Today, Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy for both individuals and businesses. Because the Chapter 7 process is only available to those with income-to-debt ratios lower than the Minnesota median, bankruptcy is often associated with unemployment or even financial ruin. However, bankruptcy is an option to people and businesses with a wide range of incomes and debts in the form of debt restructuring—Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers legal advice and guidance to help you decide which type of bankruptcy in Windom, MN, would be the most beneficial to your current financial situation.
If you have a stable job and your debts weigh heavily enough for you to consider bankruptcy, chances are you’ll gain the most out of a Chapter 13 case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy works to structure your debts into a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that’s suited to your income. The process is designed to give your creditors as much of a return on your debt as possible without crippling your finances or severely damaging your quality of life.
In a Chapter 13 repayment plan, your debts are broken down into several categories based on the priority claim those creditors have on repayment. First, secured creditors are generally the creditors with property secured through a promissory note and security agreement such as mortgages, car loans, or any other debt concerning a physical property. These creditors can be repaid in different ways during your Chapter 13 plan period. In some cases, you will continue to pay these creditors directly rather than through your bankruptcy plan. For instance, if you have a mortgage with Wells Fargo and you are current with the mortgage payments, you would continue to pay that debt directly to Wells Fargo. However, if you are delinquent with your mortgage payments, you can pay the mortgage delinquency back to Wells Fargo throughout the 36 to 60 months of your chapter 13 plan rather than all at once. Of course, you would still have to continue making your regular monthly mortgage payments to Wells Fargo but the delinquency owed before your case was filed would be paid back by the chapter 13 trustee with the payments you make through your chapter 13 plan. Second, priority debts involved in the bankruptcy process (bankruptcy fees, for example) must also be paid in full.
You’ll also be required to repay certain debts in full regardless of any type of plan period, income, or bankruptcy you file for. These commonly include child support and alimony, most tax debts, and debts from personal injury or death you caused while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
The rest of your debts will be considered unsecured or nonpriority debts, and these may be paid at a determined portion from 0% to 100%. The amount you’ll be required to repay to unsecured creditors in your Chapter 13 plan varies based on your disposable income, the exemptions you can claim, and the minimum amount those creditors would receive if your assets were liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Overall, the amount you repay all your creditors, including priority, secured, and unsecured, depends on several financial components. Your debts and other claims you owe that factor into a Chapter 13 plan include:
- Mortgage owed and arrears
- Other home loans and arrears
- Car loans owed and loan arrears
- Personal property loans
- Debts on other property loans
- Alimony and child support
- Priority tax debts
- Other priority debts
- Death or personal injury claims against you
- Administrative bankruptcy fees
- Attorney fees
Some debts, like medical bills and credit card debt, may even be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. For more information about creditors, repayment plans, and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.