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Do You Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

June 1, 2022

If you’re facing financial trouble, you may consider filing for bankruptcy. However, the type of bankruptcy you can and should file will depend on your circumstances. Many debtors with regular incomes benefit from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is helpful to understand whether you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and what filing entails. To find out whether you qualify, call us today to speak with a St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer.

What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals with a regular, steady income to develop a plan for repayment of their debts. Typically, debtors have three to five years to make installment payments and finish repaying part or all of their debts. Chapter 13 has certain advantages over Chapter 7. Most importantly, debtors that file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to save their homes from foreclosure and allow them to keep other important assets.

Qualifying for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must first meet the eligibility requirements.

Your Income Tax Filings are Current Shortly After Filing Your Case

When filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must provide proof you’ve filed your tax returns for the previous four years. If you cannot show proof of tax filings, your case will likely be dismissed after a few months.  The case can still be filed without all tax returns filed.  However, they will need to get filed pretty quickly.

Your Debts Are Not Too High

To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts cannot exceed a certain amount. Namely, your unsecured debt cannot exceed $419,275, and your secured debt cannot exceed $1,257,850.

You Have Sufficient Income

To be able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to prove you still have enough disposable income after subtracting your allowed expenses and required payments.

Income not only means your salary from work, but can also include:

  • Social security benefits

  • Unemployment benefits

  • Workers’ compensation or disability benefits

  • Rent income

  • Proceeds from property sales

Additionally, if you are married, you should also claim your spouse’s income as your own. 

If you wish to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in St. Louis, these are the steps needed.

  • Gather your financial documents - Filing for bankruptcy requires plenty of documentation, including financial statements and tax documents. Collecting all of your information can make the filing process easier.

  • Get credit counseling - Missouri requires all debtors filing for bankruptcy to get credit counseling. You can complete your course online.

  • Draft and file your petition with the court - Your bankruptcy lawyer can ensure your forms are accurately completed and timely filed with the court. Additionally, you’ll need to pay a filing fee.

  • Send bankruptcy documents to your trustee - The court will appoint a trustee to oversee your case.  Your lawyer will submit this information to the Court.

  • Attend a meeting of creditors - During this meeting, you’ll provide identification and answer questions regarding your documents.

  • Attend a confirmation hearing - During this hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant your Chapter 13 plan. Only your lawyer needs to attend this hearing.

Consult with a St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming, but a skilled St. Louis bankruptcy attorney can get you on the path to your financial refresh. AKS Law has over ten years of experience helping bankruptcy clients. Our firm always puts clients and their needs first. We understand every situation is different, and we treat your case as such. 

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, call us at (314) 866-3955 or contact us online to schedule your free case review.