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Florida Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a payment plan supervised by the court where you pay unsecured creditors the amount of money which is possible for you to pay depending on reasonable family expenses and family income.

What about keeping my home in bankruptcy?

There are two requirements to Chapter 13 bankruptcy: the first is establishing a payment plan through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to unsecured creditors. This plan must account all the disposable family income and this must continue until the creditors are fully paid or for a period of five years, whichever sooner. The second requirement is that you have to pay the unsecured creditors a minimum amount equal to the amount they will receive from the non-exempt property in case a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed by you.

What are the differences of a Bankruptcy Chapter 7 vs a Chapter 13?

It is possible for you to file Chapter 13 in the bankruptcy court of Florida only if you are legally qualified to file bankruptcy proceedings in the state. The unsecured debts that can be included are medical bills, personal loans and bank-issued credit cards utilized to purchase consumable items (like vacations, food and clothing). The secured debts that can be included in bankruptcy include car loans, mortgages, and loans taken from finance companies, electronics and furniture.

Procedures related to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The Automatic Stay or Suggestion of Bankruptcy: Automatic stay starts as soon as you file the petition of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This stay functions as a wall between you and the creditors in the time of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Handling creditors after filing: Your creditors will receive the “341 Notice” from the court about one week post-petition filing at your provided address. If any creditor contacts you after receiving a 341 notice, you can advise them that you have filed chapter 13 bankruptcy and also give that creditor your case number. You can request that they no longer try to make any contact with you as stated in the 341 notice. In case any bills are sent to you after filing, mail a 341 notice copy to your creditor and attach the bill.

Role of the Chapter 13 Trustee: The primary role of the trustee as per Chapter 13 is to supervise the preparation of debtor and also the approval of the Chapter 13 repayment plan. After the court approves the bankruptcy plan, the trustee collects the debtor's plan payments. The collected money is then distributed among creditors of the debtor pursuant to terms as laid out by the approved bankruptcy plan.

Secured debts and Chapter 13: This requires that your secured debts list be separate from the unsecured debts. The secured debts will be repaid through the Chapter 13 repayment plan. The only exception to this rule occurs if your secured asset is surrendered.

Federal income taxes: Income taxes which cannot be discharged in Chapter 13 must be considered priority debts and should be fully paid during the Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

Refunds and returns of taxes: You are required to file all your income tax returns before and after the due filing date. If you fail to file any return, your chapter 13 bankruptcy case may be dismissed.

New debts:  You are expressly forbidden to incur any new debts after the filing of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.

Interest rate incurred on car loans: The Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to drop your car loan interest rate to the present rate available in the market.

Employment and bankruptcy: It is illegal for any employer to discriminate against you if a bankruptcy is filed by you after employment has commenced. Private employers could legally refuse to hire someone who filed bankruptcy. Discrimination is not permissible by government employers.

If you have any questions about Florida chapter 13 bankruptcy or would like to speak to us about your options, please contact us at (813) 518-7411. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.

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