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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that provides debt relief for folks who make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7 or want to protect certain property they might lose in a Chapter 7. Learn how it works to find out if it’s right for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to pay as much as your budget can handle, instead of trying to keep up with each creditors’ minimum monthly payments. But Chapter 13 isn’t right for everyone. Learn how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you, when it may be a better option to accomplish your goals, and why it’s probably a bad idea for most.

This page is a hub for people that need debt relief and are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy solution.

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Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 2, 2021

Chapter 7 bankruptcy vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Learn the differences, which type of bankruptcy is better depending on the situation, and the downsides of each.

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What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 14, 2020

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that provides relief for folks who make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7. At its core, it’s a reorganization that allows the filer to pay as much as their budget can handle instead of trying to keep up with each creditors’ minimum monthly payments.

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Why is Chapter 13 Probably A Bad Idea?

Written by Attorney Jonathan Petts
Updated October 2, 2021

An unsuccessful Chapter 13 can leave you in worse financial shape. It costs more than Chapter 7 and your case is less likely to be successful.

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How Long Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Take?

Written by Attorney Jenni Klock Morel
Updated April 6, 2022

Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically takes three to five years. During that time, you’ll be on a repayment plan to repay some or a portion of your debts. There are a few factors that will determine how long your Chapter 13 repayment plan will last, including your income. At the end of a successful Chapter 13 plan, the remainder of your dischargeable debts will be erased.

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What Happens When a Chapter 13 Case Is Dismissed?

Written by Attorney Jonathan PettsLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 27, 2021

If you have a dismissed Chapter 13 case, you may have several options. You might be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, even if you can't afford to pay another attorney to help you.

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Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Worth It?

Written by Attorney Tina Tran
Updated August 11, 2020

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is worth it when you do not qualify to file a Chapter 7 and have assets you want to protect.

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Can I File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if I'm Unemployed?

Written by Attorney Tina Tran
Updated July 2, 2022

Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires filers to make a monthly payment on a court-approved 3-5 year repayment plan. You don't have to be employed to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you do have to show you're capable of making those monthly payments to your trustee. For most people, this requires regular income.

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Can You File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Online Yourself?

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated May 25, 2022

Though there are online services that claim they can help you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy by yourself, the success rate for people who file Chapter 13 without a lawyer is low. That’s because Chapter 13 cases include multiple types of debts and a repayment plan that can last from three to five years. It's not uncommon for filers to experience issues or changes while their Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is open, and it can be difficult to deal with those without legal help.

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Can I file Chapter 13 without my spouse?

Written by Attorney Jenni Klock Morel
Updated September 3, 2020

You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy without your spouse. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy works a little differently if only one spouse files. How certain debts and assets are treated is affected by whether the couple lives in a community property state or a common law state. Whether you’re best served by filing without your spouse or by the two of you filing a joint bankruptcy depends on the specifics of your situation. There are many valid reasons for which a person may want to or need to file for bankruptcy protection without their spouse. Read on to learn about filing Chapter 13 without your spouse.

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Guide to Bankruptcy Relief for Small Businesses

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 22, 2020

Small business owners who are struggling to pay the bills can often find relief, and even keep their businesses afloat, by filing business bankruptcy. But all bankruptcies are not created equal. To ensure that the outcome aligns with your goals, it is important to determine which type of bankruptcy is best for your unique situation.

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Chapter 13 bankruptcy & Small Business Owners

Written by Attorney Amelia Niemi
Updated September 3, 2020

Owning your own business has a lot of benefits. You’re the boss and you get to make the rules. On the downside, you take on a lot of risk, and you’re responsible for managing the books. This is doubly so when it comes to your bankruptcy filing. Read on to learn what you should know about business bankruptcy and Chapter 13.

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Converting a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Your Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 24, 2022

Life happens to everyone, including those in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Thankfully, the Bankruptcy Code provides a mechanism for changing (converting) your case from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy if needed. Let’s take a look at what that entails exactly and what you should know about this affects your property and your debts.

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How To File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Attorney Tina Tran
Updated April 12, 2022

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is much like filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, initially, but it does get much more complicated.

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Completing Debtor Education After Filing Chapter 13

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated September 23, 2020

Everyone seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief has to complete a mandatory credit counseling class before their case can be filed with the bankruptcy court. This has to be done in the 6 months before the case is filed. But what about the second required course? What is that all about and when is the best time to take it? Keep reading to find out.

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Chapter 13 and Your Credit Report: What You Need to Know

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated January 10, 2022

Bankruptcy provides relief to those who can’t afford to pay their debts as they come due. Oftentimes folks filing bankruptcy have fallen behind on their debt payments and their credit score has already taken the hit. But, that’s not always the case and this is especially true for folks filing Chapter 13 to reorganize their debt, rather than eliminate it completely through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This article will explore the effect of Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your credit report and credit score.

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Cramdown in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 10, 2021

In personal bankruptcy cases, a cramdown occurs when the filer pays off a car loan through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan by paying only how much the car is actually worth, not how much is still owing on the loan. Upon successful completion of the repayment plan, the filer gets title to the vehicle free and clear.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.