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Role of a Bankruptcy Laywer in a Chapter 13

29th June 2011
By geor22c8st in Bankruptcy Law
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Bankruptcy lawyers generally call a Chapter 13 petition a wage earner’s plan. Debtors with a regular source of income should ideally opt for a Chapter 13 filing. A Chapter 13 filing is also more beneficial if you are facing foreclosure and you want to save your home. Consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to know if you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

Debtors who file a Chapter 13 petition must submit a payment plan specifying how they intend to pay off all your debts. A bankruptcy law firm can help you prepare your payment plan. There are many law firms but you will require the services of a bankruptcy law firm. In a Chapter 13 payment plan, you can pay off each debt in installments and in some cases for less than the total debt. A Chapter 13 plan should include:

Submission of all future income necessary to fund your payment plan,
Full payment of all claims entitled to priority under §507 unless the Creditor agrees to less favorable treatment (§ 1322(a)(2)) or the plan provides for all of your disposable income to be paid to the plan for a period of five (5) years (§1322(a)(4)), and

Treatment in kind of all claims of the same class.

A Chapter 13 payment plan may be 36 or 60 months long. But the plan cannot exceed 5 years. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you prepare a payment plan. A plan can:

Designate a class of unsecured claims, providing for treatment in kind of all such claims. Unsecured claims, for which a non-filing co-debtor is liable, may be treated differently.
Modify certain secured or unsecured claims.
Cure or waive a default.
Provide for payments to unsecured creditors to be made concurrently with secured creditors.
Provide for ongoing payments and/or for curing any default on any continuous claim.
Provide for payment of post-petition claims.
Assume, reject, or assign an executory contract or unexpired lease.
Provide for payments from property of the estate or of the debtor.
Vest the property of the estate in the debtor or another entity.
Allow interest to accrue on any non-dischargeable unsecured claim.

A Chapter 13 plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court will review your payment plan. It will determine whether it fulfills all the requirements set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a) including your ability to make the payments set forth in the plan, the appropriate treatment of all claims, the value of the property to be distributed is at least equal to the amount a creditor would receive in a Chapter 7 proceeding, and that your payment plan is proposed in good faith. The bankruptcy court may consider other factors prior to approving your payment plan. A bankruptcy law firm can work on your plan and ensure its compliance with the requirements.
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