Orange County Chapter 132021-06-07T18:46:50+00:00

Orange County Chapter 13 Attorney

REPRESENTING CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY CLIENTS IN ORANGE COUNTY

Bankruptcy is one of the most commonly misunderstood legal processes in the United States, but it is crucial for everyone to understand the different types of bankruptcy filings and what they entail so they can take full advantage of the benefits bankruptcy can offer in some situations. While no one ever wants to file for bankruptcy, the process can actually provide valuable financial relief in the face of mounting debt and harassment from creditors.

At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, our team understands the stress and frustration that can result from financial difficulties. Many people fall into bankruptcy due to forces beyond their control, and navigating bankruptcy filing rules without a reliable attorney is an extremely difficult process. Our goal is to provide the legal counsel you need to approach the bankruptcy filing process with confidence and peace of mind.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Technically, it is possible to file for bankruptcy without an attorney. However, the filing process involves deep financial disclosure, and the average person may not know how to secure the documentation they must provide with their filing paperwork. Additionally, there are many other procedural issues that a filing party must address, and any mistakes can severely hamper the overall filing process.

If you want to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, this form of bankruptcy can provide significant benefits compared to Chapter 7 or other types of bankruptcy. However, you need to be prepared for the complexities this filing process entails. One of the best ways to do that is to hire an Orange County Chapter 13 attorney to represent you. Your legal team can not only help you in gathering your financial documents but also streamline your Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing process in other ways. Additionally, an Orange County Chapter 13 attorney can potentially help you with a budget plan or connect you with outside resources to help you manage your income and prevent future financial problems after your Chapter 13 filing concludes.

What Is the Success Rate of Chapter 13?

On average, any given Chapter 13 filing has between a 40% and 70% chance of success. The ultimate goal of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is restructuring your debt into more manageable payments without needing to sell all of your property. Other forms of bankruptcy can provide complete discharge of your debt, but you must liquidate all qualifying assets with these options. Chapter 13 allows for something of a middle ground; while you are not completely released from your debt, you can continue owning your property while making payments on a restructured debt settlement.

Does Filing Chapter 13 Affect Your Tax Return?

In most cases, you must resign a tax return received during Chapter 13 filing for payment to your creditors. However, an experienced Orange County Chapter 13 attorney may help you take advantage of some loopholes that would allow you to designate your tax return as exempt from seizure. When you secure a Chapter 13 resolution, a trustee is assigned to your case to review your financial statements and determine how much of your income must go toward repayment. Typically, tax refunds are remitted to Chapter 13 trustees, and if the trustee determines that your tax refund is disposable income, you must surrender it for repayment. Your Orange County Chapter 13 attorney will help you determine whether your tax refund is subject to forfeiture under the terms of your repayment plan.

What Is the Downside to Filing Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers several advantages over other forms of bankruptcy, but this filing process is not without some disadvantages. As previously mentioned, you may need to surrender your tax refunds to your creditors under the terms of your Chapter 13 resolution. Additionally, the repayment play you receive through your Chapter 13 case may require you to continue making payments to your creditors for five years or longer. This means that virtually all of your disposable income gained during this time must be surrendered to pay off your debt.

If you successfully complete Chapter 13 filing, you will also face other long-term consequences beyond a protracted repayment term. The record of your Chapter 13 filing will remain on your credit report for up to ten years, making it very difficult for you to secure financing for some future purchases. You will also lose all of your credit cards and be unable to secure new credit cards until you discharge your debt according to the terms of your Chapter 13 resolution. In some cases, a record of Chapter 13 filing can make it impossible to buy a new house or complete other high value purchases. Additionally, a Chapter 13 filing within six years will preclude you from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

It is also vital to remember that you may not file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you previously filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past 180 and the case was dismissed because you requested dismissal due to a creditor asking for relief from the automatic stay, or if you violated a court order. If you successfully obtain a Chapter 13 debt discharge in good faith and pay down at least 70% of your unsecured debts, the six-year ban on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will no longer apply.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T COMPLETE CHAPTER 13?

Obtaining a Chapter 13 bankruptcy resolution is difficult, and if you manage to secure your Chapter 13 resolution, it is vital to develop a solid plan for repaying the balance of your restructured debt. Defaulting, or failing to make your payments, can have severe financial consequences.

It’s possible for the court to dismiss your Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing if they deem your proposed repayment plan to be illogical or unfeasible. However, if you succeed in obtaining a resolution and fail to make your payments as required, the consequences can be severe. When you begin your Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing process, an automatic stay is placed on your debts that prevents creditors from continuing collection activities against you. If you fail to make your payments, creditors can file motions to have this automatic stay dismissed, effectively allowing them to continue collection activities against you.

If you lose the protection afforded by your automatic stay by defaulting on your payments, creditors can seek repossession of your belongings and even foreclosure on your home. Many people start on solid footing once they begin making Chapter 13 repayments, only to encounter unexpected circumstances that interfere with their ability to pay. If you find yourself in this situation, it is vital to consult your Orange County Chapter 13 attorney as soon as possible. In some cases, it is possible to modify your Chapter 13 resolution. However, it’s important to remember that modification may not be possible if you owe priority debts or debts on secured property that you do not want to surrender to your creditors.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHAPTER 13 CASE IS DISMISSED?

It can be incredibly disheartening to hear that your Chapter 13 filing was dismissed, but this is not an entirely hopeless situation. Your Orange County Chapter 13 attorney can help you refile your Chapter 13 case as long as you did not violate any court orders or as long as your dismissal was not the result of your behavior. One important variable to remember about this situation is that if you refile your Chapter 13 case, the automatic stay will only last for 30 days if your refiled case is within one year of your first Chapter 13 filing, but you can request the court extend the automatic stay under certain conditions.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER 13 ATTORNEY

When you work with the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, you can expect consistent legal support and professional guidance through every phase of your case. Our team will begin by reviewing the entirety of your debts, determining which of them are most likely to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, as well as what obstacles you might face based on the nature of your debts. Unsecured and secured debts function differently in bankruptcy proceedings, and your attorney should provide detailed guidance concerning what to expect as your Chapter 13 case progresses.

The Law Office of Christopher P. Walker provides client-focused legal counsel to every person we represent in Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. We understand how distressing financial problems can be, especially when they result in creditors constantly hounding you for repayment. We will help you determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy would suit your best interests, providing you with the flexibility you need to repay your debts without sacrificing your home, your bank account, and your other assets.

If you are facing debt collection and are unsure of how to handle the situation, contact the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker today and schedule a case review with our team. Once we assess the details of your situation, we can help you determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is a suitable remedy for your situation and begin preparing you for the process.

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