When a Pennsylvanian decides that he or she will move forward with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get back on stronger financial ground, it is not a decision that is taken lightly. Since Chapter 13 is considered a "wage earners" plan and requires that there be the formulation of a payment plan that will be completed within three or five years depending on the situation, it is promoted as allowing the person to "keep your home" and "keep your motor vehicle." However, there are basic issues that are important to the entire process. These include the fees that must be paid and the information that must be provided to the courts.
There is a fee of $235 to file and a miscellaneous administrative fee of $75. Generally, the fees must be paid to the clerk when the filing is made. The payments can be made in installments if the court gives permission. There is a limit of four installments and the last payment must be made at least 120 days after the petition was filed. If there is cause, the court can give an extension provided it is paid no more than 180 days after the petition was filed. The $75 administrative fee can also be paid in installments. For those filing jointly, only one filing and administrative fee is charged.
The debtor is also required to provide the following information: a list of creditors and the nature of their claims; the source, amount and frequency of the income; a list of the debtor's property; and a detailed list of monthly expenses such as clothing, food, shelter and utilities among other costs. If the person who is filing is married, the information of the spouse must be provided even if it is not a joint filing.
Failing to pay the fees and give all the necessary information can result in the case being dismissed. People who are considering Chapter 13 must be fully cognizant of everything that is needed for the case to be successful. A lawyer who is experienced in all the various aspects of filing for Chapter 13 can assist with a case and ensure that it is done as required.
Source: USCourts.gov, "Chapter 13 -- Bankruptcy Basics -- How Chapter 13 Works," accessed on Aug. 29, 2017