Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as ‘wage earners' bankruptcy. This is because it gives individuals the ability to rebuild their existing financial situation with their current wage, rather than restart. All assets remain with the debtor, and all debts. The bankruptcy court helps the debtor to organize their finances and create a repayment plan for all debts.


There are a few strict requirements for filing chapter 13 bankruptcy. Before an individual attempts to file, they must check their eligibility according to these requirements. The requirements are:

  • Less than $336,900 of unsecured debt
  • Less than $1,010,650 of secured debt
  • At least 180 days since last attempt (if multiple exist)
  • Ability to make substantial monthly payments to repay debts
  • Completed the previous tax year's taxes

Can Attorneys and Lawyers Help?

There is no difference between an attorney and a lawyer in America. They usually have specialized areas where they do most of their cases. There are bankruptcy specific attorneys and lawyers. A chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will have all knowledge associated with bankruptcy and experience with numerous bankruptcy cases. These chapter 13 lawyers will help with every step of the process, and though they carry a high price, it is offset.

Using a legal professional will most likely reduce the heavy court costs with their ability to finish a case faster than an individual on their own will. There is an extensive amount of paperwork required by the court. Sole individuals may easily be overwhelmed by the volume and complexity. A chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will have the experience necessary to successfully work through all of it with the individual.

Filing Process

The procedure that is mandatory to file for bankruptcy is somewhat daunting. The volume of paperwork that must be completed and financial history information that must be attained and presented is enormous. Chapter 13 lawyers that know how to file chapter 13 as quickly and easily as possible can be hired to ease the process. Even before the initial filing attempt, individuals must attend credit counseling as a last attempt to avoid the impending bankruptcy.


A debtor must first present a petition to file for bankruptcy to the court. This is essential just a formal way of asking the court for bankruptcy. Along with the petition, debtors must provide:

  • All tax transcripts of the previous tax year
  • List of all assets and liabilities
  • Paperwork of current income and spending
  • List of any standing leases and executor contracts
  • Proof of credit counseling
  • Any employer payments in the 60 days prior
  • A statement of overall financial matters

Bankruptcy specific legal professionals know how to file chapter 13 in the most effective manner possible because they are familiar with all of these things.


Filing the petition and all the paperwork to be granted bankruptcy comes at a cost. Besides the varying court costs, debtors must pay to initial fees. There is a $150 case filing fee, and a $39 miscellaneous fee.

End Result

If successful, a bankruptcy trustee is assigned to the case. This trustee works with through the court with the debtor and creditors to formulate an efficient plan to repay debts within a 3 to 5 year period. An ‘automatic stay' is also enforced. This mandates the creditors to refrain from attempts to reclaim debts from the debtor. They must go through the court after bankruptcy is filed.

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