Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Affordable Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you’ve become overwhelmed by debt, it’s time to speak with an affordable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. At Grainger Legal Services, we work to find solutions to help individuals regain control of their finances and form a plan for getting out of the hole.

Declaring bankruptcy isn’t about admitting defeat; it’s about forming a solid plan toward regaining freedom from debt and showing creditors that you are serious about paying what you can afford. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors who have enough income to reorganize and repay debts while keeping assets protected. By speaking with a Montgomery Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, you can find out more about the protections that declaring bankruptcy enables and whether doing so is in your best interests.

Contact our experienced and caring Chapter 13 attorney by calling Grainger Legal Services at 334-260-0500. Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling a free consultation. We also have emergency after-hours appointments available as needed.

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What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy for individuals with income. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is sometimes called “wage consolidation” or a “wage earner’s plan.” Chapter 13 allows debtors to pay off all or some of their debts over a three- to five-year period. The portion you cannot afford to pay would get discharged/forgiven at the end of the case. Individuals often file for Chapter 13 because they need the protections that bankruptcy affords, such as preventing foreclosure and being able to restructure debt.

Our affordable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help you to assess whether filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is your best option. While filing for bankruptcy is usually not anyone’s first choice, the protections and restructuring of debt that Chapter 13 offers can be exactly the measures needed to help you get ahead.

Why File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Montgomery Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can explain how filing for Chapter 13 could benefit your situation. Some of the most commonly cited benefits and reasons for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:

  • Preventing home foreclosure
  • Protecting against vehicle repossession while you catch up on payments
  • Potentially lowering interest rates on certain debts such as high interest car loans
  • Rescheduling secured debt and extending an approved repayment plan
  • Protecting against collection efforts and phone calls
  • Stopping any wage garnishments and civil lawsuits.

Speak with a Chapter 13 attorney about whether filing for bankruptcy can help get you out of the hole and back in financial control.

A Montgomery Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Explains the Debt Repayment Process

Initiating Chapter 13 Filing Processes

Chapter 13 proceedings are initiated by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. Your Chapter 13 lawyer in Montgomery will also file a statement of financial affairs, a schedule of assets and liability, a statement of current income and expenditures, a schedule of contracts for which performance is still pending, and other documents relevant to your financial condition.

After filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor must also file a repayment plan requiring court approval. A repayment plan outlines which creditors are being paid and how much they are being paid. Typically, a debtor makes payments to a trustee on a biweekly or monthly basis, and the trustee then disburses a debtor’s payments to creditors according to a payment plan.

Types of Claims

Debtors must also file a debt repayment plan that identifies three types of claims: priority, secured, and unsecured. Priority claims, as their name suggests, are debts that must be repaid. This includes taxes, alimony, and bankruptcy filing fees. Secured claims, on the other hand, are claims secured by property that can be taken back by the creditor.

  • An example of a secured claim is a house secured by a mortgage. If you want to keep real estate, the plan can provide for you to catch up on delinquent payments and protect you from foreclosure while resuming your normal monthly payment outside of the plan.
  • If you want to keep personal property, such as an automobile, the plan has flexible options for catching up on delinquent payments or paying for the vehicle entirely through the plan.

With unsecured claims, the creditor does not have a security interest in collateral to secure the debt. Examples include medical debt and credit card debt. Your debt repayment plan doesn’t necessarily require you to pay unsecured claims in full. However, the court does expect that unsecured creditors will receive as much repayment as they would have if your non-exempt assets had been liquidated in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The plan must also pledge all your “disposable income” so that, if you can afford to pay your debts in full, you must do so.

Duration of Your Repayment Plan

Debtors must repay unsecured creditors a percentage of what they’re owed (percentage plan) or a specific amount or “pot” of money for the trustee to divide among the unsecured creditors (pot plan). To make payments, debtors can either issue regular payments or pay creditors through a payroll deduction. Debtors do not typically have contact directly with creditors after initiating the Chapter 13 process.

For how long will your Chapter 13 repayment plan be in effect?

  • If your current monthly income is less than the applicable state median, your repayment plan will last from three to five years.
  • Your repayment plan will last for five years, typically, if your current monthly income is greater than the applicable state median.

When all payments under a repayment plan have been made, a debtor is entitled to a discharge, which releases a debtor from all debts. By working with an affordable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer throughout the bankruptcy process, you can be assured that you are following all steps necessary to complete your repayment plan.

Qualifying for Chapter 13

You must have an income to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some debtors will qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy but not for Chapter 7. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves quickly discharging debt and requires that debtors pass a means test that compares income to statewide median levels.

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t mean admitting defeat—it means taking a proactive step toward regaining financial control.

Chapter 13 debtors have a source of income but are also having a hard time repaying debts and staying on top of living expenses. A Montgomery Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can look at your financial history and help you determine whether you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and if filing is your best option.

