March is the time when determination for New Year’s resolutions start to waver. If you’ve made your New Year’s resolution based on your budget, that wavering can significantly damage your financial well-being. Those who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past know they don’t have any other option than to adhere to the budget outlined in their repayment plan. If you’re struggling with your budget, filing for Chapter 13 might mean long-term debt relief and better spending practices. With the help of Behm Law Group Ltd., you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and structure a repayment plan that will set you up for success.
Chapter 13 reorganizes your debts into a three- to five-year repayment plan. This is a great option for those with a steady income who want to receive court-approved debt relief with a structured budget for the repayment plan period. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers will have to repay their priority debts, like amounts owed for taxes, criminal fines, child support and alimony, in full, but most can receive a debt reduction up to 100% on unsecured debts. Even secured debts, like vehicle loans and mortgage delinquencies, can be paid under different and more favorable terms.
After you file, you have the opportunity to restructure your debts into a plan proposal. The plan lasts three or five years depending on your income. When the court approves your plan, you will make monthly payments to a chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee.
Although the concept of a Chapter 13 repayment plan is highly attractive, some might find it difficult to adhere to that plan, especially if a wavering budget sent them into bankruptcy in the first place. Sticking to your repayment plan means you have to take some things into consideration:
- Your plan is structured around your income, so any income changes (a new job, for example) must be reported immediately to your bankruptcy trustee or your plan may be dismissed for lack of good faith.
- Because your plan is structured around your income, it also takes in the fact that you have monthly expenses for food, travel, utilities, rent, and more. The money you will have to spend to live each month is accounted for in your plan.
- While your necessary spending is taken into account in your repayment plan, your unnecessary spending is not. All of your disposable income (any money left over after reasonable and necessary monthly expenses) will have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee for your unsecured creditors involved in your repayment plan. You and your lawyer can work with the chapter 13 trustee on your budget to determine your reasonable and necessary expenses. While the chapter 13 trustee is a fiduciary for your creditors, the trustee is not intransigent or inflexible in this process.
- Sudden income sources like tax refunds, bonuses and commissions may or may not have to be paid to the chapter 13 trustee and into your repayment plan. This is something that can be negotiated at the time it occurs.
It is completely possible to live month to month during a Chapter 13 repayment period. In fact, the entire goal of reorganization bankruptcy is to allow filers to live their lives as normally as possible while they repay debt. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, and are concerned about sticking to a tight budget, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for more information today.