Filing Chapter 13 in Maine

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If you need to get rid of your debts but feel an obligation to pay at least part of them back, you should consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This chapter involves sitting down with your creditors and making a payment plan that allows you to pay your bills within three to five years. Though it is possible to file Chapter 13 without a lawyer in Maine, you are advised to hire one since you will likely have plenty of questions you need answered within the next three to five years.

How to Get Started

Unlike Chapter 7, this type of bankruptcy will not discharge your unsecured debts immediately since you have to first complete the installment plan. Thus, you will be rid of your debts in three to five years. However, you and your creditors will come to an agreement that satisfies you both, meaning you will not be forced to make monthly payments you cannot afford. In fact, you and your lawyer should first determine your income versus your expenses, and then figure out how much of your extra income to put toward the payment plan when you file for Chapter 13 in Maine.  

Guidelines of Chapter 13

Not everyone is permitted to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as you must prove you have steady income to afford your payments. It is not helpful to you or your creditors if you cannot afford to pay them after you declare bankruptcy. Therefore, the Maine bankruptcy court needs to know your regular income and expenses before deciding your monthly payments and the time you have to make them. You should know that not every debt is dischargeable with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are looking to get rid of taxes, alimony or student loans, you should talk to your lawyer about your options since you will typically be required to pay these back in full under Chapter 13 guidelines. The main benefit of including them in the bankruptcy is that you have a chance to stretch the payments over three to five years, even if you were supposed to pay the full amount years ago. Additionally, your creditors will not bother you anymore once you declare bankruptcy and then start making payments.

Talk to a Maine Attorney about Your Options

If you are curious which chapter is the best one for you, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Maine. Most offer a free consultation to determine the chapter for which you are eligible, as well as the one that is best for you. If you decide on Chapter 13, your lawyer will then help you come up with a payment plan that is agreeable to both you and your creditors.