Our Chapter 13 Lawyer in Montgomery Helps You Understand All of Your Options

Bankruptcy can be a confusing, frightening process. Chances are good that you never had to go through a situation like this previously in your life. We fully understand this, and we tailor our representation to take your unique situation into account. In your first meeting, our Montgomery bankruptcy lawyer will discuss your answers to a questionnaire you can complete upon arrival. Your answers will help us learn more about your unique situation.

Then we will discuss both bankruptcy options and non-bankruptcy options to explain why one solution may work better than another. Often, two to three different options may work for you, but it is important to choose the best one. Our Montgomery bankruptcy attorney will help guide you in that choice.

How Our Chapter 13 Attorney at Grainger Legal Is Different

Your Initial Consultation with Us

If a bankruptcy solution is the most appropriate, our Montgomery bankruptcy attorney will then explain each of the steps in the case and go over a list of items the firm will need to prepare your case. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer you only 5 to 10 minutes of their time. Grainger Legal is different. We are committed to giving more time in that first appointment. We will meet for 30 minutes to an hour to make sure our bankruptcy attorney personally helps you understand the strategy for your bankruptcy, explains the alternatives available to you, and tells you what will be needed. We feel this approach is best for our clients. Even if you have no knowledge of what filing for bankruptcy means, our bankruptcy attorney is ready to answer your questions.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that should be thought through with a Chapter 13 attorney. Even though Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers certain protections and benefits, it isn’t always the most strategic move for all debtors. Once you file for Chapter 13 and begin a repayment plan, there can be consequences if you are unable to meet the plan’s terms.

  • Failing to make payments under a payment plan can result in creditors’ resuming collection.
  • Your debt will not be discharged if payment schedules are not met.
  • Court approval will be required before taking on any more debt or selling or transferring property.

Additionally, some debts cannot be discharged even by declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Child support debt, alimony payments, student loans, and some unpaid taxes cannot be eliminated by Chapter 13. By consulting with a Chapter 13 lawyer in Montgomery, you can figure out which debts Chapter 13 can help address.

Frequently Asked Questions

When bankruptcy is on your mind, you’ll likely have plenty of questions—and our affordable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer has answers. Here are some common questions below.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy are both common types of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy differs from Chapter 13 in that it intends to quickly discharge and eliminate debt that is not backed by collateral, which includes, for example, small loans, credit card debt, and medical debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is reserved for individuals with income and focuses on creating a payment plant to tackle debt, while Chapter 7 focuses on debt liquidation. To qualify for Chapter 7, debtors must pass a means test that compares their income against statewide median income levels.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be complicated, particularly when it comes to creating a debt repayment plan that meets both your needs and the court’s. Throughout the process of declaring bankruptcy and planning a new approach to tackle debt, it helps to have an advocate and advisor on your side. By working with a Montgomery Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, you’ll have exactly that and then some. Attorney Charles Grainger works closely with all the firm’s clients to provide the best recommendations and plan the best course for getting people out of the hole financially. In addition to support and guidance, our Chapter 13 attorney can help to ensure that you are following all the processes and procedures necessary to declaring bankruptcy and receiving bankruptcy protections.

An automatic stay is a stop measure that puts an automatic end to bill collections and similar inquiries about your debt. After declaring bankruptcy, an automatic stay can provide much-needed relief from haggling collectors. The automatic stay is a key mechanism that takes effect after declaring bankruptcy and is one of the most helpful features of bankruptcy protection. Creditors will no longer be able to call you, send letters, garnish wages, foreclose or repossess property, or pursue financially related lawsuits against you.

After declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy, successfully completing a repayment plan, and making regular payments can benefit your credit score. However, debtors considering bankruptcy may not have good credit scores to begin with, as unpaid bills and debtors’ income-to-debt ratio may already negatively affect scores. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for seven years. But it will not permanently prevent you from taking out a loan, buying a home, or accessing most other borrowing agreements. Instead of taking on more debt, filing for bankruptcy can bring relief.

There are plenty of questions to consider before filing for bankruptcy. Give our Chapter 13 lawyer in Montgomery a call at 334-260-0500 to schedule a free consultation and have your questions answered.

Attorney Charles Grainger

Attorney Charles Grainger possesses decades of legal experience focused on debtor-creditor law, bankruptcy, and business law. His legal work is designed to help clients overcome debt and secure a stronger financial footing. He also provides legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners. Grainger Legal Services takes a comprehensive approach to debt relief and financial education for clients in south-central Alabama. [ Attorney Bio ]

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STRESSED ABOUT DEBT? WE CAN HELP.

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    An Affordable Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer on Your Side wavy line

    At Grainger Legal Services, our affordable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer wants to help you achieve the best financial outcomes possible. If that means declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can be assured you’ll have an advocate on your side throughout the process.

    By working with a Chapter 13 attorney who’s knowledgeable about and experienced with the bankruptcy process, you won’t have to face your debt repayment plan alone. Our Chapter 13 lawyer in Montgomery will take the time needed to sit with you and understand your situation before looking at solutions. We even offer emergency after-hours appointments as needed.

    Give us a call at 334-260-0500 and ask for a free consultation. We help people get out of the hole, and we’d be glad to see how we can help you.