Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be one of the most stressful and emotionally difficult things to do. With bills piling up and debt collectors knocking down your door, it can seem like there’s nowhere left to turn.
Some may see filing for bankruptcy as the end of your financial future. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can get a fresh start towards rebuilding your finances.
Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Cravens and Noll understand the difficulty of this process. That’s why we work closely with our clients and advise them every step of the way when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our goal is to get you the debt relief that you deserve and need, giving you a financial fresh start and peace of mind.
Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your bankruptcy case with our expert attorneys.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
While there are multiple types of bankruptcy, the most common for people with debt are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually filed by people who are in serious debt with limited income and who do not own property with much equity in that property (ex – own a house but owe on the mortgage close to the same amount as the value of the home.)
On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as wage earner’s debt, is for people with a regular income but are seriously behind on their debt payments. Unlike Chapter 7, you get to keep your assets and property as you repay your debts.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney will work with you throughout the filing process, making sure you gather all the necessary information and submit the correct documents.
They will also help you navigate any meetings with creditors as you set up your repayment plan.
How do I File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Richmond?
Before you begin the filing process, it’s important to meet with a bankruptcy attorney first. A reliable and knowledgeable attorney will be able to walk you through the process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
By looking out for your financial and personal interests, a lawyer makes sure your filing goes smoothly to ensure you can quickly begin rebuilding your income.
After meeting with an attorney, it’s time to actually file for bankruptcy. In Virginia, the court filing fee is $310.00 to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A majority of owe attorney fee is wrapped into the repayment plan. There are also many documents and pieces of information you need to provide to the court.
- A complete list of your creditors and the amount owed for their claims
- A list of your sources of income and how much you make through each
- A full list of your property and any contracts or leases in your name
- A detailed list of your monthly living expenses
- Your past tax information, specifically your most recent federal and state tax returns and a statement of any unpaid taxes.
You must also propose a repayment plan that will need to be approved in court by a judge. Create the repayment plan with your attorney so you can guarantee that it will follow the requirements of the bankruptcy code.
Creditors can attend the hearing and object to your plan. They can also ask you questions about the specifics of your plan. With an attorney on your side, they can make sure your rights and interests are protected.
While the creditors can question your plan, the judge has final approval.
Drawbacks to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
While filing for bankruptcy can seem like the only option to repay your debts, it’s important to understand the consequences and risks associated with it.
Filing for any chapter of bankruptcy immediately affects your credit score once.
With bankruptcy on your credit report, it can be difficult to get approved for a loan. It’s not impossible to receive one, but your interest rates will be higher than normal.
Luckily, bankruptcy does not stay on your credit report forever. Chapter 13, in particular, stays on your credit report for seven years.
Another thing to consider is that Chapter 13 does not get rid of your debts. You still have to pay them over a period of 3-5 years while still paying your other monthly bills and loans. However, you may not be required to pay back 100% of your debt during this time. Depending on the circumstances, you may only be required to pay back a very small percentage of your unsecured debts (ex. credit cards, medical bills, etc…)
Your Chapter 13 Attorneys in Richmond, VA
Before you settle on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to make sure that you can support yourself while keeping up with your payments. Meeting with the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Cravens and Noll can help you make the right decision.
We will work with you during every step of the process. From deciding if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, all the way to defending your rights in court, we’re here to advise you on the best course of action for your financial situation. Our attorneys care about getting you back on your feet so you can enjoy your life, debt-free.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with our Chapter 13 lawyers.