Chapter 13 Lawyers
Klein Law Group is experienced in assisting South Florida residents with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with offices conveniently located in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, FL. If you are facing serious financial challenges and are not sure if Chapter 13 bankruptcy will enable you to better meet those challenges, the attorneys at Klein Law Group, can help. We can assist you in determining if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for handling your financial difficulties and if so, we have the knowledge, experience and compassion you need to take you through this difficult process. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can restructure your debt, eliminate harassment by creditors and prevent foreclosure on your home or repossession of your car. It is a bankruptcy option that many South Florida residents consider when they are facing seemingly insurmountable debt.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as “debt reorganization” or “debt adjustment”. This bankruptcy option differs from Chapter 7 in that it does not require a liquidation of your assets. Rather, under Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, you are required to repay a portion of your debt according to a monthly payment plan that spans 3 – 5 years. This plan takes into account your ability to pay based on calculations of your disposable income after living expenses are considered. Although Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not eliminate most unsecured debt in the way that Chapter 7 does, the debt reorganization benefits it provides offers you an opportunity to take control of your financial future and start fresh.
Deciding whether to file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a difficult process and one that many individuals do not understand. That’s why our lawyers can provide the help you need to make the best choice to meet your specific financial situation. We have experience in handling both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in South Florida and can provide you with the guidance and information necessary to set you on the path to financial recovery.
There are a number of reasons why residents of South Florida file Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather than Chapter 7. For one, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often a good option for individuals that do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Changes to federal bankruptcy law in 2005 have made it more difficult for debtors to qualify for Chapter 7, subsequently pushing more people towards the benefits that Chapter 13 protection provides. The other significant benefit to Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that debtors can keep assets and property that may otherwise need to be liquidated under Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a complicated process, and one that can last up to 3 – 5 years. That is why it’s important to utilize the services of a South Florida Chapter 13 bankruptcy law firm that you can trust. At Klein Law Group, we are experienced, compassionate and dedicated to helping our clients regain financial health. We are knowledgeable about all aspects of South Florida Chapter 13 bankruptcy law and can provide you with the information and strategies you need to restructure your debt and start fresh.
We understand that deciding to pursue bankruptcy protection, and determining whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best choice for you, is not an easy process. We realize that you have many questions and we are here to answer your questions so you can make the most informed decision possible about your financial and legal options. There is a great deal of stress and many emotions that accompany extreme financial challenges, but knowing that you have trusted advocates on your side can make the situation easier to handle and the process simpler to navigate.
We invite you to learn more about the various aspects of Chapter 13 bankruptcy by perusing the resources on our website. We hope that the information we provide will make it easier for you to determine if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. We also welcome you to call and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. During this free consultation, we will review your unique financial situation, will answer your questions and will provide you with the information you need to decide if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best way to get back on the road to financial health. We can help you get out from under the burden of suffocating debt and harassment by creditors and can help you ward off foreclosure of your home.
Call the attorneys at Klein Law Group at (561) 353-2800 or fill out the contact form on the side of this page to schedule a no-fee, no-obligation appointment to discuss Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as well as other bankruptcy options. Our trusted attorneys have offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Call the attorneys at Klein Law Group at (561) 353-2800 to begin the path to a new, healthier financial future. We provide you with the freedom to start fresh.
Florida Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Law Firm FAQs:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also referred to as debt reorganization or debt adjustment. This is due to the fact that this form of bankruptcy protection does not eliminate your debt, but rather restructures the debt into a payment plan that is based on your ability to pay over the course of 3 – 5 years. It is also sometimes referred to as “wage earner” bankruptcy, because you must have an ongoing income, since you are required to make regular monthly payments according to a payment plan. This form of bankruptcy can be a good option for those that do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, as well as those that are interested in retaining a greater portion of their assets and property (assuming they have the ability to make payments according to the payment plan). Chapter 13 bankruptcy also offers a broader discharge of debts than Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep assets and property that may otherwise be lost if you filed Chapter 7 and also provides you with protection under federal bankruptcy law even if you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This process also provides you with a way to stop a foreclosure action on your home, halt IRS collection efforts, prevent collection agencies from harassing you, and gives you time to rebuild your credit and reinstate a mortgage that is in default. May even provide you with the opportunity to strip away an HOA lien and second and third mortgages on your home. This form of protection offers a broader discharge of debts and may allow you to retain non-exempt property and assets, including investment properties. It may also be a good option for those trying to keep their businesses open even while filing bankruptcy.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are not eliminated but instead are restructured in such a way that you can repay all or a portion of the debt over a period of 3 – 5 years. In contrast, Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates your obligations to repay your outstanding debts directly but in the process, requires you to liquidate a portion of the assets and property you own to be used to repay creditors. It takes between 3 – 5 years from the time of filing through to the time of bankruptcy discharge, following a set schedule of monthly payments that you must make to the case trustee on behalf of the creditors to satisfy your repayment commitment. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a much quicker process, generally taking 3 – 4 months from the time of initial filing through to final bankruptcy discharge.
