you owe to your creditors, usually over the course of 3 to 5 years. If this seems like it may work for you, read on to learn more.
Do I qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
There are three main qualifications to be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. They are as follows:
- You must have a regular income, whether you have a standard income, are self-employed or operate in an unincorporated business.
- You must have less than $383,175 in unsecured debts
- You must have less than $1,149,525 in secured debts.
You cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if another petition was dismissed within 180 days. You must also receive credit counseling from a state-approved agency within 180 days prior to the filing.
Can I protect my home from foreclosure by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Fortunately, you can. This is a huge sigh of relief for many people. Essentially, you will file a petition with the Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey. The debtor must file documents such as:
- Information regarding finances
- Information regarding assets, property, and liability
- A statement of financial affairs
- A list of executory contracts and unexpired leases
In addition, the following documents will also need to be filed:
- Proof of any payments from employers withing 60 days prior to filing
- Proof of credit counseling and any plan developed through the consultation
- Information about monthly net income and any possible rise in income or expenditures after filing
- A report of any interest the debtor has in-state or federally-qualified education or tuition accounts
Once you have done so, you will be issued an automatic stay, barring creditors from contacting you and stopping forclosure on your house immediately.
What does the rest of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process look like?
A few weeks later, the trustee will hold a Meeting of Creditors. Here, you and your attorney will be asked questions in order to establish a clear picture of your financial situation. Creditors may also ask questions on a limited basis. You will usually establish a repayment plan, which will then have to be approved by the court. A judge will decide on the plan within 45 days of the Meeting of Creditors.
Contact our New Jersey firm
Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 20 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.