How to Survive Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Here at Skrupa Law Office, LLC in Omaha and Lincoln, we know bankruptcy can be stressful. Luckily, our team of expert bankruptcy lawyers have some tips to help you get through the process in one piece! Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is designed for individuals with regular income so that they can pay all or a portion of their debts over a 3 or 5 year repayment plan. Your debts will be paid back in part or in full, but they will be consolidated so it will be easier to pay. It may be hard to do at first, but we know how to help you survive through this process.
Getting Through the Paperwork
The paperwork for Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes the petition and the repayment plan; this adds up to about 40 pages or more. In these pages you will have to provide your financial history including: debt, assets, expenses, and income. If you are not completely accurate in your paperwork it could include redoing it and an additional fee, or worst, your petition will be thrown out. Everything must be organized and in its place. File your income taxes before filing for bankruptcy. You must also be organized through the entire 3-5 year process of your Chapter 13 repayment plan. The paperwork is the most difficult and frustrating part, after you survive this it is downhill from there. However, if you need guidance our lawyers at Skrupa Law are always there to help you when you need it.
Create a Budget
We cannot stress enough that you must make your payment plans! If you do not make them your case will be dismissed and you will have to begin this process all over again, and no one wants that. Typically the amount you have to pay into your Chapter 13 plan each month is based on your disposable income (income that is not already designated for other bills). If you sit down and write out a budget for all your bills and necessities and you subtract this from your net income (income after taxes) you will have an idea of what your disposable income is and what your monthly bankruptcy payment may be. If you realize you cannot afford the repayment plan after making this budget, talk to us at Skrupa Law and we will find other options that do work for you.
Stay in Touch With Your Bankruptcy Trustee and Lawyer
If you receive mail or email from the Bankruptcy Court, Trustee, or lawyer, do not disregard it. The Trustee will send you your repayment plan statements and the details involved, if there is anything wrong or unexpected in these statements, contact your lawyer. You may also receive proofs of claims (a written statement from a creditor expressing their desire to be paid and the amount owed), objections from creditors, or documents from creditors that do not know about your bankruptcy, again contact your lawyer if any of these happen.
Important note: If you lose your job, experience a change in income, have a serious illness, or anything else that is beyond your control the court can do the following:
- Extend the length of your repayment plan
- Grant you permission to acquire new debt
- Refinance an existing secure debt, like a mortgage
- Temporarily suspend or change your current payments
- Possibly convert your case to a Chapter 7
Contact Skrupa Law Today at (402) 571-2900 in Omaha and (402) 464-3311 in Lincoln
At Skrupa Law our goal is to make the bankruptcy process as easy and stress free as possible. For more information or questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the number for our Omaha office is (402) 571-2900 or in Lincoln at (402) 464-3311. We are happy to help you and get you back on your feet.