Since Chapter 7 eliminates debt obligations, it has more stringent qualification requirements. This means that some people cannot qualify due to high income levels, but may still qualify for Chapter 13 protection. Federal bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005 have made it more difficult for South Florida residents to qualify for Chapter 7 protection, thereby making it more common for individuals to opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. However, there are debt limits in Chapter 13 (unsecured debts of $360,475 and secured debts of $1,081,400) and if you exceed these limits, you may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection instead.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not for everyone, and for those who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, it is usually not the preferred option. However, there are some reasons to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The first, of course, is if you are facing serious financial difficulties and do not qualify for Chapter 7 protection. Another reason to consider Chapter 13 over Chapter 7 bankruptcy is due to the fact that you can retain a greater portion (or possibly all) of your assets and property. Chapter 13 also provides more dischargeable debts than Chapter 7.
May be a good solution for individuals that have ongoing income but who are having extreme difficulty keeping up with their monthly debt payments. The debt restructuring plan can allow people to retain their assets, come up with a manageable way to pay back their debt, and can stop collection agency harassment, late fees and high interest rates, and home foreclosure action.
The attorneys at Klein Law Group will thoroughly analyze your financial situation and help you determine the best bankruptcy option to meet your needs.
The first thing you need to do is to determine if Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection is right for you or if you would be better served by filing Chapter 7. For some debtors, it is not an option due to income qualifications for Chapter 7. Once you’ve determined that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you, you then need to file a petition with the bankruptcy court.
A proposed debt repayment plan will then be created based on your income, assets, liabilities, living expenses and other pertinent financial criteria. Calculations for the amount of debt you are capable of repaying each month will be determined based on your current and future income levels, as well as your living expenses. A portion of your disposable income, after all necessary living expenses have been calculated, will be deemed available to be utilized for debt repayment and the payment plan devised will be put in place for a period of 3 – 5 years. Non-exempt assets may also factor into the calculation of how much you are able to pay.
Once the petition is filed and the debt repayment plan is created, you will need to attend a Section 341 meeting with a court-appointed trustee and your creditors (although it is rare that creditors attend). We will be with you during this meeting and this is the only time that you will have to meet face to face with the trustee or potentially with creditors. The trustee will be responsible for reviewing your debts, income and other financial criteria and will either confirm or oppose the proposed debt repayment plan that you will be required to follow.
During the Chapter 13 process, all home foreclosure actions must cease and creditors can no longer contact you directly. You will begin making monthly payments according to the plan no later than 30 days after filing. Monthly debt repayments will be made to the bankruptcy trustee, who will then distribute the funds to your creditors according to statutes set forth under federal bankruptcy law and the terms included in the debt repayment plan. Once you have completed all of the payments as set forth in your Chapter 13 debt repayment plan, you are discharged of any remaining debts to your creditors. In essence, you are provided with a “clean slate” or “fresh start”. In fact, not only can you begin rebuilding your credit at this point, but the strength of your credit at the time of bankruptcy discharge will already be stronger than it’s been in years.
Once all financial documentation has been submitted to your bankruptcy lawyer, he will determine the monthly payment amount that you, the debtor, can make to satisfy debts. This amount is based on a calculation of current and future income levels as well as a consideration of reasonable and necessary living expenses. A portion of the funds remaining at the end of the month, considered “disposable income”, is required to be used to pay your creditors. Generally, the debtor can retain a greater portion of their property than under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once the monthly payment is determined and a debt repayment plan is put into place (typically spanning 3 -5 years), the debtor makes one monthly payment to the trustee, who then distributes the funds to creditors on a pro-rata basis.
People have many questions when it comes to all aspects of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you still have questions after reading the information on this page, please review our “Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQs” page or view the short informational videos by our lawyers that provide additional information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
We also offer free, no-obligation consultation with our attorneys. By meeting with a lawyer that is knowledgeable about all bankruptcy options, we can help you determine the best option to meet your needs based on your unique financial situation and can answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to better understand how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you handle what may now seem like insurmountable financial difficulties, providing you with an opportunity for a fresh start. Give us a call at (561) 353-2800 or fill out the contact form on the side of this page to schedule your free consultation.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a long, complicated process and the experienced and knowledgeable lawyers at Klein Law Group will be with you every step of the way as you navigate the path towards Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge. We will begin the process by offering you a free bankruptcy consultation. During this time, you can ask any questions you may have, gather information and provide us with the specifics of your financial affairs. We will help you evaluate all bankruptcy options so you can determine if Chapter 13 is right for you.
If you decide to proceed with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we will assist you in filing the petition and all necessary paperwork to create your debt repayment plan. We will also be the sole source of contact for all creditors and collection agencies, as well as the court-appointed trustee. The only time you will have to meet face-to-face with creditors and the trustee is during the mandatory Section 341 meeting (and creditors usually do not attend), and we will be there by your side during that meeting.
Throughout the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, we will serve as compassionate, knowledgeable and reliable advocates. We have been through this process many times before and will help you navigate through the often complicated process, providing you with peace of mind and the opportunity for a fresh start. Following bankruptcy discharge, we will also help you re-establish financial health with solid advice and respected guidance.
We offer legal services in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.