Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQs

distressed couple looking over bank statements

When you are trying to get a hold of your financial situation, you may wonder if there is a way to consolidate your debts into monthly payments. That’s where Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes in. By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio, you can propose a repayment plan to pay off creditors over three to five years. In most cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay your unsecured creditors (credit cards, medical debt, personal loans, etc.) at only a fraction of what is owed.

If you have questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio, take a look at our Chapter 13 bankruptcy FAQs.

What debts do I have to repay in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization and repayment based bankruptcy, you will be expected to pay the following debts:

  • All bankruptcy fees (can be factored into the repayment plan)
  • All priority debts such as child and spousal support, most tax debts, contributions you owe to an employee benefit fund, etc.
  • All secured debts
  • None to all unsecured debts. This is calculated based on your disposable income, the length of the repayment plan, and the total creditors would have received had you filed under Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead.

Will I lose my house or car by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can stop your home from facing foreclosure and your car from repossession under the automatic stay. Once your bankruptcy filing is approved, you will be able to keep both your home and car so long as you make your monthly payments.

The automatic stay also stops creditors from calling and stops wage garnishment.

Do I qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Most people qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To qualify:

  • You must have a regular source of income.
  • Your total debt balances must be below certain amounts. As of April 1, 2019, the limits are $419,275 for unsecured debt and $1,257,850 for secured debt until 2021.

Can I file for bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 13?

If you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy but did not meet the requirements or failed to make repayments, you must wait six years before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Is Chapter 13 bankruptcy bad?

Chapter 13 (nor Chapter 7) bankruptcy is not bad! There are many myths about bankruptcy that make people think it’s a bad thing to file, but in reality, it is allowing you to get a fresh start on your finances.

What is a bankruptcy trustee?

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee evaluates the case and serves as a disbursing agent collecting payments to creditors.

What happens at the bankruptcy hearing?

In Chapter 13 bankruptcies, there are two hearings or meetings. The first hearing is with your bankruptcy trustee who will review the paperwork. There, your trustee and creditors will question how you will make repayment. The second hearing is with your trustee for confirmation of your bankruptcy case.

Can I get credit while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

It is possible to get credit while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Be it for a medical emergency, a vehicle, etc., the court may approve you to procure new debts. It will be imperative you make those payments and be mindful of high-interest rates.

Can I change my repayment plan?

If you are unable to make repayments during the course of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can petition the court for a modification. You will need to supply supporting documents that show this change in income–be it the loss of a job, the birth of a child, or that a creditor needs to be added to the repayment schedule.

Who can help me with my Ohio Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing?

If you are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio, you need a qualified attorney who can guide you through the process. Attorney Michael Ryan Jones is here to help you.

With offices in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, The Jones Law Firm works with clients in and around Columbus and throughout central Ohio. Contact The Jones Law Firm today to speak about your specific situation and how we can help you.