Bankruptcy:    Chapter 7,     Chapter 13 (Bill Consolidation),    Chapter 11

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CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY INFORMATION

Chapter 13 is sometimes referred to as Bill Consolidation.  When we file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for you, it stops

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Foreclosures

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Repossession of vehicles

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Wage turn-over orders by the IRS

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Wage garnishment by the IRS

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Nasty creditor calls

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Interest and penalties on income taxes that were due prior to your filing Bill Consolidation (unless the IRS has filed a lien - in which case you must pay interest to the IRS under your Chapter 13 Plan but not post-petition penalty).

Payments

In most cases, under Chapter 13, you can lump several of your bills into one low monthly payment.  We can help you create a 60 month plan to restructure many types of debts.  The amount of your monthly payment depends on many factors.  There are some bills that must be paid in full through the plan.  In most cases, the amount you have to pay your unsecured creditors (such as medical bills, and old Master or Visa Card type bills) depends on how much you can afford to pay.  However, we must look at your particular situation to create a plan for you.

If the court approves your plan, and you complete your plan the court should grant you a discharge.  To have a discharge means that an unsecured creditor (such as medical bills, and old Master or Visa Card type bills) whom you owed money to before you filed can not collect any more money from you.  This is true even if your plan did not provide full payment to that unsecured creditor.  Remember certain debts are non-dischargeable.  Some examples of non-dischargeable debts include

bulletCertain taxes
bulletChild support
bulletAlimony
bulletStudent loans
bulletNon-listed debts

IRS Taxes

Most of the time, we are able to help you spread equal, monthly payments over 60 months without further penalty or further interest.  However, over the course of the Plan you must pay any interest accrued prior to filing.  In some cases, you may also have to pay IRS penalties over the course of the Plan.

In some cases, IRS taxes that are more than three years old can be completely discharged.  There are exceptions to the rule that allow these taxes to be discharged, so we must discuss your specific situation with you to give you a more definite direction.

Property Taxes

You can pay past due property taxes through your plan.  However, most of the time you must pay interest on this type of debt.

Foreclosure

Under Chapter 13, if you are behind on house payments, we can stop foreclosure and usually spread the arrearage (amount you are behind) over 60 months.  However, from the day you file bankruptcy, you must also stay current on all mortgage payments that come due from that day on.  When you file Chapter 13, a federal injunction stops the foreclosure on your home.  Do not let anyone convince you otherwise.  If you have any doubt, feel free to call a federal Bankruptcy Clerk or a federal Chapter 13 Trustee.    Please see the section "Filing Chapter 13."

Liens and Exemptions

If a creditor has a valid lien on any property (even if the property is exempt), to keep that property, you must be current with the creditor and continue making your regularly scheduled payments to the creditor.  In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy there are some possible exceptions to this requirement.   These exceptions are too detailed to explain on this web page, but we would be glad to discuss them with you when you come in.  There may be some situations in a bankruptcy case where a creditor has a non-purchase money lien on property which can be avoided. 

Qualifications

To file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you must have a regular source of income and be otherwise eligible.

Additionally, to file Chapter 13, you and/or your spouse must owe less than $1,081,400 in secured debts and less than $360,475 in unsecured debts. Corporations and partnerships can not file Chapter 13 but may file Chapter 11 to reorganize their debt structure.

Federal Protection

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy activates a federal injunction.  You file in federal court and are protected by federal legislation.  The section of the Federal Code that gives you the injunction when you file for Chapter 13 is 11 U.S.C. Section 362.  That federal injunction, which is effective immediately on filing, stops the foreclosure on your home.  Do not let anyone convince you otherwise.  If you have any doubt, feel free to call a federal Bankruptcy Clerk or a federal Chapter 13 Trustee.

Your employer cannot discriminate against you or terminate your employment solely for having filed for bankruptcy - no matter how sensitive the requirements of your job may be.

Don't Be Mislead

Most businesses that are not attorneys and who offer to help you stop foreclosure cannot offer you the safety and the assurance of a federal statute backed by the federal court system and a federal judge.  Do not risk losing your home by believing the promises of individuals or businesses (who are not attorneys) offering a "quick fix".

If someone informs you that a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will not stop the foreclosure on your home, take that person's or corporation's telephone number and name.  Ask them if you can mention their name and number when you talk to the federal Trustee's office in Dallas (or the Texas State Bar Association in Austin, Texas) in order to verify such claims.

All bankruptcy fees are regulated by the Federal Court system.  Our fees are honest and fair.

Appointments

Call our office and arrange for a free 30 minute consultation with an attorney.

To make an appointment for a free thirty-minute consultation, please call:

1 800-245-5705            940-497-4448

Evening and Saturday appointments are available. However, you must call for an appointment during regular business hours.

Business hours:

Monday -- Friday             8:00 am -- 5:00pm

As with any of the other information provided in this website, this information is for general information purposes only. The information on this site is NOT legal advice, nor is any part of it provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship.


Copyright 2006 Merv Waage