People often struggle with the decision to file for personal bankruptcy. Someone who has achieved some degree of professional success, in particular, may feel worried that a filing will affect their quality of life and their reputation in the community. Despite such reservations, those facing unconquerable debt or particularly aggressive collection efforts may eventually decide to file for bankruptcy to protect their interests.
There are many reasons why someone struggling with financial challenges in Michigan might file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in particular. They might aspire to protect assets that could be at risk of liquidation, or maybe they earn too much income to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. One of the factors that differentiates a Chapter 13 filing from a Chapter 7 filing is that there is a much longer timeline required to complete the process.
Those experiencing financial hardship and pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may secure a discharge for their unsecured debts in just a few months. However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case takes place over multiple years from beginning to end.
What is the timeline for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
The reason that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes so much longer to complete than any Chapter 7 filing is that someone has to propose and then fulfill a repayment plan. The party filing will have to commit a substantial portion of their disposable income each month not toward their payments.
Depending on the amount of the debts involved and other factors, a repayment plan might last anywhere from three to five years. Therefore, the bankruptcy process will require typically at least three-and-a-half years to complete, if not more. The duration of the repayment plan and the schedule for court hearings will determine the exact timeline for an individual’s filing.
Provided that they make all of their payments as scheduled, the person who filed for bankruptcy can receive a discharge of the remaining balance on certain unsecured debts following the completion of the repayment plan. Although it may take longer overall to complete, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very useful for those with resources that they want to protect or income that makes them ineligible for faster forms of personal bankruptcy.
Understanding what a Chapter 13 filing involves may help people better prepare for the bankruptcy process and to make more informed choices about their debt relief and debt management options overall.