Financial difficulties come in many different forms and can strike people in any number of ways. You may be doing fine, making payments on your home and vehicles. But if you are injured in an accident outside of work, things could spiral out of control quickly. You could be left unable to work and not covered by workers’ compensation. You would then be forced to deal with potentially large out-of-pocket medical expenses and with no source of income, leaving you in a double bind.
Or perhaps you have recently divorced and had to move into a new residence. You may quickly find that the household income you had when you were married is now not sufficient to meet all of your new individual expenses and those of your children. You may struggle for a time, shuffling money around in an attempt to deal with this crush of new bills, but absent a lottery win, it can rapidly overwhelm your finances.
Whatever the cause, you may find yourself contemplating filing a bankruptcy. For many in these situations, a Chapter 13 may be ideal. It can allow you to pay your secured debts, such as a mortgage or vehicle loan, while eliminating many unsecured debts, like those from credit cards or medical providers.
A Chapter 13 is especially helpful if you have fallen behind on your mortgage, as the arrears can be paid through the plan over a five-year period. This can often help a seemingly hopeless situation become viable, as you can avoid a potential foreclosure or the demands from a lender that you immediately “catch up” all of your arrears.
The elimination of many of your unsecured debts can also make covering your other necessary expenses and secured debts more realistic. With many Chapter 13 plans lasting five years, you have the time to restructure your debts and recover your financial health.