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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Helps Tennessee Consumers Protect Their Homes

Tennessee attorney assists with devising debt-reduction installment plans

If you have income but are struggling with overwhelming debt and falling behind on your mortgage, there is a way to restructure your debt and save your home and other assets. At Gasser Law, PLLC, I have experience assisting hard-working people through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I do a complete analysis of your financial situation to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 13 and whether it is your best option.

Advantages of Chapter 13

Chapter 13, known as a wage earner’s plan, lets qualifying debtors pay off part of their debt in installments over a period of three to five years. Once you have filed for Chapter 13, your creditors must immediately stop collections efforts, including harassing letters and phone calls. This remedy offers other advantages, chief among them being that you avoid home foreclosure. In addition, it may be possible to protect your co-signers on certain loans and so avoid putting business partners and family members at risk of loss from your bankruptcy filing.

Who may file for Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is an attractive option for people whose income and assets make them ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To qualify for Chapter 13, you must have:

  • A steady income sufficient both to meet your monthly household obligations and to pay into a debt repayment plan

Chapter 13 is available only to individuals, not to businesses, but you may include in the repayment plan business-related debts for which you are personally responsible.

As a condition of Chapter 13 eligibility, you must take two credit counseling education courses from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee, once before filing and once after filing.

How the Chapter 13 process works

Chapter 13 begins with filing an official petition along with supporting forms listing your assets, liabilities and other financial information. Filing the petition creates an automatic stay of most bill collection efforts. You then propose a repayment plan to the court, giving notice to your creditors. If any creditors object, you may have to modify the plan to address their concerns. One month after you file for Chapter 13, you begin paying off your debts, even before the court confirms your plan. Ultimately, the court will confirm the plan if it is feasible and filed in good faith.

Once you have completed the repayment plan in three to five years, the court will wipe out most of your remaining debts. Certain debts cannot be discharged, such as domestic support obligations, student loans and income tax debts that first became due within the three years prior to filing Chapter 13. Other debts that won’t be wiped out are fraudulent debts, criminal penalties and fines or penalties owed to a government agency.

Chapter 13 is rarely successful without the assistance of a lawyer, so make sure you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney analyze your case before you file.

Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Tennessee

Don’t let crushing debt drive you out of your home or lose your car. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can ease your financial burdens. Call Gasser Law PLLC at 615-267-0588 or contact me online to schedule your free initial consultation at my Smyrna office.