For those facing financial difficulties in Columbus, Ohio, and surrounding areas, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your choice in regaining control of your life while also making manageable monthly payments.
But what happens once you take the plunge and file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy? How will it impact your life? The Jones Law Firm knows you have a lot of questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is why we’ve broken down the phases from filing to completion to give you peace of mind as you start the process.
Once you have decided to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there will be certain actions you will need to take. The first step will be determining your eligibility (debts within the 2021 threshold and source of income); from there, you will need to complete credit counseling.
Upon completion of credit counseling, you will have to provide documentation of your debts, assets, insurance, deeds, etc. to your bankruptcy attorney. Then, you will attend the meeting of creditors where your status will be determined.
If granted the right to declare bankruptcy, you will then establish your payment plan.
Now that you have taken all the necessary steps, within 30 days after you file, your payment plan will begin.
You will work with your trustee to create a plan that works for you and your creditors. This allows you to adapt the plan if needed including adding debts or changing the amount being paid in some cases.
While you are making payments, it will be important to keep an eye on your credit score and report, utilizing the tools provided by the bankruptcy code, like your free credit reports–this allows you to rebuild credit while also building up your own comprehensive files to keep track of your payments and progress. This is useful in case creditors come for funds that have been forgiven or paid off.
While only temporary, so long as you are making payments in good faith, the automatic stay will protect you from adverse actions due to debt.
How long you make payments will ultimately depend on the plan you devise. For most, payments will take three to five years. Once you finish making all of your payments, you will receive your discharge. The discharge certifies that you are no longer legally responsible for most of the debts you had prior to filing.
Once you have made all of your plan payments, you should be completely current on any mortgage payments, car payments, tax obligations, and domestic support obligations.
Even though your bankruptcy will be complete, it will still be on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date of filing. But remember, making monthly payments on time, not incurring new large debts, and keeping up with your credit score for any errors will help you boost your score in no time at all.
Bankruptcy can seem like a complicated process, but it really doesn’t have to be when you have the right bankruptcy attorney by your side.
If you are experiencing financial distress or the burden of debts you cannot pay, we encourage you to contact The Jones Law Firm for a free consultation about how we can help and whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. You may worry about how it can impact your life, but we assure you, we are with you every step of the way. With offices in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, The Jones Law Firm works with clients in and around Columbus, Ohio, and throughout the Franklin County area.