If you are struggling to meet your financial obligations, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put a stop to the incessant phone calls and letters from creditors, but also has benefits not available in Chapter 7. You want an experienced lawyer to take you through the process, so that you get all the benefits the federal bankruptcy laws offer.
At the law office of Perry O’Brian, we have concentrated our practice on bankruptcy since our founding in 1984. We have a comprehensive understanding of the laws governing personal bankruptcy filings, as well as the current legal trends. We know that bankruptcy can feel intimidating, and we work at all times to make the process as simple as possible, so that we can alleviate your stress and anxiety. We emphasize responsiveness and efficiency, returning calls and e-mails in a timely manner, and seek quick and cost-effective resolution of your financial challenges.
Our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Practice
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as individual debt adjustment, allows you to set up an affordable plan for repaying a portion of your debts. Following successful completion of your customized, three- or five-year plan, your remaining unsecured debt will be discharged. We will work with you to come up with a feasible Chapter 13 plan that you can afford. We will carefully examine your income, expenses — such as your mortgage and car payments — and your debt, in order to craft a repayment plan that works for you.
There are several reasons for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
- You failed the means test and do not qualify for Chapter 7
- You have filed a prior Chapter 7 case in the last 8 years
- You have fallen behind in your home mortgage and need time to catch up on the past-due payments
- You have high interest rates on secured loans, which can be reduced to a reasonable rate in Chapter 13
- You can pay secured debts at 100 percent only to the value of the collateral (for example, you will pay only $5,000 to the creditor on a car that you owe $15,000 as long as the car is only worth $5,000 and you have owned it for 910 days), this is referred to as cram down
- You can stretch out repayment of your secured loans over 5 years, which can make them more affordable
- You can strip off wholly unsecured second mortgages
- You can stop foreclosures and repossessions as long as you can cure arrearages and/or pay off the debt in 5 years
- You can pay off unsecured debts at less than 100% as long as you allocate your projected disposable income into the plan during the commitment period of either 3 or 5 years
- You can keep all of your assets as long as you pay unsecured creditors the amount that they would receive in a Chapter 7 liquidation
- You can pay non-dischargeable debt such as tax debt over 5 years
- You can pay some debts that you cannot discharge in Chapter 7 at less than 100% in Chapter 13 such as property settlements in a divorce
However, you cannot rewrite the terms of your home mortgage or other long-term secured debts.
We provide a free initial consultation to every client. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Maine Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, contact us online or call our office at 207-942-4697 (toll free at 877-900-9857). Installment payment plans can be arranged, if necessary.