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How Do I File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The Process of Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protection

Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, but once made, you need to move forward and get the relief you deserve. Filing for Chapter 13 involves several steps, and the process itself is not fully complete for 3 – 5 years. The first step is to speak with a Detroit bankruptcy lawyer that you can trust to have your best interests as the guiding principle in every action taken. Attorney Marshall D. Schultz has served as counsel in bankruptcy and debt relief for over four decades, and his practice is focused strictly on bankruptcy and debt relief. He has assisted over 10,000 people to solve serious financial problems through filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

Are you planning to file Chapter 13 in Detroit? Call our firm so you have legal counsel that will guide you correctly, and help you get the greatest benefit out of filing.

Step One - Have your case reviewed by a professional so you know you are making the right decision. There are some people that could resolve a dangerous financial problem through another method, and at the firm, we can quickly review your case and advise you correctly.

Step Two - Determine if you are eligible to file Chapter 13. In order to qualify, you must have a regular source of income, and some amount left over every month, your "disposable income." The means test is the process under which it is determined if you qualify to file Chapter 13.

Step Three - The requirements to file Chapter 13 include credit counseling from an approved service, and that the means test has been completed, and is absolutely accurate. The entire process should be managed by a legal professional so that nothing goes wrong – such as a petition being denied. The petition will be filed in the district where you currently reside. There is extensive supporting documentation that must be submitted with the petition, including a schedule of your assets/liabilities, your current income, your current (and past due) bills, contracts you have signed and other obligations, such as lease documents. It is important that all of the details in your submission are complete and accurate, as you could add time to the process, have your bankruptcy petition denied, or even face legal trouble if the court believes you have been dishonest in an attempt to avoid paying your debts. Always get help from an attorney who understands bankruptcy law.

Step Four - Along with your petition, you will be required to pay fees for court filings. Once the petition has been filed, your creditors will be contacted and told to halt any collection actions, including phone calls, lawsuits, wage garnishment and so on.

Step Five - A repayment plan must be submitted, either with your petition or within 15 days of your initial filing. With the help of a professional, this repayment plan should be reasonable and affordable for you. The court is fairly strict with regard to how much of your money should be going to repaying your debts, so consulting with our firm can be a critical point on how you will live your life over the next several years.

Step Six - You will be required to attend a "meeting of creditors." This meeting is part of the legal process of filing for Chapter 13. The meeting takes place usually within a few weeks or months of filing. You absolutely must appear at this meeting, and when we work with you, you can expect us to be there with you and helping you with answering any questions from creditors.

Step Seven - Appear at the "confirmation hearing." This hearing is when the judge will make the decision about whether the repayment plan you submitted is acceptable, and is meeting the requirements of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Your creditors are informed of the meeting and can attend, and object if your repayment plan is confirmed, which is not particularly common. In most cases, the bankruptcy will then move forward.

Step Eight - Within a few weeks of your confirmation hearing, you are required to begin making the payments outlined in your repayment plan.

Contact us at once for assistance in filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our Detroit Chapter 13 attorneys have over 45 years of experience in crafting repayment plans, working with the court, and protecting the rights and interests of clients throughout the Detroit metro area.

“You have enabled me to be able to start something over in my life and for that I will be eternally grateful.”

- Audrey H.
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