What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a difficult decision. No one ever anticipates that they will get into financial hot water, but life has its unexpected twists and turns. Bankruptcy is a very useful tool for people that are experiencing financial problems. While the decision should not be taken lightly, it is something that is available to help you. If you are experiencing financial trouble your first step should be to make an appointment with the Law Offices of James G. Beirne. People often feel embarrassed and overwhelmed when they are in financial trouble. Our goal is that you receive the help you need to put your financial problems behind you so you can move on with your life. We specialize in bankruptcy, debt consolidation and loan modifications. We can help stop wage garnishments, IRS levies, creditors from harassing you, and much more. If you are seriously thinking of filing bankruptcy, or just need to explore what your options are, the first step is to sit down with a lawyer you can trust and determine what your next step should be.

Chapter 13 is termed as reorganization. This is contrast to a Chapter 7 which is considered a liquidation. In a Chapter 7, all of your unsecured debts are discharged. In a Chapter 13, the process is different. If you have any excess income above $100 per month, you will be required to use that amount as a partial payment each month for five years. The The money collected is prorated to creditors. Secured creditors come first, and if there is anything left over from excess (disposable) income, it will go to unsecured creditors.

In order to qualify for a Chapter 13, you will need to show that you are able to keep up with a repayment plan. This means that you must have sufficient income, (at least $100.00 per month disposable) and that it is regular. You must also come within certain debit limits in order to qualify for a Chapter 13. As of January, 2010, if you have secured debt that is over $1,010,650, or unsecured debts exceeding $336,900. you would not be eligible. An unsecured debt is not collateralized by a specific lien, asset or property. This would be debts such as credit card debts or medical bills. A secured debt is one that is attached to property, such as a car or a home.

The most important aspect of your bankruptcy will be your repayment plan. The plan will outline in detail who you will pay and exactly how much. Your list of creditors will put in order of priority. Things that will take priority will be things like child support and taxes, and your secured debts. Depending on your income, the plan will usually span 5 years. When you have reached the end of your payment plan, any remaining debts will be discharged.

Chapter 13 can offer you many advantages. One of the best advantages is that you can save your home from foreclosure, reorganize your debts and obtain a fresh start. Come and make an appointment with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers, who can show you how you can get the creditors to stop calling, save your home and get the help that you and your family deserve. The Law Offices of James G. Beirne has three locations to serve you: Glendale (818) 552-4500, Cerritos (562) 865-4480 and West Covina (626) 262-4446.


An active member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Nevada, James G. Beirne is also a member of the highly respected American Immigration Lawyers Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association Immigration Section. He is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, all federal district courts in California and Nevada, California state courts, and Nevada state courts. Mr. Beirne has represented clients in numerous immigration cases. His offices are located at 520 E. Wilson Ave., Suite 110, Glendale, CA 91206, and 17215 Studebaker Rd., Suite 380, Cerritos, CA 90703, with telephone numbers (818) 552-4500; (562) 865-4480; and (866) 903-4522. He also has offices at 2640 E. Garvey Ave., Suite 104, West Covina 91791, with tel. no. (626) 262-4446.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Results may vary depending on the facts of a particular case. We make no prediction, warranty or guarantee about the results of any case, nor do we assume any legal liability for the completeness of any information and its impact on the results of any case. Each case is different and results depend on the facts of each case. Consult with and retain counsel of your own choice if you need legal advice.

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