Bankruptcy is a life-changing process, but then so is trying to live with overwhelming debt. However, there’s more to bankruptcy than just filing a few papers with the court. Let’s look at how to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how a bankruptcy lawyer can help.
Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
U.S. Bankruptcy law offers several types of bankruptcies, including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. People choose the type that best fits their situation. Again, this is an important part of the filing process where a bankruptcy lawyer provides invaluable assistance and advice.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally allows the debtor to keep most of their property. Debtors pay off their financial obligations by preparing a repayment plan, then making monthly payments. Many debts are at least partially paid.
A North Carolina bankruptcy attorney can help you assess your options. If you do decide that you need to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, gather your records and call a lawyer. While it is possible to file the initial paperwork yourself, bankruptcy law is complicated. People with limited knowledge of how to file for Chapter 13 (or any other kind of bankruptcy) could easily make missteps that could cause serious legal problems.
Preparing with a Bankruptcy Lawyer
To prepare the documents that start your case, you will provide your attorney with information about:
- Debts. You will start with a list of creditors, including the type of debt and how much you owe.
- Income. It’s important to list how much you make, where your income comes from, and how often you get paid.
- Property. You and your bankruptcy attorney will prepare a complete list of all the property you own.
- Expenses. Finally, the court must have a clear picture of your living expenses.
Once you gather your information and records, you will start preparing documents.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
You and your bankruptcy lawyer start by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. Most people also have to file:
- Lists (called schedules) of assets and liabilities
- A list of current income and expenditures
- Lists of executory contracts and unexpired leases
- A statement of financial affairs
- A certificate showing you attended credit counseling and repayment plan developed during counseling
- Statements of monthly income, including anticipated increases
- Information about federal or state qualified student loans
Along with your court documents, you will send copies of tax returns from prior years.
Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer How to File for Chapter 13
Filing for bankruptcy is only the first step, especially with a Chapter 13. As your case proceeds through the bankruptcy court, you will work with a bankruptcy administrator. You probably will attend a meeting of creditors as you develop a repayment plan that works for you. Your bankruptcy lawyer can be with you every step of the way.
Attorney Leslie Craft has the experience you need to deal with bankruptcy and traffic violations. Ms. Craft’s goal is always to help her clients get past their legal problems and get on with their lives. Consultations are free and only take about 30 – 45 minutes of your time. Your options may surprise and even excite you!
To schedule a free personal consultation, call Craft Law Offices at (252) 752-0297 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. My offices are located in Greenville, Morehead City, and Rocky Mount for your convenience. I also represent clients in surrounding Eastern North Carolina communities, including Warrenton, Elizabeth City, Roanoke Rapids, Goldsboro, and Jacksonville.
Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to Be a Painful Process.