You work hard every day to make ends meet and to pay the debts you owe. But sometimes, the unexpected can happen, and before you know it, you’re struggling to pay your debts. Dealing with financial strain is emotionally taxing. The stress of drowning in debt can be overwhelming. Don’t let a mistake or an unfortunate change in your circumstances keep you from financial survival. You can get relief from your debts by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
For over two decades, we’ve worked with businesses throughout Wake Forest to help them clean their financial slate, resolve their debts, and begin their renewed financial journey. If you’re ready to pursue bankruptcy relief or want to discuss your options, call the Wake Forest business bankruptcy lawyers of Bradford Law Offices at (919) 758-8879, or contact us online.
What Is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
When you’re struggling to keep up with your debts, you will likely have to deal with your creditors’ aggressive tactics to recover what you owe. They may call you at your place of employment frequently, sue you, garnish your wages, repossess your vehicle, or your home could be foreclosed on. The consequences of failing to pay your debts can be steep, no matter the reasons.
Bankruptcy provides you with an opportunity to be relieved of many of your debts and/or to catch up on paying your debts without the risk of losing your home or car.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often called a “wage earner’s plan,” is an option for those seeking debt relief who earn a reasonable amount of income and can pay something toward their outstanding debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t limited to individuals. Small business owners who can’t afford the expense of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy either in their personal capacity or for their business.
With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can have certain debts discharged. When your debts are discharged, you are no longer obligated to pay them. The debts that can be discharged are typically unsecured. These are debts you incurred in which no collateral was provided to the creditor. Common unsecured debts are credit cards and personal loans. For your secured debts, like your home or car, you can be placed on a payment plan with your creditors. The payment plan will last between three and five years. At the end of the term of your payment plan, your debts will be resolved. Any unsecured debt not included in the plan would be discharged upon the completion of your payment plan.
Some creditors of your unsecured debts may not agree to your unsecured debts being automatically discharged without you making further payments. Like your secured debts, you may have to pay back a portion or the total outstanding balance of those debts according to the terms of your payment plan.
To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to meet a few requirements:
- Your unsecured debts can’t total more than $394,725
- Your secured debts can’t be more than $1,184,200
- You haven’t had a bankruptcy petition dismissed in the previous 180 days before filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy
How Chapter 13 Compares to Chapters 7, 11, and 12 Bankruptcy
There are various bankruptcy options that you might consider. Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs from Chapters 7, 11, and 12 in several ways.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Individuals who need relief for their debts can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often called a “liquidation bankruptcy.” Many secured and unsecured debts will be discharged under this type of bankruptcy. Some debts are not dischargeable, however, such as student loans, child support, and spousal support debt. The bankruptcy trustee sells your property, and the proceeds are applied toward your debts. This may include your home if you owe on a mortgage and your car if you still owe the creditor. Each state allows for some dollar amount in property that you can exempt from being sold, or liquidated.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Businesses seeking a restructuring of their debts can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically much more expensive than Chapters 7 or 13 bankruptcy, which is why it’s generally known as the bankruptcy option for businesses.
The reorganization of the business’ debts is similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy because the business enters into a payment agreement with its creditors to repay its debts over three to five years. The benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that businesses can still operate while they are in bankruptcy. As long the business makes its payments in the amounts and on the schedule according to the terms of the payment plan, it can continue operating.
The maximum allowed secured and unsecured debts for businesses filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is $2,725,625. At least 50 percent of the debts had to have been incurred for the operation of the business.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a special type of bankruptcy designed for family farming and fishing businesses that are facing financial struggles. Similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, farmers and fishermen can continue operating their businesses while they’re resolving their debts through their payment plans with their creditors. To qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, a farming business’ total secured and unsecured debts have to be less than $4,153,150, while a fishing business’ total debts can’t be more than $1,924,550.
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney?
A Wake Forest business bankruptcy attorney from Bradford Law Offices can make sure you file the proper paperwork and include all required information in your bankruptcy petition. Errors in your petition could lead to delays in you getting the financial relief you need. Your lawyer will also ensure that you meet all the appropriate deadlines. The chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Wake Forest from Bradford Law Offices have considerable experience helping clients file for all of the different types of bankruptcy.
Contact Our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys Now
If you’re struggling to manage your debts, financial relief may not be out of reach. The Wake Forest business bankruptcy attorneys at Bradford Law Offices can help you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy so you can regain your financial footing. We’re here to support you during this stressful time until we arrive at the best solution for you.