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chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer maryland

chapter 13 bankruptcy

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Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often referred to as a wage earner’s plan, allows individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. It offers individuals a number of advantages over liquidation under Chapter 7. Perhaps most significantly, Chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing under this chapter, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time.

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Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for individuals who have a regular income and can pay back at least a portion of their debts through a repayment plan. If you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll work with the court and your Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer to create a repayment plan. This plan will last for three to five years, during which you’ll make payments to a bankruptcy trustee, who will distribute the funds to your creditors.

The key difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge most of your debts without paying them back, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to repay a portion of your debts. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy also offers some benefits that Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not. For example, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to save your home from foreclosure, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot.

The Role of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer plays a crucial role in guiding you through the bankruptcy process. They can help you understand the complex legal issues involved and ensure that your bankruptcy case goes as smoothly as possible. Your lawyer will help you determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice for you, based on your financial situation and your long-term financial goals.

Your lawyer will also help you create your repayment plan, negotiate with your creditors, and represent you in court. They will guide you through every step of the bankruptcy process, from filing your bankruptcy petition to completing your repayment plan. By hiring a local lawyer in Maryland, you can ensure that your lawyer is familiar with the local bankruptcy court and the local bankruptcy rules.

The First Step In Filing For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland

The first step in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland is to review your full financial profile, including income, debt, and assets. This review is best done with the help of an experienced attorney who is familiar with both Maryland and federal bankruptcy laws. Your attorney will then complete the necessary paperwork to file the Chapter 7 petition with the bankruptcy court.

The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process in Maryland


Credit Counseling and Filing the Petition

The first step in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is to receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency. This is a requirement before you can file for any type of bankruptcy. After completing the credit counseling, you’ll file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court in Maryland. Your petition will include detailed information about your finances, including your income, debts, and assets.


Appointment of Bankruptcy Trustee and Creation of Repayment Plan

After you file your petition, the bankruptcy court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to oversee your case. You’ll work with your Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer and the bankruptcy trustee to create a repayment plan. This plan will detail how you plan to repay your debts over a three to five year period.


Approval of Repayment Plan and Commencement of Payments

Once your repayment plan is approved by the court, you’ll start making payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who will distribute the funds to your creditors according to the plan. This step marks the beginning of your journey towards financial recovery.

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can be complex and challenging, but with the help of a skilled Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, you can navigate this process and work towards a fresh financial start.

Who Can Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Maryland?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a wage earner’s plan, is designed for individuals who have a regular income and can afford to make monthly payments towards their debts. However, not everyone is eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here are the main qualifications for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Maryland:

The most basic requirement for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is having a regular income. This can come from various sources, including employment wages, self-employment income, social security benefits, pension payments, and more. The key is that the income is consistent and reliable, allowing you to make regular payments towards your debts.

Choosing the Right Bankruptcy Lawyer in Maryland



Look for a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law and has a track record of successfully handling Chapter 13 cases.



Check online reviews, ask for client references, and consult the local bar association.



Understand the lawyer’s fee structure and what services are included.

Don't let the burden of debt control your life any longer.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a complex process, but with the help of a skilled Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, you can navigate this process and work towards a fresh financial start. Whether you’re facing foreclosure, struggling with high-interest debt, or dealing with other financial challenges, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide the relief you need. Always consult with a local lawyer in Maryland to understand your options and make the best decision for your financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Yes, you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if you have filed for bankruptcy before. However, there are certain time limits that apply. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait four years before you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you received a discharge in a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait two years before you can file again. These waiting periods start from the date you filed your previous bankruptcy, not the date you received your discharge. It’s important to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer to understand how these rules apply to your specific situation.

Generally, student loan debt cannot be discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, your student loan debt can be included in your repayment plan, and you may be able to pay off a portion of your student loan debt through your plan. This means that while your student loan debt may not be completely wiped out, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide some relief by allowing you to make more manageable payments over a period of three to five years. It’s worth noting that discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy is a complex issue and requires proving “undue hardship,” which is a very high standard to meet.

Yes, in most cases, you can keep your car if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a repayment plan to pay off your debts over a period of three to five years, which includes car loans. Furthermore, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a process called “cramdown” that can reduce the amount you owe on your car loan if you owe more than the car is worth and you’ve owned the car for more than 910 days before filing for bankruptcy. Through cramdown, you can reduce the principal balance of your car loan to the car’s current value, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. However, cramdown rules can be complex, so it’s important to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer to understand how this could apply to your situation.