Ready to File Chapter 13? What to Know

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As bankruptcy chapters go, chapter 13 can be a bit complex. It's important for filers to be ready to file, so look at some tips below.

Know About Filing Fees

You must pay the filing fee upfront before your paperwork can be filed. Currently, the filing fee for chapter 13 is $313.00. This payment may be in the form of cash, a credit card, or with a check if you are going through a bankruptcy lawyer. If you are filing without a lawyer, the only form of payment accepted is a money order or cash. In some cases, filers can ask for an installment plan if they can show they don't have the means to pay it all at once.

Get Your Documents Ready

It takes a lot of paperwork to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Check with your bankruptcy lawyer first, but the items below are frequently required. The documentation provides your lawyer with information about your debts, assets, and more.

  1. Social security numbers of those filing. A married couple may file a single or joint chapter 7 case.
  2. A list of everyone you owe money to along with account numbers, addresses, and balances. This information is used to make up one of the most important parts of your bankruptcy, the debt matrix. Take care to be accurate and precise. List credit card companies, medical debts, personal loans, payday loans, title loans, IRS debts, mortgages, auto loans, and more. You and your attorney will discuss what can and cannot be included so include everything you can think of for now. You cannot obtain debt relief from creditors you leave off the list. Your attorney will help you to divide the list into secured and non-secured assets. A secured asset has property attached to it. That usually applies to auto loans and mortgages. Non-secured assets include things like credit cards and personal loans.
  3. Your budget. This includes your monthly debt load along with your income.
  4. A list of assets. This list should include your home, vehicles, and more. Even though chapter 13 bankruptcy doesn't involve surrendering property to the trustee, you must still list your assets. Your bankruptcy lawyer will help you deal immediately with assets that are in danger of being lost through foreclosure or prepossession.

Make a Repayment Plan

You and your bankruptcy attorney will make a plan that helps you restructure your debts. That means you will be able to pay back what you owe based on your income. The plan will take place over several years. To learn more, speak to a bankruptcy lawyer such as Harold S. Entes Esq.