To file under Chapter 13, you will first need to find out if you meet standards to qualify.
Secured VS Unsecured Debt
Unsecured debts are not secured by property, meaning that creditors cannot take property away from you to satisfy debts. Common examples are medical fees, lawyer fees, credit card bills, utility fees, and student loans.
Secured debts are tied by way of liens to property which creditors can seize as payment for debt.
Who Can and Can’t File
According to uscourts.gov, if your unsecured debt totals less than $383,175 and your secured debt is no more than $1,149,525, you may qualify for Chapter 13. These amounts may be adjusted due to inflation.
Businesses cannot use Chapter 13. Similarly, a corporation or a partnership also may not file under Chapter 13. If you own a business, you can file under Chapter 13, but you can only include business-related debt for which you’re personally liable in your petition.
Stipulations for Chapter 13 Filings
You cannot file if you had a previous bankruptcy petition dismissed due to failing to appear before the bankruptcy court or did not comply with its orders. Additionally, you may not file under Chapter 13 if you chose to have a prior case dismissed after your creditors sought relief from the bankruptcy court to claim property on which they held liens.
Also, 180 days before filing your petition, you must complete an approved credit counseling course.
How a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
No matter what chapter you plan to use, filing for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney can be daunting. A bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes on your petition, so consider approaching experienced counsel for your filing.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. – Bankruptcy Attorneys