Phoenix Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Answers FAQS

Get answers to all of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQS.  Our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer insight on various questions surrounding chapter 13 in Arizona.  Our Phoenix debt relief team use our experience gathered from thousands of successful Arizona bankruptcy filings to give answers to questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona.

Common Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Questions

Chapter 13 bankruptcy FAQs. Arizona Bankruptcy Attorneys. AZ Bankruptcy Done Better.


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows people who are in debt but have income to reorganize their debt and pay a possibly reduced amount over 3-5 years. If you are facing wage garnishment, vehicle repossession, or home foreclosure, bankruptcy can stop your creditors and give you time to pay your debts on a budget you can afford.


Some people are too far in debt to ever hope to pay it off, but don’t qualify to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This can happen in a few ways. If you make more than your state’s median income, you can only file Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you pass the Means Test. The Means Test averages your income and subtracts expenses that are approved by the bankruptcy court. The number you have left will be your disposable monthly income. If your disposable monthly income is at a certain level, usually about $100, you will be disqualified for Chapter 7. You don’t need to pass a Means Test to file Chapter 13.

If you have previously filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will have to wait 8 years before you can file again, regardless of your income level. Chapter 13 also allows filers with significant assets to get relief from their debts without surrendering their property. Check with an attorney to see if your assets are exempt in a Chapter 7.


A Chapter 13 Reorganization means the schedules for payment on your financial obligations will be changed. Arrearages, the balance on any financed vehicles, your unsecured debts, and certain other debts will be spread out over the 3-5 years of your payment plans. Remaining balances on qualifying debts will be discharged at the end of the payment plan.


A Chapter 13 Repayment Plan is the monthly payments you will make to your Bankruptcy Trustee. The Trustee will distribute your payments to your creditors. You must make your payments for your case to be discharged (except for in special circumstances), and your case will be dismissed if you fail to make your payments.


Your mortgage lender may choose to pursue home foreclosure if you miss to many mortgage payments. Stopping the foreclosure can require that you pay all of the past-due amount before the sale occurs.

Once you file your bankruptcy petition, your creditors are unable to foreclose your home until your case is discharged or dismissed. You will be protected for the 3-5 years until your case is discharged if you continue making your plan payments.

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Chapter 13 FAQ ANSWER:

If most of your debts are unsecured nonpriority debts, the extended payment period of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy provides you with no benefit. However, if you are filing bankruptcy because you are behind on payments such as your mortgage and car loan, Chapter 7 won’t provide you with as much benefit. You will only have 3-5 months to catch up on your late balances in a Chapter 7, but that will be reorganized over the course of 3-5 years in a Chapter 13.

You may qualify income-wise for a Chapter 7, but you have to wait eight years after your first Chapter 7 to file again. If you need the protections of bankruptcy right now and can’t wait, you may still be able to file a Chapter 13. You may also have the option of converting it back into a Chapter 7 if you still qualify income-wise when the eight-year period expires.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ ANSWER:

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy works best for those who don’t expect any major life changes in the next 3-5 years. While it’s impossible to predict the future, entering a bankruptcy that will last years before discharge isn’t a great idea if you are on the brink of filing for divorce. If you have experienced a sudden drop in income, you may want to wait a few months and see if you qualify for a Chapter 7 then.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ ANSWER:

The main benefit of filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the Automatic Stay of Protection. This is triggered once your petition is filed with the court. From that moment until discharge or dismissal, your car, house, and wages are safe from collection by your creditors.

You may end up paying less than the full amount of your debt depending on how much debt you have and your income. A unique benefit provided by Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the possibility of discharging junior mortgages on your home. If you owe on your home then its value, secondary mortgages may be discharged at the end of your payment plan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ ANSWER:

Filing Emergency Chapter 13 is a fast-tracked option to filing bankruptcy. You will only need your pay information, driver’s license, social security card, and to complete a few tasks to file Emergency Chapter 13. Your attorney will likely have some sort of form you need to fill out so they have basic contact information for your Emergency Petition. This will also help them determine which documents you’ll need to submit for your second petition.

When you file an Emergency Bankruptcy Petition, the court sets a deadline of 14 days to submit the rest of the information needed to file bankruptcy. Your attorney will probably need your documents before that date to give them sufficient time to review the documents and draft your petition.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ ANSWER:

Being sick or injured can often mean racking up certain types of debt. Significant medical bills are out of most Americans’ budgets, whether or not they are insured. Many individuals rack up credit card debt during an illness or injury, especially if it causes them to take time off of work.

Chapter 13 is a good choice for those with chronic conditions. Medical bills are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. However, your doctor may choose to stop treating you if you file bankruptcy on your bill. Your doctor will be paid through your Chapter 13 plan and is more likely to continue treating you.


Bankruptcy discharge is the successful completion of a bankruptcy case. Once debts are discharged, they no longer have to be paid. Overall, the success rate for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is 33%. Keep in mind that some Chapter 13 filers are looking to buy time, but not necessarily have their case discharged.

The success rate for those filing without an attorney are dramatically lower. While about 60% of those who file Chapter 7 without an attorney complete their case, this number is only about 2% for Chapter 13 filers.

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