The media and debt relief advertisements make getting out of debt sound simple — stop spending, work longer hours and sell stuff you do not need in order to pay down debt. Like numerous other Florida residents who are in financial distress, you might be at the point where this type of advice is too little too late. You might now be at the point where you are facing repossession of your car or another secured asset because you are behind on the payments. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help stop repossession efforts and give you the time to get current on your payments.
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put into place. This means that all collection efforts will stop during the proceedings. For instance, if your auto lender is threatening to repossess your vehicle because you are unable to make payments, filing for bankruptcy will prevent the lender from taking possession of the vehicle — at least during the proceedings or unless the court grants the lender permissions to continue collection efforts.
Furthermore, in order to reaffirm a debt and prevent a secured piece of property from being repossessed at a later date, you need to be caught up on the payments. Your Chapter 13 repayment plan can include catching up on the payments. Most payment plans last between three and five years, depending on the circumstances.
Waiting to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not work here in Florida. State law provides that once an asset such as a car has been repossessed, you will not be able to get it back. Therefore, as soon as you are aware that your financial situation has taken a turn for the worse, it would be a good idea to speak to an attorney about filing.