Broward County FL Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to restructure your debts so that you can begin rebuilding your credit and regaining financial solvency.
If you are in foreclosure or behind on your mortgage or car payments and need time to catch up on the payments, you may want to consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case as we can oftentimes STOP a Foreclosure!
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to allow consumer debtors to repay only the amount of unsecured debt that they can reasonably afford to repay over a three to five year term. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case may be appropriate if you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or if you owe arrearages on a mortgage and would like to keep your home, or if you have a small business and need to restructure your business debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not available to corporations or other business entities.
One important advantage of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that, in some circumstances, it is possible to “strip” a second mortgage or home equity line of credit if the value of your house has declined so that your home is worth less than you owe on your first mortgage. When a second lien is “stripped,” the lien is included as unsecured debt in your Chapter 13 case, so that if you make it through a three to five year repayment plan, the balance of your unsecured debt (including the “stripped” amount) is discharged.
Who is a Good Candidate for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Generally speaking, Chapter 13 works best for:
- People who are behind on payments on secured property – (autos, boats, homes) that they want to keep. Many people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions specifically to stop car repossession or home foreclosure. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can be helpful for getting caught up on secured debts while retaining the property that secures the debt.
- People who have tax debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 – Some tax debts are non-dischargeable but some are able to be included in a Chapter 13 repayment plan and paid over time.
- People who have non-exempt property that they want to keep – In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, non-exempt property is typically sold-off to repay creditors. Using a Chapter 13 repayment plan, the debtor maintains their property while making scheduled payments.
- People who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the prior 8 years – are not eligible to file Chapter 7, but can take advantage of a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
- People who want to cause no harm to their co-signers – in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a co-signer will remain liable for a debt even if that debt has been discharged for the bankruptcy petitioner. To not harm your friend or family co-signer, you can include it in a Chapter 13 repayment plan and your the co-signer will be protected so long as you remain current with the repayment plan.
- People who are saddled with past-due student loan debt – Unfortunately, student loans are generally not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are more approved instances where student loan debt can be included in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more complex than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state of Florida can be a complex process. Prior to filing, you should develop an understanding of the legal process as well as the requirements to complete it. Broward County Bankruptcy Attorney, Howard Butler, provides his clients with legal counsel, including guiding them through the process of bankruptcy. During a free case evaluation, he can help you determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the best option for you!
Recap of the Advantages of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your non-exempt assets, unlike in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 13 also allows you to eliminate some of your secured debts. In some cases, you will be able to stop a foreclosure and catch up on mortgage payments. In Florida, you may also be able to strip or remove a second mortgage from your home if the house’s value is less than the amount you owe on the first mortgage. In some cases, you can have some unsecured debts discharged that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Right Bankruptcy Lawyer in Broward County Florida
Selecting the right lawyer to represent you in Broward County — including Plantation, Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Hollywood and surrounding communities — is essential during the bankruptcy process. Howard Butler, founder of The Butler Law Firm, P.A. can help you get the most out of your bankruptcy case and help you select the appropriate debt relief option for your unique circumstances.
Contact The Butler Law Firm today for the expert legal assistance you need.
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We offer Free Consultations. Call (954) 797-5338 or send Howard an e-mail for a Free Consultation at The Butler Law Firm, P.A.