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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Qualifications And Overview

Posted in: Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is something you should consider if you are struggling to pay your bills, behind on your car note or mortgage, or being sued by a creditor. As an individual, you can file either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In this blog, we will explain Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the requirements to file. When deciding whether to file for bankruptcy, it is important to get advice from a lawyer who has ample bankruptcy experience. At DebtPros, our founder, John Wonais, is a bankruptcy lawyer who has represented thousands of people in bankruptcy cases in Chicago.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

There are many reasons to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Whether you are facing foreclosure, car repossession, or overwhelming debt, filing for bankruptcy can help you get a fresh start. Unlike in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you keep your assets in a Chapter 13. For example, if you are behind on your car note or mortgage, you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and repay that debt back in your bankruptcy plan to prevent repossession or foreclosure.  

The first step to filing bankruptcy is preparing and filing a bankruptcy petition. The document details your financial situation, such as your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Additionally, once the case is filed, you propose a repayment plan detailing how much you will be payment back your creditors and your monthly payments.

The second the case is filed an automatic stay goes into effect. This stay prevents creditors from calling you, filing lawsuits against you, repossessing your car, pursuing foreclosure, and garnishing your wages, among others. The purpose of this is to give you breathing room from your creditors allowing you to focus on restructuring your debt.

After your case is filed, you will have a 341 meeting about a month after the case is filed. This meeting is with the trustee and any creditors who wish to appear. During the meeting, the trustee will ask you questions about your petition to make sure there are no changes that need to be made. The meeting will last roughly 5-10 minutes and is nothing to be stressed about. Our attorneys will also prepare you for the meeting.

The next important date in your case is your confirmation hearing. At this hearing, creditors or the trustee may appear to object to your case. Typical creditor objections include asking for better treatment of their claim in the case. Trustee objections vary, but typically involve issues in your case that need to be amended. If everything goes well, the judge will confirm your case and your main obligation going forward is making your trustee payments.

Lastly, once you have completed your plan and have paid all creditors the amount proposed under your plan you will receive your discharge order. The discharge order is an order and is mailed to creditors informing them the debt has been discharged.  

Can I file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

There are a few requirements to filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy and eligibility requirements. At DebtPros, a bankruptcy lawyer will speak with you and help determine whether you qualify and inform you of the requirements you need to take to file the case.

To file bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling class approved by the jurisdiction you are filing in. These classes are available online or over the phone and a company will be provided to you by your bankruptcy lawyer.

Additionally, to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must provide your attorney with proof of your income, and tax returns. Generally, you must provide the last 4 years of tax returns unless you are not required to file.

To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to have under a certain amount of debt. For secured debt, your debt must be less than $1.25 million. For unsecured debt, your debt must be less than $420,000. These are usually not barriers to filing. However, if your debt exceeds these limits, you may have to file a Chapter 11 case.

Finally, you must have disposable income to fund the plan. This does not necessarily mean you need a job to file Chapter 13. Instead, all forms of income, such as social security, are allowable income to fund your plan.

Call to speak with a Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer!

If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, do not wait to call DebtPros. When you call you will speak directly with a bankruptcy lawyer who will determine if you qualify and explain the process to you. We offer free consultations and are here for you. Contact us now at (312) 883-5422 to receive your free consultation!

Client Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

I want to start by saying THANK YOU! John was patient, prompt, informative and easy to work with. In our time of need, he helped my parents file for bankruptcy successfully and at a great price. If you are ever in the need of any services concerning your debt and potential bankruptcy litigation, I give my word and experience that John is the BEST in the Chicagoland area.

- Eric McDowell

John was outstanding in the process of my chapter 7. Not only did he keep me abreast of every step and matter that involved my BK but he was reasonable with the price and the time I had to pay him. He sent me places that accepted my Bk when it came to getting a new car as well and his communication was an A+. There was never a time I couldn’t reach him and if he missed my call he would proceed to call back before the day over or early the next day. I recommend him to any and everyone!

- Lamar Johnson

John is a great lawyer to work with. It’s easy to be honest and share things with him. It felt good to communicate with him. When I reach out to him, he is very good at answering the phone or responding when he can. I recommend his work as well. He’s very organized and gets things done. Thank you John.

- JP W

This guy made my experience so smooth I would recommend him to anyone who is thinking about filing for bankruptcy. He is very patient with his clients and Is very informative. Every question I had he answered even if I asked it twice. Highly recommend!!!!!!

