Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Rules
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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Rules

Chapter 13 is designed to help people who may be suffering an unexpected financial hardship by protecting their most valuable assets. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may stop home foreclosure or automobile repossession.

A Chapter 13 filing offers protection from creditors under the automatic stay. This is a court order that prevents debt collectors from contacting you about the debts you included in your bankruptcy filing for the duration of your case. But to get this protection you'll not only need to file for bankruptcy, but also meet the court's rules for your case. If you do, then you may get access to one of the most powerful means of clearing debt.

Fortunately, you don't have to navigate through the courts and bankruptcy rules by yourself. A local bankruptcy attorney can help you work through your case and help you meet all the requirements. Get more information on rules that may apply to you during a free bankruptcy case evaluation with a local bankruptcy. Complete the free form on this page to get started.

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Chapter 13 Rules: Who Can File?

Not everyone should choose this bankruptcy option. In order to qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 , you must:

  • Have a regular source of income from which to make pre-determined payments
  • Have enough disposable income to make regular payments after covering living expenses
  • Fall within preset limits for secured and unsecured debts (Check with your attorney for information on current limits, as these are updated periodically)

These rules are unique to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and may not apply if you file Chapter 7. Because Chapter 13 involves a regular repayment - which takes place under the protection of the automatic stay - you'll need to meet these requirements.

Pre-Filing Rules

Anyone filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code must complete a U.S. Trustee-approved Credit Counseling Briefing. This requirement came about as a result of U.S. bankruptcy law changes that took effect in October of 2005.

Before filing bankruptcy, your bankruptcy attorney can direct you to an approved Credit Counseling agency or you can purchase an approved online Credit Counseling briefing at Start Fresh Today.

Once you complete the briefing, you will receive a Credit Counseling certificate. Your bankruptcy lawyer can file the certificate with your bankruptcy petition. This latter step is essential because bankruptcy petitions filed without a Credit Counseling certificate may be dismissed. A dismissal may allow creditors a window in which to take collection action. You may wish to talk to an attorney for help in avoiding these problems.

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Pre-Discharge Rules

Besides making scheduled payments under a court-approved Chapter 13 plan, a filer must complete a financial management course. The course is often called Debtor Education, and is approved by a U.S. court-approved trustee. Your bankruptcy attorney may refer you to a Debtor Education course, or you may purchase an approved online Debtor Education course at Start Fresh Today.

If I Follow the Chapter 13 Rules, Will My Credit Improve?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitioners may see their credit improve providing they:

  • Fulfill the pre-filing requirements
  • File their financial information with the court within 15 days of the case commencement
  • Make their agreed payments as scheduled
  • Fulfill the pre-discharge requirements
  • Take the proper post-bankruptcy steps to finish their financial recovery

Fortunately, you will not have to do all this preparation on your own. A bankruptcy attorney can help guide you through the process and answer your questions along the way. Take the next step today—connect with a local bankruptcy attorney and see if Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules may help you.

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Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

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