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Basics of Chapter 13 bankruptcy

For eligible Florida debtors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer timely debt relief. To qualify, an individual may not have had debts discharged under Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past two years or under Chapter 7, 11 or 12 bankruptcy in the past four years. Debtors must also be current on all domestic support obligations and have completed an approved debt counseling course.

Depending on the type of debt an individual has, it may be fully discharged upon the completion of the repayment period. However, creditors may still pursue an unpaid balance on a home mortgage, tax debt or debts incurred through the commission of a crime. If an individual owes money on property obtained through false pretenses or through any type of fraud, that debt may be discharged at the completion of a Chapter 13 case. This would not be the case if a creditor asks a judge to consider such debt nondischargeable.

Some debts that may not be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be included as part of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. Debts not eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 but eligible under Chapter 13 include debt to pay off nondischargeable tax debt or debts related to settlements in a divorce.

For some debtors, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is their best option for getting control of their finances. If eligible, it may entitle a debtor to reorganize his or her debt in an effort to get current on outstanding balances while retaining ownership of property. Debtors may also be entitled to an automatic stay from all creditor contact while the case is ongoing. An attorney can outline the various eligibility requirements.

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