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Cincinnati Chapter 13 Attorneys

Deciding to seek Chapter 13 protection isn’t easy.

You may be struggling to keep up with your monthly payments, or you may have fallen behind on your bills. Filing for bankruptcy can seem like a scary prospect, but it may be the best option for you.  Our Chapter 13 attorneys in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky can help you to understand your options and make the best decision for your situation. 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you to protect your assets and get back on track financially. The Minnillo Law Group is a trusted law firm with experience in helping people file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation! We’ll answer all your questions and help you decide if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. 

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Contact Our Cincinnati Chapter 13 Attorneys Today

If you’re struggling with debt in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky and don’t know where to turn, Minnillo Law Group is here for you and ready to help. We have a team of experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers who will help you understand the different types of bankruptcy and clearly explain your options. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to discuss your financial situation by calling us at 513-723-1600.

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

You may have heard of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but depending on your circumstances, Chapter 13 may be a better option. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of debt relief that allows individuals with a regular income to develop a repayment plan to repay all or part of their debts. The repayment plan is supervised by the bankruptcy court and lasts for three to five years. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, creditors are usually repaid in full, but they may receive less than the full amount owed if the debtor’s income is insufficient to make the payments. After the successful completion of the repayment plan, the debtor is discharged from most of his or her remaining obligations.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides many benefits to debtors. For example, it allows them to catch up on past-due mortgage payments and protection from foreclosure. In addition, it can protect co-signers from having to repay the debt if the debtor defaults on the loan. Moreover, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide a fresh start for debtors by giving them a chance to rebuild their credit. Overall, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a helpful tool for individuals who are struggling with overwhelming debt but who have a regular income.

Understanding the Debt Repayment Plan

Chapter 13 is sometimes referred to as individual debt adjustment. It is a court-facilitated debt repayment process. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you agree to a debt repayment plan that usually involves a partial reduction in your nonsecured debts, reduced interest rates on your secured debts, and extended payment terms. This can provide you with the financial breathing room you need to make a financial recovery. You can keep your house and your retirement assets and in most cases your vehicles and other personal property. Moreover, if you are underwater on your mortgage and have a second mortgage or more home equity loans, Chapter 13 can help you eliminate, or “strip,” the junior liens. 

The debt repayment plan process

Each debtor who goes through Chapter 13 files a repayment plan for approval by a bankruptcy court. Under every repayment plan, a debtor will make a single periodic payment to their Chapter 13 trustee, who will then distribute funds to creditors according to the terms of the plan.

The payment amount depends on factors like the debtor’s ability to pay, the amount owed and the type of debt (to make the plan workable, payments are typically lowered). A Chapter 13 repayment plan lasts for a term of three to five years. At the end of the term, any remaining balance on most types of debt is discharged (significant exceptions include long-term obligations like a home mortgage or student loans).

Chapter 13 Frequently Asked Questions

At Minnillo Law Group, we help people in the Cincinnati area get debt relief and a fresh financial start. Our law firm takes an informative approach to its work, by educating clients about the bankruptcy system and available debt relief options. Here are brief answers to some common Chapter 13 bankruptcy questions.

When people think of what filing bankruptcy means, they often think of what Chapter 7 entails: discharging nearly all your debts through bankruptcy. However, some people decide to seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where debtors reorganize their debt. Some of the reasons people choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy include the following:

  1. They make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (you must pass a means test to qualify for Chapter 7).
  2. They can pay off their past-due debts within three to six years (including tax debt and child support debt).
  3. They don’t want to turn over property, such as recreational vehicles or furniture, that they might have to in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  4. They don’t want their bankruptcy to show up on a credit report for 10 years. With Chapter 13, your bankruptcy is on your credit report only for seven years.

However, if you get behind while paying your home mortgage or car payments while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your lender could still ask the court for permission to foreclose on your home or repossess your vehicle. You also have to keep current on paying your other bills.

Ultimately, only about half of people who seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy complete their payback plan. You are more likely to be successful completing Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you get an attorney’s help in your case. Going through bankruptcy is a difficult, complex process and you want to set yourself up to succeed.

Only individuals with less than $2,750,000 of secured and unsecured debts as of the date of filing for bankruptcy relief may file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Furthermore, barring exceptional circumstances, anyone filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must receive credit counseling from an approved agency within 180 days before submitting a bankruptcy petition. To be successful in a Chapter 13 plan, some form of regular income is also required.

In rare circumstances, it may be possible to negotiate a lower payoff amount with the holder of the second mortgage. An arrangement by which a portion of the money is paid at the closing of the sale and the balance over an agreed-upon period may be allowed. Negotiations may also result in the first mortgage holder agreeing to grant the second mortgage holder a portion of the proceeds rather than getting nothing in the event the sale is not completed.

