Chapter 13 is a bankruptcy law under which a petition can be filed by an individual or company. Chapter 13 dictates that the debtors repay the debt amount from their monthly earnings in installments. The court decides the time within which the decided amount has to be repaid to the creditors. Most of these will be for a maximum period of five years.
Employees and firms who have a steady income, in spite of all the debts incurred, can file a bankruptcy under this law. Since this law does not require any assets to be secured as liens, most people prefer this to the Chapter 7 law. This allows the debtor to keep a mortgaged home or car even while heís paying his creditors from the monthly salary.
As in the case with Chapter 7 law, the automatic stay injunction is sent to all the creditors soon after filing the case and receiving the case number.
The debtor has to provide the details regarding the method of repayment. This might mean paying the creditors with the entire net income, other than absolutely necessary for basic needs, for about 3 to 6 years. The court will decide the amount that will be required for such basic needs. If some of the assets are not completely exempted, then that amount also has to be repaid within the given time slot.
As in the case of the Chapter 7 law, the individual gets to meet the trustee to provide the trustee with the details of income and the proposed plan to pay back the creditors within a given time frame. The trustee needs to make sure that the case is not fraudulent and that the plan provided by the individual will meet the creditors debt within the specified time limit.
The creditors can object to the plan provided by the individual before the final hearing in the court or even before the meeting with the trustee. Creditors can file their claim within 90 days after the individualís meeting with the trustee.
The payments can start 30 days after filing the case till the end of the plan term. All the details will be taken care of by the attorney. However, the payments must be made without fail to avoid the dismissal of the case in court. Current payments must also be taken care of simultaneously to avoid leaving the case pending. This might result in the asset being taken away after the specified term finishes. A discharge order at the end of the term has to be sent by the court to confirm the absolute discharge from the case.
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