One myth about bankruptcy is that you can only qualify if you are being harassed by creditors, aren’t making ends meet, and have little to no assets. All sorts of people in varying situations, however, can use bankruptcy to obtain relief from unmanageable debt.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a particularly good option for those who:
- Cannot qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high
- Cannot protect their assets from the Chapter 7 liquidation process
- Need time to catch up on arrears for a mortgage or auto loan
- Have a steady source of income
If this sounds like your situation, bring your case to Sabatini Freeman, LLC. Our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience helping individuals and families overcome financial hardship. We would be more than happy to answer your questions, guide you through the bankruptcy process, and help you build a secure financial future.
“Carlo's guidance and experience, throughout the course of the bankruptcy, were also valuable tools in replotting our financial course for the future.”- Andrea
“The professional and helpful staff was always willing to help and answer any questions.”- Marc
“There are so many people out there that live day after day facing this huge debt and are afraid to turn to bankruptcy. We owe a debt of gratitude to you, Carlo.”- Linda
What’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy?
One of the most important decisions you will make is which chapter to file. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common types of bankruptcy filed in the U.S. each year, but they work very differently, and one chapter may provide you with significantly more benefits than the other.
A Chapter 7 proceeding is typically over in 4 – 6 months, and usually does not involve any payment to your creditors. A Chapter 13 proceeding, on the other hand, establishes a plan where you would make an affordable payment to your creditors each month for 3 – 5 years. In most Chapter 13 cases that are filed with this office, the creditors are paid only a very small percentage of the debt that was actually owed.
Here are just a few of the benefits of Chapter 13:
- Your income will not affect your eligibility for Chapter 13 (as opposed to Chapter 7, which uses a means test to assess your eligibility).
- Your monthly payment will be based on your disposable income—NOT the amount of debt you owe.
- The automatic stay (i.e. the court order protecting you from debt collectors) lasts for the entirety of the plan. This means you will have 3-5 years of protection from letters, phone calls, lawsuits, foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment, and any other type of collection attempt.
- When you complete the 3-5-year plan, the court can discharge (eliminate) most remaining unsecured debts (e.g. credit card debts, medical bills, utility bills, payday loans, etc.).
Individuals often use Chapter 13 to protect their assets from liquidation, foreclosure, and/or repossession.
This is possible for two reasons:
- Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 does NOT use a liquidation process; and
- The automatic stay grants 3-5 years of protection against the collection attempts of all types of creditors, including banks and mortgage lenders.
If you can make plan payments, pay your regular bills, and catch up on delinquent payments by the end of your Chapter 13 case, you can rescue your vehicle from repossession and/or your home from foreclosure.
- Related Blog: The Positive Potential of Bankruptcy During COVID-19
Get Started on Your Chapter 13 Plan Today
At Sabatini Freeman, LLC, our Chapter 13 failure rate is 9 times lower* than other firms for many reasons. We have a lot of experience with our local bankruptcy trustees and judges, so we know what they expect to see in a Chapter 13 case. We are highly detail-oriented, which allows us to help our clients avoid common pitfalls. We also never hesitate to take a harassing creditor to court, which can result in substantial compensation for our clients—thereby covering some or all of their debt. Finally, Attorney Carlo Sabatini is Board-Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification, which is why we are trusted by clients and professionals alike.
* From 2010 through 2019, only 5.6% of our Chapter 13 cases were dismissed after our client failed to complete the plan payments. The average dismissal rate for other firms in the Middle District of Pennsylvania over the same period was 46.7%.
Your first conversation with an attorney to understand and evaluate your case is 100% complimentary.
With the combined experience of over 40 years between the attorneys of Sabatini Freeman LLC, we leverage our knowledge and experience with the local trustees to get you optimal results.
You should never be left in the dark when it comes to your legal matter. From start to finish, we will keep you updated on the status of your case.
Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law, Attorney Sabatini is the only attorney with this certification with an office within 50 miles of Wilkes-Barre or Scranton.