When you file a Chapter 13 petition, you will be required to submit a payment plan indicating how to intend to pay off all your debts. A St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer can assist you with your payment plan if you are located in Pinellas County or Tampa Bay area of Florida. There are many lawyers in Tampa area but only a St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with the best assistance. In a Chapter 13 payment plan, you can pay off each debt in installments and in some cases for less than the total debt.
Generally your payment plan must include:
- Submission of all future income necessary to fund your payment plan,
- Full payment of all claims entitled to priority under §507 unless the Creditor agrees to less favorable treatment (§ 1322(a)(2)) or the plan provides for all of your disposable income to be paid to the plan for a period of five (5) years (§1322(a)(4)), and
- Treatment in kind of all claims of the same class.
Your plan can:
- Designate a class of unsecured claims, providing for treatment in kind of all such claims. Unsecured claims, for which a non-filing co-debtor is liable, may be treated differently.
- Modify certain secured or unsecured claims.
- Cure or waive a default.
- Provide for payments to unsecured creditors to be made concurrently with secured creditors.
- Provide for ongoing payments and/or for curing any default on any continuous claim.
- Assume, reject, or assign an executory contract or unexpired lease.
- Provide for payment of post-petition claims.
- Provide for payments from property of the estate or of the debtor.
- Vest the property of the estate in the debtor or another entity.
- Allow interest to accrue on any non-dischargeable unsecured claim.
A Chapter 13 payment plan may be 36 to 60 months long. However you cannot propose a payment plan that exceeds 60 months. A St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer can help you prepare a payment plan.
Your chapter 13 payment plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court will review your payment plant to determine whether it fulfills all the requirements set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a) including your ability to make the payments set forth in the plan, the appropriate treatment of all claims, the value of the property to be distributed is at least equal to the amount a creditor would receive in a Chapter 7 proceeding, and that your payment plan is proposed in good faith. The bankruptcy court may consider other factors before confirming your payment plan. A St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer can review your plan and ensure that it complies with the requirements.
Benefits of Chapter 13
A St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with valuable tips to assist you in the preparation of your payment plan. Once you file your Chapter 13 petition in a bankruptcy court, your creditors can no longer contact you or take steps to recover their debts. They are barred from doing so by operation of law. If any creditor contacts you or takes action to recover its debts after your Chapter 13 filing, you can sue that creditor for any loss you may suffer on account of that creditor’s actions.
If you file for protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, a trustee will take over all your non-exempt assets and sell them to pay off your debts. Basically a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation process. You can only retain your non-exempt assets. However when you file for protection under Chapter 13, you will retain all your assets as long as you make regular payments according to your Chapter 13 payment plan. Your Chapter 13 payment plan can provide for weekly or monthly payments. Generally you will make the payments directly to the trustee who will then distribute it to your creditors. However you can also opt to pay the creditors directly.
Another benefit of a Chapter 13 filing is that you can avail of the cram down provision to lower your payments on a mortgage on investment or rented property. A St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer will ensure that you get all the benefits of filing under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
If you would like an appointment with one of our experienced professionals, please call one of our Florida offices.
In St. Petersburg: 727-214-0400
In Tampa: 813-749-9981
In Land O’ Lakes: 863-877-0007
You also can visit our website at www.thecolemanlawgroup.com/