Before you decide if bankruptcy is right for you and how you should move forward if it is, there are some things you should discuss with a professional. Knowing what questions to ask a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Tampa can help you make the most-informed choices and take action to help you get your financial life back in order.
What are three things you should ask a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Tampa during your consultation?
1. Is Chapter 13 my best option?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes called “wage earners’ bankruptcy” requires you make payments for a set number of years. Those payments are distributed to your creditors and at the end of the plan, any remaining debt is discharged. This means you are no longer responsible for paying the debt.
To qualify for Chapter 13, you must be able to afford bankruptcy payments, as well as your regular day-to-day living expenses. If you do not have a job this might not be possible. If you do not earn enough income, chances are your attorney will recommend you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are pros and cons to both options, which is why it’s so important to speak to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Tampa before you file.
2. Can I protect my assets?
As mentioned above, there are positive and negative aspects to both chapters of bankruptcy. One of the primary benefits of Chapter 13 is the asset protection it offers. Your debt relief in this Chapter isn’t as aggressive, though. You also need to be able to afford monthly payments. But for many people, the asset protection offered in Chapter 13 is worth the trade-off.
3. How long am I committing to making bankruptcy payments?
Chapter 13 payments plans last three to five years. Knowing what type of commitment you’re making in advance is an important part of understanding the bankruptcy process.