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Can a Chapter 13 bankruptcy help you get out of debt?

On behalf of Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP | Apr 16, 2020 |

You were embarrassed when you went to the store and found you did not have enough money to buy the groceries you needed. You were frustrated when you needed gas for your car but had to scrape together your change just to get a gallon to get to work.

Things were not always like this. You have a good job, but a medical emergency led to massive bills that you have not been able to get a handle on. You have your own separate debts, like credit cards and a personal loan, too. Together, it is all just too much.

One thing you might want to look into is the possibility of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for people who are still earning wages but who need to consolidate their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes all of your debts that qualify and rolls them into one easy monthly payment.

You should remember that you won’t necessarily be paying the same when all of your debts come together in the bankruptcy. Instead, negotiations will happen and you may end up saving money each month on top of having a single payment instead of many.

How long does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy last?

Chapter 13 bankruptcies last for anywhere between three to five years. At the end of the bankruptcy, you will emerge free of the debts that are currently holding you back. Depending on the situation, any remaining debts that were part of the bankruptcy may be discharged after you make the required number of payments on time.

Will Chapter 13 bankruptcy require you to give up any of your possessions?

No. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different from Chapter 7, which is what you are thinking of. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidation bankruptcy, sometimes requires people to give up some of their assets. On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is allowing you to make payments on your debts over time. You will be paying on your debts, so there is no reason to give up anything you have purchased.

Should you work with an attorney if you want to go into bankruptcy?

It is usually a good idea to talk to your attorney if you are thinking about going into bankruptcy. Before you choose bankruptcy, you might want to look into other options that could also get you back on track without leaving a bankruptcy on your record. Your attorney can help you look at all your options.