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Clearwater Bankruptcy Attorney Can Assist You With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
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Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy proceeding often referred to as the wage earner's plan. In a Chapter 13 proceeding, the debtor files a repayment plan in the bankruptcy court and makes payments according to the plan. Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps you pay off the debt in installments. If you are facing foreclosure, Chapter 13 will allow you to keep your home if you include the mortgage in your repayment plan. If you have a regular source of income, then Chapter 13 is your best option as it allows you to retain your assets unlike Chapter 7 where the bankruptcy court appoints a trustee who takes over and sells your non-exempt assets to pay off your debts.
An experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney can help you get a bankruptcy discharge. There are many attorneys in Florida but if you are located in Tampa Bay or Pinellas County, an experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney is your best option. Not all lawyers have the knowledge and skill required to get a bankruptcy discharge. You will need one that focuses bankruptcy. If you are based in Tampa and considering bankruptcy filing, you should consult an experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 13 procedure is complex. A small error can cause your petition to be dismissed. Having an experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney assist you can be invaluable. You must file your Chapter 13 petition in the bankruptcy court. Your petition must be accompanied by the following documents:
- List of assets and liabilities;
- Details of current income and expenditures;
- Details of unfulfilled unexpired leases and contracts;
- Financial statement.
An experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney can help you prepare and file the petition along with the necessary documents. An automatic stay comes into operation immediately upon filing of a Chapter 13 petition in the bankruptcy court. Your creditors cannot take any further steps to collect the debts nor can they contact you.
You must submit a repayment plan along with the petition. If your repayment plan is not ready at the time of filing, you may file it within 15 days of the filing. If your repayment plan is still not ready, an experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney can request the bankruptcy court to extend the time. Your repayment plan will require you to contribute a portion of your future income to make the payments under the plan. The payments must start within 30 days of filing of the repayment plan. You will be making the payments directly to the bankruptcy trustee who will then distribute it amongst your creditors.
About 30 days after you file the petition, a creditors meeting will be held. At this meeting the creditors can object to your repayment plan. An experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney can draft your repayment plan and deal with the objections raised by the creditors. Generally creditors have 90 days from the date of filing of the Chapter 13 petition to file their claims. This period is extended to 180 days if the creditor is a government entity. Generally all Chapter 13 repayment plans require the payments to be made within 3 years. However in some case the bankruptcy court may allow the payments to be made within 5 years.
Cram Down Provision
An experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney will also advise you on the cram down provision of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and use it to your advantage. An experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer will use the cram down provision to legally reduce the balance on a secured loan. Generally under Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can retain the collateral of a loan if your repayment plan provides for repayment of the loan or the market value of the collateral.
An experienced Clearwater bankruptcy lawyer can use this cram down provision to reduce or strip second mortgages in Florida. The cram down provision can also be used to reduce mortgages on investment and rental property but cannot be used to reduce the mortgage on principal residence. Using the cram down provision, the mortgage is split into two parts: secured and unsecured. The secured part is the part of the mortgage which is equal to the present value of the property. The part in excess of the present value of the property is the unsecured part. You will only need to pay the secured part in full. As for the unsecured part, an experienced Clearwater bankruptcy attorney can assist you discharge it by paying pennies for the dollar. This works well for debtors with second mortgages or mortgages on investment property. Cram down provision rules are complex and you will require the services of an experienced attorney.
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