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How to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

July 22, 2020

Individuals facing a considerable amount of debt and are thinking about bankruptcy have a couple of options: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Those who do not meet Chapter 7 requirements because of your income are often advised by their bankruptcy attorney to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Learn more about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy below.


Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize or restructure your overwhelming debts by creating a repayment plan. Over three to five years, you will repay creditors and debt collectors a portion of your outstanding debts. If you complete your repayment plan, your remaining unsecured debts may become discharged, and you can keep your assets.

The goal of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to resolve some debts and get caught up on secured loans, such as your home or car. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure and collections processes, allowing you to catch up on overdue payments. While Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you gain financial relief and a fresh start, it can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.


The process for filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is incredibly complex. However, here is a general overview of the process:

Credit Counseling — Before you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll need to complete a pre-filing bankruptcy counseling via a nonprofit credit counseling agency.

Hire an Attorney — Avoid making mistakes by hiring an experienced professional to help you navigate this complicated process.

Complete Paperwork — Work with your attorney to gather information and fill out various forms.

File for Bankruptcy — Submit your bankruptcy petition. Then, a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed, and you will enter your automatic stay.

Submit Repayment Plan — Within two weeks of submitting your petition, you will need to provide your repayment plan proposal and begin making payments towards your plan within one month, regardless of its approval.

Meeting of Creditors — Several weeks after filing, your trustee will hold a meeting where your creditors can discuss any problems and voice their concerns.

Confirmation Hearing — No more than 45 days after the creditors' meeting, you, your trustee, and creditors will gather in court to confirm your repayment plan.

Payments Made — Throughout the next three to five years, you will pay your creditors based on your plan.

Debtor Education Course Completion — To close your case, till must complete a debtor education course, again, from a nonprofit credit counseling agency.

Receive Bankruptcy Discharges — Once you have completed your repayment plan, you will receive your bankruptcy discharge. This relieves your responsibility to repay any unpaid balances on qualifying unsecured debts. Congratulations — you are done!


Whether you file for Chapter 7, 13, or 11 bankruptcy, you can benefit from the guidance of a knowledgeable and skilled bankruptcy lawyer. Charles W. Daff has over 43 years of experience in bankruptcy law and is among the top 5% of bankruptcy attorneys in Southern California. If you are facing a magnitude of debt and reside in the Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, or Los Angeles County contact Charles W. Daff, Bankruptcy Attorney, to schedule your free initial consultation today!