Manhattan Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Get Relief from Your Debt and “Start-Fresh”
If you are struggling to pay back your creditors and do not expect things to change, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good option for you. Some people prefer to file this type of bankruptcy because it allows you to keep more assets than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, there are some minimum requirements that must be met.
The Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C. is here to help you get relief from your debts in the manner that is right for your specific situation. We offer a free initial consultation with our Manhattan Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney so that we can better understand your circumstances and give you personalized advice about the right path forward.
Are you uncertain about how to get debt relief in Queens and Brooklyn? Call (917) 909-6166 for reliable legal counsel.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13, also referred to as a reorganization bankruptcy or a “wage earner plan,” involves the reorganization of a debtor’s financial affairs. The goal is to create a payment plan for the benefit of the creditors while protecting the debtor from foreclosure, garnishment, levy, or similar consequences. The plan period will vary from three to five years, depending upon whether your income is generally above or below the median income.
Eligibility for Chapter 13
In order to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must have an income that exceeds the debtor's reasonable living expenses, as the debtor must have sufficient means to provide repayment to creditors of past debts. In some cases, repayment may be for the full amount of the debt, while in others the debtor may pay off only a small percentage of certain debts – perhaps as little as 10%.
Individuals may file chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions if they:
- Have a source of regular income
- Reside, have a domicile, a place of business, or property in the U.S., or a municipality
- Owe less than $394,725 in unsecured debt and no more than $1,184,200 in secured debts
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy tends to be favored by debtors who have fallen behind on secured loan payments, such as mortgages and car loans, as it enables the debtor to keep possession of the property while catching up on payments through a court-approved repayment plan. It may also be preferred by a debtor who has the valuable non-exempt property that would be liquidated in the course of Chapter 7.
What Is Considered Reasonable/Allowable Living Expenses?
Allowable living expenses under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 refer to a person's most basic expenses, such as their rent/mortgage, utilities, and day-to-day expenses. These expenses can be deducted from your regular income when helping you determine whether you qualify for the Means Test, or when structuring your Chapter 13 payment plans.
Reasonable living expenses can be quite extensive, and may include:
- Mortgage or rent, including home repair/maintenance costs
- Utilities, water, trash, and sewer
- Cable, cell phone, and internet
- Medical, Dental, Auto, and Life insurance
- Transportation/vehicle costs
- Alimony, child support, and child-related expenses
- Personal care, such as grooming, clothing, laundry
- Employment expenses
- Taxes that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy
- Student loans and educational expenses
Can I Keep My Car or Home?
This form of bankruptcy may allow individuals to keep a home or car even if they have become seriously delinquent on the loans. At the end of a successful bankruptcy, most debts are extinguished through a discharge of debts.
Because you are allowed to keep all of your property, the courts create a new plan that allows you to pay your obligations without incurring interest. During the proceedings, a written plan is drafted that details the repayments and their duration. Usually, repayment begins within 30 to 45 days after the initial filings, and monthly payments are made to the court-appointed trustee. The trustee then disburses the money according to the plan.
How Are Chapter 13 Payment Plans Calculated?
All Chapter 13 filings must include a monthly payment plan that shows how you will repay your debts over time.
Your Chapter 13 monthly payments are determined using a variety of factors, including:
- Disposable income: This is determined by taking your total income and subtracting your necessary expenses. For most people, their disposable income will be their monthly payment.
- Amount of debts: You will need to add up all of your debts, including priority debts, and divide by the number of months in your plan.
- Length of plan: Payment plans typically range from three to five years. If your income is less than the state's median income, you will have a three-year plan. If your income is higher, your plan will be five years.
- Assets you are keeping: If you choose to keep your home or car, you must have enough income to repay any past-due amount and keep up with current payments.
Your attorney can help you analyze your financial situation and help you come up with a manageable payment plan that allows you to comfortably repay your debts.
Get the Reliable Representation You Deserve
The Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C., is dedicated to your bankruptcy case, and you can rest assured that we provide personal and aggressive representation. We also strive to maintain open lines of communication at all times. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us today.
The majority of the firm's clients are referrals. This is a testament to their faith in Attorney Portilla's ability to provide the best legal counsel and advocacy.
When you hire Attorney Portilla you can count on transparent communication regarding your case and fast response times on all questions!
For your safety and convenience, The Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C. offers phone and video consultations as well as same-day appointments.
The team at The Law Office of Julio E. Portilla, P.C. is multilingual and serves its clients in English, Spanish and French.
Attorney Portilla takes the time to listen, walk you through the process, and create a personalized strategy for your case.
Attorney Portilla is a proven litigator who has vast experience handling various cases types in a courtroom successfully.
He not only guided me in my most difficult moments, but he was determined and positive at all times.- Kat Sykes
He helped us every step of the way and made us feel so comfortable during a very difficult time.- Anahida
He was there for me in my time of need when I thought I had no options.- Iris
I never felt lost, and the entire process was very stress-free thanks to Mr. Portilla.- Happy Client
He was there for us every step of the way and would recommend his services to anyone who needs a reliable lawyer.- A. Ovan