When you start to think about a bankruptcy filing, you should understand the fact that there are different types of bankruptcies, and you will not necessarily qualify for all of them. Chapter 12 is a type of bankruptcy that is available to some family farmers and fishing businesses. Chapter 11 is a reorganization plan that is typically utilized by businesses. The vast majority of individuals who are looking for debt relief will choose either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13.
If your income is greater than the median income in the state of your residence, you may not be able to qualify for a Chapter 7. You will be required to submit financial disclosure forms, and you will be deemed ineligible for a Chapter 7 filing if the court determines that you have enough disposable income to pay back a some portion of your debt over time.
Under these circumstances, you would be able to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as the amount of your secured debt does not exceed $1,184,200, and your unsecured debt is less than $394,725. (These limits will be adjusted for inflation in April 2019.) This is a reorganization bankruptcy, so the idea is to restructure your debt with a payment plan that will typically last 5 years.
As soon as you file for Chapter 13, you will get an automatic stay. This will put a stop to all collection efforts while the process is underway. You do not have to surrender any property when you file for this type of bankruptcy. Priority debts that must be paid first include child support, spousal support, taxes and some other debt. If you are behind on secured debts, like your mortgage or your car payment, the money that you owe can be paid back over time as part of the repayment plan.
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If you reside in Vancouver or the Tri-Cities area in Washington, we have an office near you, and we also have numerous offices spread throughout the great state of Oregon. We offer free initial case evaluations, and you can set up an appointment with a licensed bankruptcy attorney right now if you reach out to us toll-free at 800-682-9568.