To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, petitioners must meet the requirements. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to keep their property and repay creditors using a three- or five-year court-approved repayment plan. According to the requirements of Chapter 13 under the bankruptcy code, debtors hoping to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must meet specific criteria.
To File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, You Must:
- Not Be a Business Entity: Businesses cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Only individual or individuals filing jointly as husband and wife can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Not Be Barred by a Prior Bankruptcy: If a debtor received a discharge of debt through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last two years or in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the previous four years, they are ineligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Not Have Had a Bankruptcy Case Dismissed in the Past 180 Days: If a bankruptcy petition was dismissed during the past 180 days because the debtor willfully violated a court order, failed to appear in court, or requested that the court dismiss the case after a creditor asked that the court lift the automatic stay.
- Have Fulfilled the Credit Counseling Requirement: Chapter 13 debtors are required to complete an approved debt counseling class offered by a credit counseling agency during the 180 days before filing and provide the court with a certificate of completion as proof.
- Not Have Too High a Debt Threshold: Chapter 13 is available to debtors who have less than $336,900 in unsecured debts and less than $1,010,650 in secured debt. (Debt limits are adjusted for inflation every three years).
- Have Filed Your Income Tax Returns: Debtors are required to provide proof that they filed both state and federal income tax returns for the past four years.
- Have a Bankruptcy Plan that Repays all Required Debts: Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans must repay certain types of debts in full, including priority debts (child support, alimony, taxes, etc.), secured debt that survive the repayment plan (mortgage, vehicle loan, etc.), and other secured debts (like judicial and tax liens).
- Repay a Certain Amount to Unsecured Creditors: Debtors filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may keep the nonexempt property, and as such, debtors must repay nonpriority, unsecured creditors at least the amount equal to the value of nonexempt property over the life of the repayment plan.
- You Have Sufficient Income to Pay Debt: Debtors filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy must have enough income (after the deduction of allowable expenses) for their debt obligations.
Do you need to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Get in touch with the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Aronow Law PC and find out if you can file for Chapter 13 and take advantage of the protections provided by bankruptcy.