Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you have some ability to pay back your debts, Chapter 13 debt reorganization may be the best option for getting your financial situation under control again. Chapter 13 consolidates your debts into one manageable monthly payment, which you pay for three to five years. At the Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A., I provide thorough, detailed representation to people seeking debt relief through bankruptcy in central Florida.
What To Expect In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy timeline contains many important dates. For most people who have never filed before, the timeline usually starts 180 days (about six months) before the date of filing. Here is the basic outline of events:
First consultation with my law firm: If you are considering bankruptcy, the first step is to speak to an experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer. When you come to me, I will analyze your finances and complete the means test calculations to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would eliminate your debt. If you do not qualify, we will proceed with the Chapter 13. There are many important items to bring to your first consultation, including six months’ worth of pay stubs, bank statements and bills. At this initial meeting, I will be able to give you an idea of how much your monthly payment amount will be.
180 days before filing: You must receive credit counseling from a court approved agency.
90 days before filing: You must be a resident of Florida at least 90 days before filing. Further, you should avoid making charges on your credit card within 90 days of filing because it may be considered nondischargeable.
Filing your case: After gathering all the required information, I file your Chapter 13 petition and your case officially begins. The court enters an automatic stay, which halts all collections efforts and lawsuits against you. Creditors must stop harassing you and foreclosures are delayed, as are repossessions. The court will notify your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy.
About 30 days after filing: You must make your first payment under the repayment plan that was filed with the court.
About six weeks after filing: You will be required to attend a Creditors’ Meeting. This is an informal meeting and often lasts less than 10 minutes. Creditors have 30 days after the meeting to object to the discharge of debts.
About 10 to 12 weeks after filing: The court will hold an informal meeting with the trustee to decide whether to approve the repayment plan. As the debtor, it is unlikely that you will need to attend this meeting.
About six months after filing: Another informal meeting is scheduled. If you are current on your payments, you will not have to attend.
Three to five years after filing: You will make your final payment under the plan and then receive a final discharge from the court. You must complete one approved financial management course, and then you will be ready to start your financial life anew.
What If Your Circumstances Change During The Repayment Period?
In certain situations, I can help you modify your payment plan. In Orlando, you are allowed to skip three payments, but they must be made up by the end of the period. If your income changes, it may be possible to modify the payments (either to reduce them or increase them). If your income falls below a certain level, it may be possible to convert to a Chapter 7 debt liquidation.
What If This Is Not Your First Chapter 13 Filing?
If you filed for Chapter 13 within the last year but the case was dismissed, we will need to file an emergency request with the court to ask for another automatic stay to prevent creditors from collecting. You will also need to appear in court and explain why a second Chapter 13 would work even though the first one did not. I will be with you at that hearing.
How Long Will Chapter 13 Affect Your Life? Ask Me Your Questions.
At the Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A., I am pleased to offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients. To schedule yours, call 407-915-0842 or fill out my online contact form to discuss your case with a Florida bankruptcy attorney at no charge.
I am a debt relief agent. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.