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» How Flexible is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
How Flexible is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
One of the most common questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy is what happens if your financial situation changes during the duration of the plan? After all, a Chapter 13 plan runs from between three to five years and a lot of life can happen in that period of time. What happens if you or your spouse lose a job, get sick or in an accident and incur medical expenses, or have a change in family size?
andnbsp;Fortunately, Chapter 13 bankruptcy does have a great deal of flexibility in case of a change of income or expenses during the duration of the plan. Many times the court can agree to modify your plan to make it work. This often involves a lowering of monthly payments which debtors are obligated to pay.
andnbsp;Other times, the changes may need to be made even before a first payment is sent. Sometimes debtors are still unable to pay their mortgage even with the restructuring of their debt in Chapter 13. In cases such as this, modification is necessary. If the situation that you are experiencing is only a short term problem, the court may grant a moratorium in payments if it will allow you an opportunity to recover from an illness, one-time expense, or some other temporary cash flow problem.
andnbsp;If your situation changes significantly, Chapter 13 has what is called a andldquo;hardship dischargeandrdquo;. This happens when a Chapter 13 plan is confirmed but circumstances come up that prevent the debtor from completing the plan. However, there are stipulations to a hardship discharge which make it available only if: the failure to pay comes from circumstances beyond the debtorandrsquo;s control, creditors have received at least as much money as they would have received under Chapter 7 where assets are liquidated, and if modification of the plan is impossible.
andnbsp;If you are seriously considering bankruptcy and you live in California, you need to consult with a California bankruptcy lawyer. While the process is complicated, they will be able to help you understand your options and help you avoid making bad decisions that you could later regret. If you are over-burdened with bills and cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, bankruptcy may be the best option to help you get that much needed fresh start and allow you to rebuild your future. The law offices of Borowitz, Lozano and Clark, LLP specialize in California bankruptcy and exclusively represent debtors in Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcies. They have helped over 20,000 families get free from the burden of debt since 1997. Call today for a free debt consultation at 1-800-509-3200.
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Brian Reed. bankruptcy law How Flexible is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
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Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 -
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