The filing of a bankruptcy can seem like the end of the road to many people, but it is not. It is a fresh start or a new beginning. Whether you need to file a bankruptcy in Miami or Broward due to the real estate market crisis and have lost your home, or whether you have fallen behind on your obligations and just need some help catching up, there is a bankruptcy that can accomplish your objectives. Filing a bankruptcy does not mean you will lose everything.  To the contrary, bankruptcy is a powerful tool, that when used properly can save your home, car, business and assets alike, while relieving the stress of high credit card payments, past due medical bills, delinquent association fees or defaulted second mortgages. A chapter 13 bankruptcy will also stop a foreclosure sale, a garnishment action, an action to collect and will even eliminate debts associated with car accidents which have led to the suspension of your license.

There are many misconceptions regarding chapter 13 bankruptcies. For example, many individuals believe a chapter 13 bankruptcy requires the repayment of a specific percentage of your debt, while only eliminating a portion of the debt. You may have also heard that a chapter 13 is a consolidation of your debts via negotiations with your creditors. You may have even heard that in a chapter 13 bankruptcy you do not eliminate all your debt and will still owe your creditors what you did not pay them in your plan. This is not true. What an individual that files a chapter 13 bankruptcy repays his or her creditors varies drastically case by case and is determined by personal circumstances. The bankruptcy trustee will examine your income, your expenses and your assets to determine what monthly payment you should be required to make to your creditors. Of course, your Miami bankruptcy attorney should have performed the same income and asset tests before filing your case, so you should be aware, or have an idea of the monthly payment. An experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney will help you enter the process with an understanding of the process and the Court’s requirements.  Creating a chapter 13 plan and providing for the repayment of a portion of your debts will result in the discharge of your remaining debts, even though not fully satisfied and will allow you to remain with all your assets. Yes, you can file bankruptcy and eliminate all your debts, not a portion, while saving your home and protecting ALL your assets.

While in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, besides getting rid of your credit card debt, you can also save your primary residence, investment property, business and vehicles. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows a debtor to become current on his or her mortgage, homeowner’s association and vehicle payments. In some cases, a chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows a debtor to eliminate a second mortgage, line of creditor, association lien or past due association fees.  A chapter 13 plan can be restructured in many ways. The plan depends on the individual debtor’s financial situation and goal in filing bankruptcy. For example, if you are current on your first mortgage, but behind on the association fees, you can file bankruptcy and wither eliminate all the past due association fees and begin to make monthly payments again or, if unable to eliminate these fees, use the bankruptcy plan to restructure a comfortable repayment of what is owed, while keeping current with the fees that become due. If you are behind on your vehicle payments, you can use a chapter 13 plan to become current. Even more beneficial, depending on your case, you may be able to restructure the vehicle loan to pay a significantly reduced interest rate, thereby reducing your monthly payment, or you may be able to repay only the value of the vehicle as opposed to the entire vehicle debt.

Individuals may also attempt mortgage loan modifications through a chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can be immensely beneficial and efficient when trying to negotiate with a large lending institution. By using a chapter 13 bankruptcy to attempt a loan modification, the process will be streamlined on a portal, where the debtor is in contact with one individual from the institution.  Being able to communicate, directly, with one point of contact. This form of communication makes the modification process more personal and efficient. Moreover, all parties are to follow Court Ordered guidelines which reduce the games many institutions play with the gathering and review of documentation. You can be assured you will receive a fair loan medication review.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy may also help an individual with tax debt, past due alimony and past due child support. Although taxes, alimony and child support are non-dischargeable (a bankruptcy will not eliminate) you can use a chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay these debts without burdensome late fees and interest rates, and without running the risk of having your license suspended for delinquent payments.  Although there are certain, limited taxes that may be discharged without repaying in your bankruptcy, most taxes, alimony and child support can be repaid throughout the life of your bankruptcy.

A chapter 13 plan is flexible, and may be geared to your specific, individual needs and income restrictions. Your plan will depend on your monthly income, your personal expenses and your assets. To file a successful chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, finding a Miami Bankruptcy attorney with the proper experience is key.