Nashville Chapter 13 Attorneys
The Nevin Law Firm puts experience on your side during bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is another bankruptcy option available to individuals. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides you with the opportunity to repay a portion of the debt, after which the remaining portion can be discharged. Like other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 can be a complicated process and with four decades of experience, The Nevin Law Firm’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys can help you determine if this procedure is a good option for you.
What are the advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Just as with other types of bankruptcy, there are a number of things we consider when exploring if Chapter 13 is right for you. Among the advantages of filing under Chapter 13, is that this type of bankruptcy is not accompanied by the stringent eligibility requirements found in other kinds of bankruptcy. As a result, many who do not qualify for Chapter 7 may simply proceed under Chapter 13. Another advantage is that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is administered by a trustee, meaning that you make the payments set forth in your repayment plan directly to the trustee, as opposed to having to deal directly with your creditors.
The greatest advantage is that we are able to modify almost all of your debt contracts. For automobiles we are able to lower the interest rate on your auto loan to as low as 3.25%. And in some cases we can lower the balance of the auto loan, so that you only have to pay off the value of the car instead of the entire balance of the note.
As for unsecured creditors such as credit cards, medical bills, and cash advances, we calculate the amount you pay them based on what your budget can afford and the amount of assets you retain. Some plans pay their creditors in full while others can pay 50%, 20%, or even 0% to their unsecured creditors. Additionally, the interest rates of the unsecured debts go to zero.
Lastly, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a homeowner to get caught up in her mortgage if she is behind. In bankruptcy, the debtor will continue to pay the monthly mortgage payment, but also pay a little extra each month to the mortgage company in order to bring the mortgage current and cure any arrears.
Protecting your property under Chapter 13
Under Chapter 13, a debtor can retain his or her property, which is one of the most common reasons why people choose to proceed under Chapter 13 as opposed to Chapter 7. As soon as we file your Chapter 13 case, an automatic stay goes into effect, protecting you from any foreclosure proceedings and giving you an opportunity to get back on track with your mortgage payments. Our Nashville bankruptcy attorneys prioritize your property throughout the process.
The Repayment Plan
When we file your case, included with your petition is a Chapter 13 plan. We examine your assets, debts, income, and expenses to calculate a plan that (1) you can afford, and (2) that repays your creditors in compliance with the bankruptcy code. The repayment plan is a debt consolidation. The debtor will make monthly payments, which can be automatically deducted from your paycheck or bank account, which will be paid to the Chapter 13 trustee. The trustee will then pay your car note at the lowered amount, the monthly mortgage, the mortgage arrears, attorney fees, court costs, and the other unsecured debts as calculated. .
Under Chapter 13, the duration of the repayment plan can be anywhere from 36 months to 60 months, but no more than that.
One of the factors to determine how much you have to repay your unsecured creditors, is the “best interest of the creditors” test. This test states that you must repay your creditors at least as much as what they would receive if you were to file a Chapter 7, where your non-exempt assets are liquidated to repay your creditors. For instance, if there is $10,000 worth of non-exempt equity in property you own, then you must repay the unsecured creditors at least $10,000 during the 3 to 5 year period of repayments. Our attorneys are very experienced in calculating plans and using the exemption laws to make sure property is exempt to the fullest extent, so you have a plan you can afford.
The Meeting of Creditors
Just like in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a Meeting of Creditors, also known as a 341 hearing, at the outset of the case. The meeting usually takes place from either one month to two months after the date of filing the petition. In the Middle District of Tennessee, all of the Meetings of Creditors take place on a Tuesday.
At the meeting the debtor, debtor’s attorney, and the Trustee sit down in a conference room to discuss the repayment plan. The trustee will ask a series of questions to make sure the repayment plan is in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. At the meeting, we have the option to modify some of the terms if the trustee or any other creditor objects. If an agreement of the terms cannot be reached among the parties, then the case will be set to go before a Bankruptcy Judge at a Confirmation Hearing, where the judge will decide what the proper term in the chapter 13 plan should be. Whether your plan terms are reached at the Meeting of Creditors or at the Confirmation Hearing, the bankruptcy judge will sign a Confirmation Order that binds the debtor and the creditors to the terms contained.
Modify the Chapter 13 Plan
The Bankruptcy Code specifically allows that the Confirmation Order be modified if the debtor’s circumstances change. For instance, change of income, loss of a job, or even divorce. Even though we are still able to modify the plan, the “best interest of the creditors” test still applies. Also, when we propose a modification, creditors are able to object if the modifications adversely affect them. In that case, the proposed modification will be argued in court for the bankruptcy judge decide if (1) the change in circumstances justify the modification, (2) we proven those changes, and (3) the bankruptcy code allows the changes we propose.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies are very complex and can involve lots of litigation by your attorney. That is why it is important to make sure you have experienced attorneys on your side.
Contact us today to find out how we can help.
Don't wait - free yourself from debt.
Contact our Chapter 13 attorneys today
Living with debt is no way to live. From one family to another, it is important to get yourself out from under the debt, and we can help you. Whether Chapter 13 or another option is the best alternative for you, trust The Nevin Law Firm to honestly assess your case and set out your alternatives. We offer payment plans depending on your situation. Call us at (615) 244-7708 or come by our office, which is conveniently located by the Old Historic Courthouse and the state capitol. Parking is available.