Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyers Provide the Financial Relief You Seek
Bankruptcy attorneys in Santa Ana and Orange, CA guide you through the process
At Invictus Law, P.C., our bankruptcy lawyers provide counsel and help you find relief from debt that threatens your future. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as wage earners’ bankruptcy, is one of several options. If you earn a regular income, you can develop a plan to repay your debts, typically over a three-to-five-year period. The time period depends on whether your income falls below or exceeds the California median income.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you save your home from foreclosure
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can stop foreclosure on your home, although you will still need to make mortgage payments according to your plan. You can also reschedule other secured debts, not including your mortgage, and pay them according to the timetable of your plan, which could lower your payments. With Chapter 13, you can consolidate your debts into a single repayment plan. Our Santa Ana bankruptcy attorneys help you formulate a reasonable plan.
Filing for bankruptcy begins the process
The process begins when you file a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. For the Central District of California, there are locations in Santa Ana that serve all Orange County communities — including Santa Ana, Irvine and Orange — and in and Riverside that serve Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
When you file, you must provide financial documentation, such as:
- Schedules of assets and liabilities
- Schedule of current income, including the source, amount and frequency
- Schedule of current expenses, detailing them by category (such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation and medical care)
- Schedules of contracts and leases
- Statement of financial affairs
- Certificate of credit counseling
- Copy of any repayment plan developed through credit counseling
- Evidence of wage payments for two months prior to filing
- A list of creditors and the amount and nature of their claims
Once the court names a trustee, you must provide a copy of your tax returns.
The trustee administers your case
The trustee takes care of collecting and distributing payments to your creditors. The trustee also arranges for a 341 meeting, a meeting of your creditors during which you respond to questions from them.
Filing for bankruptcy stops collection actions
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect that protects you against creditor harassment, collections and wage garnishments. Your creditors receive a notice of your filing.
The court approves your repayment plan
Your repayment plan must receive court approval. You pay the trustee regularly, and the trustee distributes payments. Priority claims get paid first and in full. These include taxes and the costs of your bankruptcy proceeding. Next come secured claims — those for which the creditor can take back property — such as your car loan. Finally, unsecured claims are paid. These are claims for which creditors have no special rights.
Our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys advise you about the best way that secured claims repayment can work for you, especially regarding your car and home. There are many misconceptions about bankruptcy, and we want to dispel any bankruptcy myths that cloud your understanding and are holding you back from a brighter financial future.
If your circumstances change, you can modify your plan. This is best done with qualified legal assistance.
Debt discharge under Chapter 13 bankruptcy is complex
Generally, when you complete the payments in your plan, your debts are discharged. But not all debts are eligible for discharge, including:
- Some long-term obligations, such as a home mortgage
- Alimony and child support
- Death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated
- Criminal fines
- Certain taxes
Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can discharge debts for the death or personal injury of another caused by willful or malicious acts or by fraud. Divorce-related property settlement debts can also be discharged.
Contact us for counsel on saving your home through Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Invictus Law, P.C. helps you find financial relief and keep your home through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call us anytime at (949) 287-5711 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We have two convenient office locations in Santa Ana and Ontario, California.