Maryland bankruptcy options vary based on several factors, including your income, whether you’re able to repay your debts, and your goals.
For many people, Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes the most sense. However, Chapter 7 is also an option – but it offers different benefits than other types of debt relief offer.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Advantages
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts over a set period of time (typically 3 to 5 years). During the process, you’ll make payments to a trustee; the trustee will send money to your creditors until your repayment plan is complete.
As soon as you file, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will issue an automatic stay that prevents your creditors from attempting to collect on debts. (You’ll get an automatic stay if you file for Chapter 7, too.)
One of the biggest benefits to filing for this type of debt relief is that it may allow you to stop foreclosure. You’ll still have to stay current on your mortgage payments, but Chapter 13 can allow you to repay your lender for payments you’ve missed. Every case is different, though, and there’s no way to predict which way a judge will rule – and that’s why it’s so important to talk to a Maryland bankruptcy attorney who understands the law and how it’s going to apply in your case.
Second Mortgages and Chapter 13
If you have a second or third mortgage and you’re trying to stop foreclosure through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to strip one (or both) of those loans during the process. This is usually an important consideration for people checking out Maryland bankruptcy options.
Your Assets in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Unlike Chapter 7, you can keep your assets while you have a wage earner’s plan (that’s another name for Chapter 13 bankruptcy). You can also most likely keep your car and other property.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Disadvantages
While what may be a disadvantage for someone else might not be a disadvantage for you, some people prefer to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on these factors:
- You must make payments to the trustee in your bankruptcy case for a period of 3 to 5 years.
- You have to have less than a certain amount in unsecured debt to be eligible for this type of debt relief.
- You must have less than a certain amount in secured debt to be eligible for this type of debt relief.
- You must not have hand a bankruptcy petition dismissed because you failed to appear in court, comply with court orders, or chose to abandon your case after dealing with creditors within the past 180 days before you filed.
- You must have credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency within the past 180 days.
- You must come up with a repayment plan yourself, and it must be reasonable. If your repayment plan is not reasonable, the trustee will require you to change it. (Reasonable means that you have enough money to cover all your expenses plus the repayment amounts, and that you’re not “short-changing” your creditors more than is necessary.)
Do You Need to Talk to a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer About Chapter 13?
If you need to talk to an attorney about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, whether you’re in DC, NoVA, or Maryland, we can help.
Call us at 301-933-2595 for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. We’ll evaluate your situation and start developing a strategy right away.