Miami Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
A debtor considering filing for bankruptcy may file for protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the exact reason, however, the assistance of a skilled Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is practically a necessity. Debtors who file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 are often suffering under tremendous debts or are facing foreclosure and are in need of a fresh start.
Julia Kefalinos is an experienced Miami Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney who will assess your situation and help you navigate the complex bankruptcy laws. With her knowledge and skill in representing distressed debtors, she can help you regain control of your finances and your life.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Basics
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy (sometimes called a “wage-earner bankruptcy) is a form of debt adjustment in which the debtor sets forth a plan to pay back some of their debts over a period of three to five years. Typically, a debtor will file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if he or she does not pass the “means test” for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if there is certain property he or she would like to keep.
The “plan” that the debtor prepares and submits must devote all “disposable income” – that is, income left over after certain deductions are accounted for – to paying back one’s debts. At the end of the plan, the remaining debts owed by the debtor are discharged (with some exceptions). The plan payment is submitted to the U.S. Trustee, who then distributes the payment to the debtor’s various creditors according to the plan.
It is important that the debtor carefully construct his or her Chapter 13 plan. The debtor is expected to make regular monthly payments to the U.S. Trustee under the plan – failure to do so can result in the Chapter 13 case being dismissed. Also, a plan that does not treat debtors fairly, that does not devote “disposable income” to the plan, or that is not feasible based on the debtor’s income and proposed plan payment can be dismissed.
Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Like Chapter 7, a debtor who files for Chapter 13 is protected by the Bankruptcy Code and the debtor’s exempt property is able to be retained. Also creditors must cease collection activity on debts owed and can only speak with the debtor’s attorney or the U.S. Trustee. However, there are some benefits that are unique to debtors who file Chapter 13:
- Debtors are able to keep property that might otherwise be lost if the debtor can make payments for the property;
- Debtors may be able to catch up on past due payments owed on a home or car;
- Debtors can, in some cases, lower car payments.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy versus Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Julia Kefalinos can help you decide whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The differences are:
|Chapter 7 |
Liquidation of Assets
|Chapter 13 |
|Chapter 7 is common when:||Chapter 13 is common when:|
|You have little property except for the basic necessities like furniture and clothing.||You have equity in your home or other property and you want to keep it.|
|You have little or no money left after paying your bills each month or you can’t even meet basic expenses.||You have regular income and can pay your basic monthly expenses, but you can’t keep up the scheduled payments on your debts.|
|Advantages of Chapter 7||Advantages of Chapter 13|
|Most unsecured debts can be dismissed.||You can keep most of your property while spreading our debt payments.|
|The process moves fairly quickly — you may receive your discharge in as little as a few months.||You have 3 – 5 years to catch up on your debts using a payment plan that you and your Bankruptcy Trustee have worked out.|
|Creditors can’t contact you while the automatic stay is in effect – or after debts are discharged.||You’ll have no direct contact with creditors during the bankruptcy period of 3 – 5 years.|
Julia Kefalinos – Talented Miami Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can give overwhelmed debtors the breathing room needed to regain control of their finances. Like any tool, however, it requires someone with skill to be able to use it properly. Miami Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, Julia Kefalinos, has represented bankruptcy clients for years and knows how to prepare and present a plan to the bankruptcy court that protects your assets, is financially feasible, and that will get you started on the road to financial recovery. Contact her today at (305) 856-2713.