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Am I A Good Candidate For Chapter 13?

Trusted Queens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney provides thorough guidance

Chapter 13 can be an effective solution for people who are burdened with significant debt but who earn enough income to enable them to gradually pay back creditors. Mark E. Cohen, Esq. in Westbury is a seasoned Queens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. I help clients prepare individualized Chapter 13 payment plans that can help them restructure their debt and discharge most of it in five years or less.

Why consider Chapter 13 in New York?

Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep much of his or her property, rather than liquidating it to pay back creditors. A defining aspect of this form of bankruptcy is the wage earner’s plan which establishes a schedule for paying past-due bills in installments over time.

Chapter 13 also can be a way of stopping foreclosure or preventing insolvency of a sole proprietorship. When a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay that goes into effect that prevents lenders and creditors from trying to collect on debts, such as by repossessing a home or filing attachments on business assets. In addition, mortgage arrears can be paid out over the life of the repayment plan.

Am I a good candidate for Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who cannot pass the means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 debt discharge. It may be suitable for you if you:

  • Have a secure job with regular income
  • Own substantial assets
  • Can stay current on ongoing financial obligations, such as utility bills and child support

With more than 30 years of experience, I can assess your financial situation and determine whether Chapter 13 is your best option.

How Chapter 13 works in New York

A Chapter 13 case starts with filing a petition and providing a full accounting of your finances and debts. You will then work with a bankruptcy lawyer to prepare a repayment plan. It includes a budget for your living expenses, as well as a schedule for paying off debts over a period of three to five years. Each month, you will make a scheduled payment to a designated trustee who will distribute money to your creditors. The plan covers only unsecured debts. Priority debts and secured debts remain due and owing. When you complete your plan, any remaining unsecured debts will be discharged. If you default on payments, your creditors may seek permission to lift the automatic stay and initiate debt collection.

What qualifies you for Chapter 13?

You can qualify for Chapter 13 if you do not pass the Chapter 7 means test and your debt does not exceed the current Chapter 13 debt limits, which change every three years. A skilled Queens Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney may be able to strategically lower your debt to help you qualify.

Can I be denied Chapter 13?

You cannot file for Chapter 13 if any of the following apply:

  • You pass the Chapter 7 means test
  • Your debt exceeds the Chapter 13 debt limit
  • You did not file a tax return for any of the past four years
  • You are a stockbroker or commodities broker
  • Your previous bankruptcy case was dismissed less than 180 days ago

Some of these situations can be remedied and others cannot. An attorney can explain the options available to you, and help you move forward with a debt relief strategy.

Contact an experienced New York Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation

Mark E. Cohen, Esq. in Westbury, NY, brings decades of experience to helping clients with Chapter 13 payment plans and compliance. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 718-223-5492 or contact me online.


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