In some cases, a home is underwater, meaning that its value does not cover both the first and the second mortgages. A note receivable may be negotiated with the second mortgage holder in lieu of payment. It may be an unsecured note for full payment upon the sale of the property or a secured note with a lien on another property of the homeowner.

Some homeowners whose homes are valued lower than the amount outstanding on their first mortgages opt to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The court may allow the second mortgage to be stripped, thereby changing it into an unsecured debt. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide a homeowner through the legalities of the proceedings. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor to pay creditors, including the stripped second mortgage, over a period of three to five years according to a court-approved payment plan. Any balance due once the plan is successfully completed may be discharged by the court.

Source: homeguides.sfgate.com, “What If I Sell My House But Can’t Pay Off a Second Mortgage?“, Katie Jensen, Accessed on Jan. 8, 2016

 

When you are drowning in debt, getting constant harassing calls from creditors, you more than likely are tired of being stressed about your finances. You may be losing sleep at night, feeling like you’ll never escape this debt. You might be considering filing bankruptcy. Yet, you don’t know that much about it. Should you seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13? What is the difference between these two forms of personal bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy basics

About 63% of bankruptcies filed in the United States in 2019 were Chapter 7 debt relief. Some of the reasons Chapter 7 bankruptcies are more popular include the following:

  • Chapter 7 wipes out most unsecured debt, including credit card debt and medical debt.
  • Chapter 7 takes about four to six months to complete.
  • Filing for Chapter 7 stops harassing calls from creditors.
  • In Missouri, Chapter 7 allows consumers to keep their home if they have less than $15,000 equity in it. In Kansas, the homestead exemption is for an unlimited amount.

Those seeking Chapter 7 must qualify for a means test (which includes evaluating if your income is below a set limit). A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit for 10 years.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy basics

Those who don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcies come with these advantages:

  • You set up a payment plan to pay your creditors.
  • Creditors may be flexible about your payments or lower your debt amount.
  • Filing for Chapter 13 stops harassing calls from creditors.
  • You can keep the property you are paying debt on.
  • A Chapter 13 bankruptcy only stays on your credit for seven years.

Consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine what type of bankruptcy to file and if you should consider other debt-relief options.

You can file another Chapter 13 almost immediately after your discharge, though discharge under your new Chapter 13 may not be granted. Otherwise, you can file another Chapter 13 two years from the date of your prior filing, with the expectation that you will receive a discharge from your second Chapter 13. You can file Chapter 7 six years after the filing of your Chapter 13.

If you’re facing foreclosure, or the possibility of getting behind on your mortgage payments, you need to act fast. There are a variety of strategies that might help you save your home, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of them.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and foreclosure

Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves reorganizing all of your debts to make payback realistic. A bankruptcy court supervises the creation of a debt payback plan that involves your commitment to paying a certain amount of money each month. This payback commitment will be based on what you can afford based on your expenses, income and your level of debt. A Chapter 13 payback period lasts either three or five years.

Once you have successfully completed the Chapter 13 payback period, and you have made all of your payments each month, the bankruptcy court will discharge any remaining debts covered by the bankruptcy. As such, you won’t usually need to pay back all of the debt you owe, but rather just a portion of it.

Should you even try to keep your home?

If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments and facing the possibility of foreclosure, rather than filing for bankruptcy to try and keep your home, you might also want to consider whether keeping your residence is realistic. If you’re not too far behind on payments, it might be a wiser choice to simply sell your home and buy a more affordable one. Ultimately, there are many questions you may want to think about—and a lot of different solutions—that could help you in your situation if you’re facing the threat of foreclosure.

Get Your Chapter 13 Questions Answered for Free

You probably have questions of your own relating specifically to your situation. In a free consultation, a Chapter 13 attorney at one of our Cincinnati firms can answer your questions and explain how they can help you get debt relief. Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in a no-pressure setting. We have convenient locations near you with offices in Cincinnati, Eastgate, Fairfield, and Dayton.

What can I expect from my Chapter 13 attorney?

If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be wondering what role an attorney will play in the process. While it is possible to file for bankruptcy without an attorney, it is not recommended. An experienced Chapter 13 attorney can help you navigate the complex bankruptcy process and ensure that all of your paperwork is filed correctly.

Additionally, your attorney can represent you in court and help to protect your interests. If you are facing financial difficulties, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can provide invaluable assistance and guidance.

At Minnillo Law Group, we will evaluate every aspect of your situation and provide you with a strategic plan to solve your debt problems. If Chapter 13 is the right solution for you, our firm will assist you with the entire process including:

We will also act immediately to relieve you of all of the burdens and stress that debt can create, including such as putting a halt to creditor harassment, stopping the threat of repossession, delaying or possibly saving your home from foreclosure, and stopping wage or bank account garnishment.

Cincinnati Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Resources

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We are a law firm and a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.