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What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

According to the United States Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 13 is formally entitled “Adjustment of Debts of an Individual With Regular Income.” It was developed as a repayment plan for regular wage earners. Under this plan, you may be able to save your home from foreclosure, or you may be able to save other assets such vehicles, valuables, or vacation homes. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to craft a three to five year repayment scheme subject to approval by a “confirmation hearing.”

The amount of time you are given to repay is dependant on your income. Generally, if your income falls below the median income, you’ll be given three years. If your income exceeds the median, you’ll be given five years. In certain cases, a three year plan may be extended.

After you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, creditors are generally forbidden from attempting to collect on your debts. They may not contact you. They may not garnish your wages. They may not take legal action against you. This is called the “automatic stay.” This provision also freezes any foreclosure process, and may even protect those who have cosigned your loans.

Because each circumstance is unique, we encourage you to contact the Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A. in order to get started on your bankruptcy planning as soon as possible. We have convenient locations in Lake, Seminole, and Orange counties. You can reach us at our main office in Tavares, Florida by calling 352-243-1247 or 407-898-8822. Initial consultations are free of charge.

 

How does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy work?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy goes through several stages. The first stage is the petition that will be filed with the court. You will need to gather some information in order to complete this first step. Information required may include:

  • All creditors, incl. amount owed and the nature of the debt
  • Your income
  • Your property
  • Your living expenses

 

You may also be required to take a credit counseling class.

After filing, you will have a “trustee” appointed to your case. The trustee’s duty is to monitor the case, collect payments from you, and disperse payments to creditors. During this time, you will also draft the three to five year repayment plan.

No more than 60 days after you have filed, you will be required to attend a meeting under oath with creditors and the trustee. You will be required to answer questions about your financial affairs and your proposed repayment plan. This is a good time to make sure that everybody is on the same page. It is your responsibility to ensure the repayment plan’s success. Only in exceptional circumstances will the plan be modified or dismissed due to hardship.

Afterwards, the repayment plan will be officially approved or disapproved by a bankruptcy judge in a “confirmation hearing.”

Note that after the repayment plan has been fully completed, you may be able to receive a discharge on additional debts. Chapter 13 discharges are complex and subject to change, so you are advised to seek legal representation to guide you through it. The Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A. -- servicing Lake, Seminole, and Orange counties -- offers initial bankruptcy consultations free of charge at a time of day convenient for you. Please do not hesitate to contact our main Tavares office at 352-243-1247 or 407-898-8822. We are ready to answer your questions!

 

Who can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

In general, if your unsecured debts are less than $360,475 and your secured debts are less than $1,081,400, you may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 may be suitable if you wish to keep your property and assets. However, if your income falls below the median or is sporadic and unpredictable, or if you cannot commit to a repayment plan, you may decide that Chapter 7 is a better option.

Frank P. Remsen will be able to determine which option is best for your particular circumstance. Because each bankruptcy case is different, our goal is to develop a personalized approach that will prove to be the most beneficial for you and your financial future.

 

My home is in foreclosure! Can Chapter 13 bankruptcy save it?

This is a common question that many people ask. It is important that you understand that filing for bankruptcy may not be a cure all. However, the good news is that once you do file a petition, any foreclosure process currently in effect will be put on hold, courtesy of the “automatic stay” provision. Unfortunately, foreclosure completed before your date of petition cannot be reversed.

During your bankruptcy, you may be able to catch up on past-due mortgage payments. You must, however, continue to make current mortgage payments on time. Unlike your other debts, which you will be able to lump together in the repayment scheme, your mortgage will remain unchanged.

If you are located in the Florida counties of Lake, Seminole, or Orange, please do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A. We are ready for your questions!

 

What should I do now?

If you have already contacted bankruptcy attorney Frank P. Remsen, you are already on your way to a resolution! If you have not, you should do so soon. Because of the complexities that can arise while traveling through the bankruptcy process, the Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A. does not recommend you attempt to file on your own.

Attorney Frank P. Remsen is available days or evenings to answer questions and to provide guidance during this emotional time. The Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A. -- located in Lake, Seminole, and Orange counties -- is here to represent you and your interests during this process. Please do not hesitate to schedule an initial consultation via our online form or by calling 352-243-1247 or 407-898-8822.
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Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, PA Tavares Office
214 N. Disston Avenue
Tavares, Florida 32778
Phone: (352) 243-1247
Fax: (352) 243-4762
Tavares Law Office

Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, PA Lake County Office
15701 Highway 50 Suite 204
Clermont, FL 34711
(Directly Above CentraCare)

Phone: 352-243-1247
Fax: 352-243-4762
Clermont Law Office

Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, PA Seminole County Office
801 International Pkwy.
5th Floor
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: 407-898-8822
Fax: 407-898-8855
Lake Mary Law Office

Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, PA Orange County Office
1800 Pembrook Drive, Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32810

Phone: 352-243-1247
Phone: 407-898-8822
Fax: 407-898-8855
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