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What must I do to make the Chapter 13 plan work?

When Pennsylvanians are struggling financially and decide that they would like to file for bankruptcy, the chapter under which they file will hinge on their individual circumstances. To keep your home or keep your motor vehicle it is wise to think about a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Since Chapter 13 is considered a "wage earner's" plan, those who file for Chapter 13 will usually have income and the ability to make payments. It is essential to understand exactly what must be done to succeed with the plan.

When the repayment plan is crafted, it will either be for three to five years. It will bind the debtor and the creditors. When the plan has been confirmed by the court, it is up to the debtor to make the plan work. For this to happen, regular payments will be made to the trustee or via payroll deduction. The debtor must live on a fixed budget for the duration of the plan. Although the debtor can retain certain properties provided the payments are made, the debtor will not be allowed to take on new debt before having approval from the trustee. This is due to the additional debt possibly hindering the completion of the plan.

Making the payments through payroll deductions is a method in which people have a better chance to make the payments when they are due. When the debtor does not make the payments as they are due based on the plan, the case might be dismissed by the court. It can also be converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For a debtor who does not make payments like child support or alimony, the court can dismiss or convert the case. Tax filings must be made while the case is in progress.

People who are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must be aware of how they can make the plan work. This is crucial to keeping the property they want to keep and completing the plan in the time frame. A legal professional can help with the entire process of filing for Chapter 13 or if another chapter is preferable. This is the first call that a person should make to consult about the case.

Source: uscourts.gov, "Chapter 13 -- Bankruptcy Basics -- Making the Plan Work," accessed on Dec. 19, 2017

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