It can be a stressful time when you or your business face financial challenges that make it necessary to claim Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is complicated by the often confusing legal terms and processes involved that you may not be familiar with, especially when trying to find an attorney.
To help you navigate the legal aspects and aid you in your search for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in San Antonio, we have created a guide to explain some of the frequently asked questions you may have.
What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a form of debt consolidation and management that applies to individuals and small businesses. According to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can reorganize your finances with assistance and supervision from a federal bankruptcy court.
This will help to lower your monthly payments to a sum you can afford and prevents repossession, foreclosures, and debt collection from lawsuits. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you to regain control over your finances if you are going through a difficult period. By filing for bankruptcy, you can avoid having to lose what you own in order to repay your debts.
What does Chapter 13 bankruptcy involve?
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you will need to create a plan of how you will pay off your past and current debts, which your bankruptcy attorney can assist you with. This plan will outline your consolidation and repayment over either a three or five year period, from the time you file for bankruptcy in the state of Texas.
You will begin the process by filing a petition for bankruptcy with the court, along with a schedule of your current incomings and outgoings and a financial statement. This will give the court an idea of the problems you are facing – for example, potentially foreclosing on your home or car – and act as a starting point for to assist you. Filing your financial statement will allow the court to stop any impending lawsuits or repossessions to protect your property and your family.
After this, you will be assigned a trustee by the court and file your payment plan. The trustee will collect manageable payments from you on a monthly basis, in order to pay off your creditors. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will usually begin making repayments as set out by your plan within 30 days.
A court must approve your payment plan and agree on a monthly payment amount that you can afford. This is often less than the monthly amount you may owe to each creditor but is aimed at allowing you to manage your finances and eventually take control of your money and property.
What should I look for in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney?
You can use the Texas Board of Legal Specialization website to find a selection of board certified attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy law, either for consumers or businesses, depending on whether you are an individual or small business.
A board certified attorney will have specific experience in dealing with bankruptcy cases, including situations involving Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will enable you to find help and assistance with filing your petition and forming your payment plan, tailored to the specific and individual needs of your case.
In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your attorney fees should include the preparation of your financial reorganization and repayment plan, as well as represent you at the confirmation hearing.
Research your bankruptcy lawyer and meet with them prior to hiring them to take on your case. This will allow you to make sure they are up to date with all of the code changes that can impact on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case as the regulations underwent significant changes in 2005.
It is important that you are able to form a trusting and professional relationship with your attorney, as cases of bankruptcy can have considerable effects on your family and your daily life. Your finances can impact your home and work life, meaning it is vital that you have the right representation when you file for bankruptcy.
An attorney that specializes in bankruptcy and has experience with Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be able to help you to navigate the legal processes involved, to protect your property and your assets while making your repayments.