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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Below is an overview of chapter 13 bankruptcy. We hope you find this helpful. The Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen wrote this page out of a genuine desire to be of service to those seeking information about whether bankruptcy is right for them. If you have any questions or would like to explore this further, feel free to call us today at (754) 400-5150 or contact us online.

A “wage earner’s plan” is the common name for the process under Chapter 13 of § 11 of the U.S. Code, also known as the “Bankruptcy Code.” A chapter 13 bankruptcy permits you to keep all of your assets while you discharge unsecured debts through a customizable payment plan. If you and your spouse’s combined yearly income is lower than Florida’s median income, the plan will last for three years (or less in certain circumstances). It will last for five years if your income is equal to or greater than the state’s median income. Eligibility for chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that your unsecured and secured debts are less than amount which is regularly adjusted for inflation. You will also need to receive sufficient income to pay for your necessities and keep up with your required payments during the plan.

An attorney handling a chapter 13 bankruptcy must submit a debt repayment plan in addition to filing many of the same documents that are required in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. The plan is required to: 1) commit all disposable income to the plan, with certain exceptions, 2) provide full payments for all claims entitled to “priority” under § 507, 3) provide the same treatment for all claims within a particular class of claims (if the plan classifies claims), and 4) provide for unsecured creditors to receive at least as much as they would have under chapter 7’s “best interest of the creditors” test.

The key benefit of a chapter 13 case is that you can keep valuable property, such as your house and car, that you might otherwise lose in a chapter 7. However, you must make the payments under the plan in order to retain these assets. Payments under the plan will usually be at least as much as your regular monthly car and mortgage payments, plus some extra payments to cover arrears.

Under chapter 13, the court also has the exceptionally powerful ability to modify the rights of creditors with unsecured claims and even those with secured claims, other than ones where the security is your primary residence. This provision allows the court to “cram down” adjusted interest rates and loan payments, or even change the balance owed. However, to do this you must be able to pay off that debt in full during the course of your plan. A chapter 13 also allows the possibility to “lien strip” a second mortgage so that it can be discharged in bankruptcy. This is possible in situations where your house or other property is “underwater,” which means that you owe more on the first mortgage than the property is worth. 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the right option for you if you:

  • have a steady income;
  • own your home, subject to a first and second mortgage, and the second mortgage is completely “underwater”;
  • are behind on debt payments, but can catch up if given some time; and/or
  • have valuable property that is not exempt, but you can afford to pay creditors from your income over time.

If you or anyone you know is considering filing for bankruptcy and obtaining a fresh start from debt and financial challenges, call our Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood bankruptcy lawyers today at (754) 400-5150 or contact us online. Let the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!

Under federal law, we are a "debt relief agency." In addition to other legal services, we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Client Reviews
Mr. Rosen was recommended to us by our friends and we highly recommend him for his excellent service. He represented us in the matter of foreclosure defense. His comprehensive and detailed knowledge of Florida law, federal law, and ongoing relevant cases was key to building a robust and winning strategy for our case. He presented us with several options and the risks associated with each, but ultimately, we picked the one that worked best for us. Mr. Rosen and his legal team are highly professional and always easily approachable via phone or e-mail. Once again, highly recommended. Jadwiga M.
In a few words, Evan Rosen saved my house. He got a final judgment in my favor. The judge gave the bank many opportunities (continuance of the trial even a mistrial) to solve all the issues that Evan Rosen will bring up to the judge (issues that were wrong with my case). In the end, his arguments could not be overlooked by the judge and Evan won the judgment in favor of the defendant (me) and an involuntary dismissal of the case. If you want to have the best chances to win your foreclosure case, you need Evan Rosen on your side. He is the Super Lawyer. I have seen him flying out of the courthouse. Oscar D.
I am so grateful first to god and for the blessing of putting attorney Evan Rosen and his team of professional, in our lives. If you are going through a foreclosure and don't know what to do, I can honestly tell you that attorney Evan Rosen is the person to talk (855-55-Rosen) he takes his time to hear your situation and never sugar coats anything and he does not give you false hope. He is an attorney that you can be sure will fight the fight for you. I know nowadays it's hard to find an attorney that you can trust, but know this, you will not regret the day you choose him. Julie D.