Delaware County Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
When properly utilized with skill and care, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an immensely powerful financial tool for debtors in Delaware County. Not only can a strategic Chapter 13 bankruptcy help to get unmanageable debts under control, it can also help you protect your most valuable property from foreclosure or repossession while simultaneously giving you the foundation you need to start building credit for your future financial endeavors.
If you are a resident of Delaware County, and you have been considering declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 13, allow the knowledgeable and experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices to provide the support, assistance, and representation you need to get the most out of your case. We have helped thousands of Pennsylvanians manage their debt and regain control of their lives with our friendly and efficient bankruptcy legal services. To discuss whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be right for you in a confidential consultation completely free of charge, call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (215) 995-2543 as soon as possible.
What Happens When You File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?
There are several different types of bankruptcy, each of which is named after its corresponding chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. For example, you have probably heard about businesses declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
For individual debtors, there are two main types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is designed primarily for debtors who lack substantial income or assets, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is more appropriate for debtors with higher income due to the nature of the bankruptcy.
The reason Chapter 13, which is sometimes referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy or a “wage earner’s plan,” is meant for debtors with high income or considerable assets, is due to its defining feature: the reorganization or repayment plan. This feature, which is absent from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, requires the filer to commit to a three- to five-year plan to repay specific debts partially or in full. This plan, which gives priority to certain creditors, must be approved by the bankruptcy court.
When the plan has been completed, the debts which remain may be discharged, or eliminated, by the bankruptcy court handling your case. Depending on your financial circumstances, it may become necessary to modify the plan at some point during the bankruptcy, or to convert the case to Chapter 7.
How Chapter 13 (Reorganization) Bankruptcy Can Reduce or Eliminate Debt
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy (“liquidation”), a court-appointed trustee sells some of the debtor’s property in order to help repay the filer’s creditors. Chapter 13 lacks this feature, but in exchange for keeping more of their property, filers are also required to pay a greater portion of their debts.
Certain debts, which are known as “priority” debts, must be paid in full. Priority debts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case include, where applicable, the following:
- Alimony Debts
- Assorted Tax-Related Debts
- Child Support Debts
- Debts Owed to Employees (Wages)
As part of your repayment or reorganization plan, you will also be required to pay off certain secured debts, so named because they are “secured” by collateral: for example, the mortgage on your home. This has the tremendous benefit of allowing you to save your house from foreclosure. Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to put part of your remaining disposable income toward the repayment of unsecured debts, or debts which are not secured by collateral: for example, medical debt or credit card debt.
Once your plan has been successfully completed – a process which takes anywhere from three to five years, or 36 to 60 months – your case will be discharged by the bankruptcy court. The discharge releases you from any further liability for the debts which were addressed by the plan. In fact, Chapter 13 actually permits a greater variety of debts to be discharged than Chapter 7. For example, debts related to the causation of property damage, or property settlements related to divorce proceedings, may be discharged in Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not permit the discharge of such debts.
Delaware County Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attornets Serving Ardmore, Chester, Drexel Hill
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you save your home from foreclosure by giving you the time and space to make manageable payments on debts that were once overwhelming. Additionally, by affording you a clean financial slate, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also empower you to begin building your credit score in the long term.
While the benefits of Chapter 13 are significant, Chapter 13 cases are highly complex in terms of their timing, planning, and the numerous regulations to which they are subject. If you are considering Chapter 13 in Delaware County, it is in your best interests to make sure you are represented by an attorney who has extensive experience handling these complicated, intricate cases.
The Delaware County bankruptcy attorneys of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices assist filers at all stages of the bankruptcy process, from assessing your objectives in order to determine whether you should file, to representing you at your Chapter 13 confirmation hearing, to the conclusion of your case. Moreover, if we determine that bankruptcy is not appropriate for your situation, we may be able to provide assistance with a variety of bankruptcy alternatives by which you could be better served, such as debt consolidation or mortgage modification.
We are proud to serve the residents of Chester, Drexel Hill, Ardmore, Yeadon, Broomall, Darby, Lansdowne, Woodlyn, Collingdale, Swarthmore, Media, Marcus Hook, and other locations throughout Delaware County. To start discussing how Chapter 13 could benefit you in a free and completely confidential legal consultation, contact Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (215) 995-2543 immediately. It is never too late to begin the process of getting your finances under control.