Los Angeles Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Using Experience & Knowledge to Put Clients on the Right Path
Despite what you may have heard, the bankruptcy process is still available for those people who need to find their way out of debt. If you are a wage earner with a regular income, you can eliminate some debts and reduce others by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can pay back taxes, back child support and alimony, and a small amount on your remaining debt each month, without penalties or interest. After a few short years, you can emerge from the process with confidence and the expectation of better times ahead.
Why Choose Our Chapter 13 Lawyers
At RHM LAW LLP, our bankruptcy attorneys have helped thousands of people get out from under the burden of debt – and we can help you. We understand that these difficult times have people all over the greater Los Angeles area struggling with serious financial issues, such as foreclosures, mounting debts, and repossessions. If you are currently facing these financial hurdles, you should reach out to our legal team to discuss your situation so we can determine if filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right option for you.
What Can Chapter 13 Do For Me?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debt. You work with an attorney to set forth a plan to repay as much as your debt as possible during a 3-5 year period. You’ll be required by a bankruptcy court to provide detailed financial statements that support your proclaimed revenue and expenses. Once the plan is created you’ll have to make monthly payments to a trustee, who in turn pays off your creditors.
Once you have completed the repayment plan, you are no longer responsible for any previous debts, even if through repayment, you are not required to pay the entire amount that was owed. Chapter 13 also stops increases on interest rates, such as the interest rate owed on a credit card.
Chapter 13 Protects Your Home, Car & Personal Property
A Los Angeles Chapter 13 lawyer at our firm can discuss your options and whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. For some people, we recommend a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Whatever option you choose, we can take action that very day.
Chapter 13 provides many benefits:
- As soon as we file for you, we can stop foreclosure actions, repossession actions, garnishment, and creditor harassment.
- Under Chapter 13, you can keep your home, your car, and personal property. We may even be able to remove a second or third mortgage entirely.
- Your unsecured debts are reduced or eliminated.
- You will have a manageable monthly payment to repay a portion of your debts from your disposable income.
A new financial future may be possible for you whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
What Can Chapter 13 Discharge?
After completing your Chapter 13 payment plans, you'll be able to discharge the remainder of your qualifying debts - meaning this will be dismissed and you will not have to repay them.
Debts that can be discharged at the end of Chapter 13 include:
- Credit card debts
- Medical and hospital bills
- Personal loans not backed by a collateral
Debts that are nondischargeable under Chapter 7 and are dischargeable under Chapter 13 include:
- Debts (other than support related debts) that arise from a divorce or separation agreement
- Debts that arise from a willful or malicious injury caused by the debtor (unless there has already been restitution or damages awarded in a civil action against the debtor)
- Debts from government fines, penalties and forfeitures
Will I Lose My Property if I File for Bankruptcy in California?
No, one advantage of Chapter 13 is that it allows you to keep your property, even if you are behind on mortgage or car loan payments. The repayment plan will help you catch up on these arrears.
What Is a Hardship Discharge?
Sometimes circumstances arise, preventing the debtor from completing the plan. When this happens the debtor may ask the court to grant a “hardship discharge.”
A Hardship discharge is available only if the following occur:
- A debtor’s inability to complete plan payments is because of circumstances that are not in debtor’s control and occur through no fault of the debtor; and
- Creditors have received at least as much as they would have if the debtor had filed for Chapter 7 liquidation case; and
- Modification of the plan is not possible.
Sometimes injury or illness that precludes employment sufficient to fund even a modified plan can serve as leverage for a hardship discharge. You should discuss your hardships with your attorney to help you determine how to move forward.
Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision. To learn more about which option is best for your situation, get in touch with a Los Angeles Chapter 13 attorney at RHM LAW LLP. Dial (213) 344-0043or contact us online.
Chapter 13 Repayment Plans
As part of your Chapter 13 filing, you must create a monthly payment plan that details how you intend to repay your creditors.
Your Chapter 13 payment plans are created by factoring in:
- How many debts you have, including priority debts, unsecured debts, and secured debts. If you are keeping your house and car, you must catch up with past payments and keep up with current payments.
- How much income you have. You must calculate your disposable income, which is your total income minus your necessary expenses to help determine how much you can afford to pay out monthly.
- The length of your repayment plan. Most payment plans last from 3 to 5 years. If your average monthly income is less than your state's median, your plan will be 3 years. If your income is greater, it can be 5 years.
The unsecured debtors receive a payment that reflects what the debtor could reasonably afford. A limitation of a Chapter 13 Plan is that it is required to pay the unsecured debts at least as much as the creditors would have received if the debtors non exempt assets had been liquidated under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This can be payment in full, a percentage of the claims, or even under the appropriate situations, nothing.
Work with an experienced Los Angeles Chapter 13 attorney to help you structure a monthly payment plan that is manageable.
Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Right for Me?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy might suit your situation if you have a regular income and it can help you catch up on past-due payments and deal with outstanding debts in an affordable, manageable way to get your life back on track.
If you owe more than you can afford to pay, or if you are having difficulty paying medical, credit card, or other bills, then contact our Los Angeles Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers to get advice from a seasoned legal professional.
How does Chapter 13 differ from Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy that discharges most unsecured debts without requiring repayment. Chapter 13 involves creating a repayment plan and allows you to keep your property and assets.
Can I File Chapter 13 After Chapter 7?
You cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after receiving debt discharge through Chapter 7 within the last 4 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating assets to pay off debts, while Chapter 13 allows repayment of debts through a court-approved plan over 3 to 5 years.
However, you may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy within 4-8 years if your financial situation has changed significantly since the Chapter 7 discharge. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option for you, based on your individual circumstances and eligibility. The attorney can also help you decide which bankruptcy chapter is best suited to resolve your debts and financial situation.
Life After Chapter 13
Completing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in California brings significant changes and financial relief. This structured process allows you to repay a portion of your debts over 3-5 years. Here's what life may look like after:
- Debt Relief: After your successful Chapter 13 repayment plan, unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills are significantly reduced.
- Credit Score: While it may lower your credit score, it's often less severe and shorter-lived than Chapter 7. Over time, you can rebuild credit responsibly.
- Financial Stability: You regain stability with a clear plan to pay secured debts, like mortgages and car loans, and catch up on arrears.
- Retaining Assets: Chapter 13 lets you keep your property, safeguarding it from liquidation, including homes and cars.
- Budgeting Skills: You learn valuable budgeting skills during the plan, helping prevent future financial difficulties.
- Reduced Stress: Relief from debt and asset protection reduces the stress of financial burdens.
- Legal Obligations: Ongoing financial obligations, like child and spousal support, remain after completing Chapter 13.
- Financial Planning: Continuing financial guidance helps plan for emergencies, retirement, and future financial goals.
- Rebuilding Credit: Start rebuilding credit with secured cards and responsible financial management.
- Bankruptcy on Record: Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for seven years but improves with responsible financial management.
Life after Chapter 13 in California offers a fresh start, empowering you to regain control of your finances and build a brighter financial future. Maintain good financial habits, seek guidance as needed, and be patient while rebuilding credit and securing financial stability.
How Can a Bankruptcy Attorney Help You With a Chapter 13 Filing?
Bankruptcy attorneys specializing in Chapter 13 filings play a crucial role in aiding individuals facing financial difficulties. They offer legal advice, help you understand the nuances of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and guide you through the filing process. They work closely with you to design a repayment plan tailored to your specific situation and present this plan to the court. Once the plan is approved, they continue to provide counsel and support until the completion of the repayment period, ensuring you meet all obligations and ultimately achieve financial stability.
Bankruptcy attorneys provide the following services:
- Consultation: They usually start with a consultation to discuss your financial situation and assess your eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Paperwork Preparation: They handle all necessary paperwork and ensure that it is filled out correctly and filed in a timely manner.
- Repayment Plan Design: They work with you to design a feasible repayment plan that aligns with your income level and ability to pay.
- Debt Negotiation: They negotiate with creditors to reduce your debt and stop actions such as wage garnishment and repossession.
- Court Representation: They represent you in court proceedings, protecting your rights and interests.
- Post-Filing Advice: Upon successful filing, they provide advice on managing your finances and rebuilding your credit score.
- Legal Support: They offer ongoing legal support and expertise throughout the repayment period to navigate any challenges that might arise.
Contact Our Chapter 13 Lawyer
Our job is to guide our clients to a new and better life after bankruptcy. We take care of everything – from filing papers in court, to negotiating with creditors to reduce your debt, to developing a repayment plan and getting it approved by the Court.
At the time we file Chapter 13 bankruptcy for you, you will owe only the court filing fee. RHM LAW LLP offers reasonable upfront fees and payment plans to help you preserve your money.
Call now to speak with a Los Angeles Chapter 13 lawyer – debt relief and financial freedom are just a phone call away.
Call (213) 344-0043to request a 30-minute risk-free consultationwith our Los Angeles Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. With our trusted legal team on your side, you can get the help you need to resolve your financial issues and get a fresh start in life.
M. Jonathan Hayes Senior Counsel
Matt D. Resnik | Managing Partner Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
Roksana D. Moradi-Brovia | Partner Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
W. Sloan Youkstetter | Associate Attorney Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
Russell J. Stong III | Associate Attorney Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
David M. Kritzer Associate Attorney
Committed to making the process as stress-free as possible for our clients, our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys and dedicated staff will handle everything for you. From filling out paperwork through getting end results, we will work to help your case run smoothly and efficiently. We serve our clients in English, Spanish and Farsi.