If you have a Chapter 13 closed case, you may have several options. You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy even if you can't afford another attorney to help you.
Written byAttorney Jonathan Petts.Legally checked byAttorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 27, 2021
When a person doesn'tentitled to debt reliefSobChapter 7because they make a lot of money or had a previous chapter filing, that person may file chapter 13 instead. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding is adebt restructuring.
By filing under Chapter 13, you are proposing a payment plan for your debt. Each month you make a payment to aChapter 13 Trusteeswhich pays out to your creditors under the terms of the Chapter 13 plan. The amount of the Chapter 13 plan payment depends on several factors. Only certain debts - like mortgages - can be paid directly while the case is open. In some cases, you may be able to pay some unscheduled creditors, e.g. B. Your mortgage payment.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts 3 to 5 years. At the end of the payment plan, any remaining unpaid debt is eliminated through a Chapter 13 discharge. To receive a discharge, the applicant must complete the plan, which can sometimes be complicated due to changing circumstances.
Why are Chapter 13 cases dropped?
There are several reasons why a Chapter 13case can be submitted. Some are the same as Chapter 7 cases. Things like failing to pay the court fee, failing to prepare and appear properlycreditors meeting, and does not meet all requirementsforms of insolvency. Other reasons a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding may be filed include:
Failure to Make Chapter 13 Payments.
failure to meet certain deadlines.
Failure to propose a Chapter 13 plan consistent with bankruptcy laws.
Failure to submit required documentation to the Chapter 13 Administrator.
failure to file tax returns each year; Failure to serve a copy to the insolvency practitioner.
As you can see, the grounds for termination under Chapter 13 are usually that the debtor fails to do something that the debtor is obligated to do under the lawbankruptcy rules. However, sometimes a closed Chapter 13 case is due to something beyond the debtor's control.
For example, if a debtor loses their job or becomes ill, the debtor may not have enough money to pay Chapter 13 plan payments. If changing the plan payment or converting the case to a Chapter 7 case is not an option, If so, then there may be no choice but to have the case filed under Chapter 13.
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What happens after a Chapter 13 case is completed?
While you are in bankruptcy proceedings, you are protected byautomatic stay. The stay of bankruptcy prohibits creditors from taking steps to collect a claim without court approval.
The automatic suspension ceases to apply once the bankruptcy proceedings have ended. This means creditors can take any collection action permitted by law. Debt collection activities can include dunning letters,collection measures,wage liens,redemptions, and foreclosures.
The only way to prevent creditors from taking action to collect a claim after a completed Chapter 13 proceeding is to either pay off the debt or file a new bankruptcy petition.
Can I resubmit Chapter 13 after my case is submitted?
Whether you can file another Chapter 13 case immediately after a closed Chapter 13 case depends on why the Chapter 13 case was closed. If this is not your first bankruptcy case in a short period of time, the bankruptcy court may prevent you from filing another Chapter 13 case for a period of time. Even if you can archive again immediately, your automatic permanence may be limited.
Especially if you've had a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy case that was denied by the court, it's best to speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your area. Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings are much more complex than Chapter 7 proceedings, and over 97% of all Chapter 13 cases filed without counsel (“pro se”) are dismissed by the court.Having a bankruptcy attorney by your side as you navigate a Chapter 13 case is often worth the investment.
Can I convert to Chapter 7 to avoid a dropped case after Chapter 13?
Depending on why you are at risk of having your case filed under Chapter 13, you may do soConvert it to a Chapter 7 case. Most bankruptcy courts will allow you to do this by completing a simple "notice" and paying a small conversion fee.
Whether conversion is an option depends on your situation. For example, if you can't stay on the Chapter 13 payment schedule because you lost your job and it doesn't look like you'll be getting anything comparable anytime soon, you're probably eligible for Chapter 7 relief even if you didn't have when the case was archived for the first time.
Of course, you want to make sure you don't have any further issues converting to a Chapter 7 case to avoid filing a Chapter 13 case. If you are behind on your mortgage payments or have property with non-exempt equity, you may face thislose this propertyin a Chapter 7 case.
File a Chapter 7 case after a Chapter 13 case has been filed
If you have a closed Chapter 13 case, you can resubmit it under Chapter 7 as long as you are within the income limits. You should also make sure that the available bankruptcy exemptions protect all your property, as this is not usually a Chapter 13 issue.unsecured debteven if you have a closed case after Chapter 13.
Because you're filing under Chapter 7, you can file without an attorney because you don't have to file a Chapter 13 repayment plan.Remain in force) and that the reason for which your chapter 13 proceeding was filed will not prevent you from filing another bankruptcy petition.
Filing a Chapter 7 case without an attorney
If you are struggling to pay off your debt, this is what you should doConsider a case from Chapter 7before filing a Chapter 13 case. Depending on your financial situation, you can do thispass a means testfor a case after chapter 7. In a typical caseChapter 7 case no fortune, you can pay off your debt within four to six months of filing your bankruptcy petition with thebankruptcy court. For many filers, they can quickly get out of thousands of dollars in debt without losing any of their property.
If this sounds like the debt solution you've been looking for, consider using itDissolvefree archiving tool. If you have any questions or are skeptical,participateVideo testimonials from our previous users. You can hear from real people who have used our services to file a Chapter 7 case without an attorney to get the debt relief they need.
If you need a fresh start but can't afford an attorney to help you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, read ourTrackerto see if you are a good fit for UpsolveBuchBankruptcy Filing Upsolve offers people who cannot afford to file for a bankruptcybankruptcy attorneythe help they need to get out of debt. Can you do that!
Watch the video below ⬇️ to learn more about what happens when a Chapter 13 case is filed!
- American Bankruptcy Institute. (2017, August). Success rates in Chapter 13.ABI-Magazine.Retrieved November 25, 2020 fromhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/abi-org-corp/journals/numbers_08-17.pdf
- American Bankruptcy Institute. (2002). Bankruptcy in Numbers - Chapter 7 Property Procedures.ABI-Magazine.Retrieved August 4, 2020 fromhttps://www.abi.org/abi-journal/chapter-7-asset-cases
Attorney Jonathan Petts
Jonathan Petts has over 10 years of insolvency experience and is the co-founder and chairman of Upsolve. Attorney Petts holds an LLM in Bankruptcy from St. John's University, has served on two federal bankruptcy judges' clerks, and has worked for two of the leading law firms in New York City specializing in...Read more about attorney Jonathan Petts
Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Andrea practiced exclusively as a consumer bankruptcy attorney in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases for over 10 years before joining Upsolve, first as a contributing writer and editor, and eventually as editor-in-chief to the team. While working in private practice, Andrea dealt with...Read more about attorney Andrea Wimmer
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