How To Get Through A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy With Your Life Intact
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that can take up to five years. In this type of bankruptcy, you will be responsible for repaying your debts. While filing for bankruptcy is never a good thing, chapter 13 allows you to show that you did keep your promise to your creditors and were eventually able to repay them at least some of the money they were owed. Bankruptcy court can be a complicated process. If you are thinking of filing for this type of bankruptcy, here are some tips to help you get through to the other side.
Hire an Attorney
If you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, your creditors will be given an opportunity to respond in court to your repayment plan. You need someone on your side who understands the legal system and can ensure that your repayment plan is fair not just to the creditors but to you as well. Bankruptcy attorneys are almost a must-have when filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy if you want to ensure you get the best deal possible. A good bankruptcy attorney can make sure all of your paperwork is accurate and will help you react to any unexpected developments with ease.
Figure Out Your Budget
One reason many people end up in bankruptcy is because of a failure to manage their money properly. Because chapter 13 will have you repaying your debts, you will be required to submit a budget to the court. You typically will be allowed to protect any money you receive that goes towards essential living expenses like your rent or grocery bill. The court will, however, expect you to use a good chunk of your disposable income to repay your debt. Talk with your lawyer about your sources of income and living expenses and he or she will help draft up a budget that will allow you repay your debts without having to give up every single spare penny to your creditors. Most importantly, once the budget is set, make sure you are fiscally responsible and stick to the plan.
Communicate and Respond as Needed
If you experience any life changes that affect your income, you need to let your lawyer and the court know as soon as possible. You also need to watch out for creditors filing claims that may object to some part of your plan or even creditors that continue to contact you outside of the court proceedings. If you are getting hassled by a creditor with phone calls or letters even after they have agreed to the plan in court, let your lawyer know immediately.
Filing for bankruptcy is obviously not a fun experience but it can actually serve as fresh start to help you get back control of your life. When filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy, make sure you hire a good attorney to help you through the process. A good bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you plan out a budget for your chapter 13 process that won't leave you living like a pauper, and he or she can also help you respond as needed to any overzealous creditors. For more information, contact a company like Reppe Law Office.