- Nikita Nichols

John is very patient, he’s worked with me from start to finish. Always answer my questions and never made me feel like I’m a bother. Never made me feel like I’m a number in his book. He’s very helpful and caring which is why I’d recommend him over any bankruptcy lawyer. Thanks John for all you do.

- Corey Ross

Thank you team DebtPros! The choice to file was not easy, but it was the best decision for my family. John, I appreciate your kindness, thoroughness, and professionalism. I feel like you’ve guided me through this process in a very personable way. Thank you for always being available to chat, and making the experience so efficient and understanding. I can see the silver lining toward a fresh start! Thank you again & Have a wonderful summer. Sincerely, SB.

- Shelly Boyki

I am honored to provide such a financial relief feedback for this amazing blessing whose name is Atty. Wonais. There is so much I could share endlessly about his superb knowledge and service that he offered me as his client. However, I will share what I found to be essential in my financial issues that Atty. Wonais selflessly provided to me as his client; his expertise, his ability of trustworthiness was "everything" oh my goodness he is truly trusting thru the entire process.

- Val B.

I was referred to them, and this has been the best decision I have ever made. I never been this confident in a person like I am with John. He heard my needs and wants, he made it possible to give me that. Excellent customer service. He put all my options on table to fit my needs. He never sugarcoat he gives it to you like it is meaning he’s not rude or unprofessional. He’s that person that tells you what you need and bot what you want. I have referred all my friends and family to his service.

- Nicole Murray

So one night I went online looking for advice on google and John came up and I called him on the weekend late evening and he happened to answered which was awesome. John helped me out with my situation he gave me amazing advice and options on how to take on my problems the right way. John is super easy to talk to Very informative and he answered all my questions.

- Freddy

This office and staff was amazing. I was referred to John from my best friend and as soon as I reached out he was very prompt on getting back to me and helping. From start to finish the process was amazing stress free and straight forward. He stayed in communication no matter what time of the day. If I had a question he had the answer. His tips and tricks and knowledge helped me a lot and made me more comfortable and excited about starting over.

- Kierra Smith

John took me on as a client with no problem. He was very understanding, passionate, helpful and available every step of the way. Trust me I am a very happy client, I definitely recommend John.

- Jessica Burton

John did a wonderful and seamless job with my case-he handled everything properly and was very timely in all of his communication. He is professional and reliable. I would highly recommend him to anyone who may have to deal with a bankruptcy. Five stars!

- Ashley I.

I had a great experience with Wonais Law, LLC. John is very patient and replies right away to any questions or concerns that you have. I would recommend his services to anyone.

- Erika Sing

If I can leave more stars I will. Wonaia Law is highly recommended. John is great with making sure I understand everything that was going on, I really appreciate how he’s always there to answer any questions I have ... My chapter 7 is just about over and I have 2nd chance with living life debt free.

- Tiffany Austin

John Wonais is responsive, professional, and cares for his clients. He is extremely experienced in civil litigation and has answered all of my questions in a way that I can understand as someone with zero experience in law. He has gone above and beyond and has always made sure to follow up with me when I’ve needed it. I truly feel that he has my best interest at heart.

- Ariana Khosravani

I really wanna give a big thanks to John he helped me out a lot. He walked me through everything to make sure I understand, good quality. I don’t think I could of did it without him ?

- Twona Gibson

He gave an expert and advise and a great service. He went all out to be sure I got a solution to the issue I had.

- Betty Salami

I want to thank John for helping me win my case he was very helpful throughout the process and very professional, thanks again.

- Diana M.

I was very impressed on how quickly I was responded to, and how my lawyer John made everything so easy for me to understand. I have never had to hire a lawyer before, and I'm really glad that I met such a professional, and honest person. I would highly recommended.

- Angela Mata

DebtPros is a law firm that specializes in consumer bankruptcy. John has years of valuable experience and is dedicated to helping clients file for bankruptcy. John is responsive and provides a free consultation to prospective clients. I recommend this firm to anyone who is considering filing for bankruptcy.

- Taylor Kosla

John Wonais provided me with timely and beneficial legal counsel. I would trust his firm to represent me in any creditor-related case. John's professionalism and expertise are second-to-none; highly recommend his services.

- Richard Young

Very helpful, professional and they’re reasonably priced.

- Anthony Brown

Great Professional Service- I have been working with Wonais Law the past couple weeks and I have been blown away from their attention to detail and professionalism. They get work done quickly and are extremely responsive. I would recommend this firm to everyone needing legal services.

- Andres Jara

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