Looking to File Chapter 13 in Maryland?
All too many Marylanders are still forced into Chapter 13 Bankruptcies by a poorly designed Means Testing system. Meanwhile, another good portion of people who could actually benefit from Chapter 13, can’t afford the necessary payments to maintain it.
Most of the people who consult with us want to avoid Chapter 13. But it really has gotten an undeservedly bad wrap. Chapter 13 offers some great advantages over Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 allows you to “cram-down” some secured debts. It allows for the discharge of debts that Chapter 7 cannot. We call that the “super discharge.” It even allows for, in some jurisdictions, the stripping of liens and discharge of junior mortgage liens.
So, if you are going to file Chapter 13 in Maryland, what are you getting yourself into? Well, that all depends. Doesn’t it always? You’d think if you were voluntarily pursuing Chapter 13 you could skip the means test, but no. It is as important or more in this context, because it determines you time commitment. If you pass the means test, you can choose your time commitment. If you fail, you’re in a mandatory 5 year Chapter 13.
These are the hardest to complete, because you have little room for error. However, properly maintained, the Chapter 13 can be very successful. This means that you, the debtor, has to let your attorney know of major changes in your life, like a new child, a new job, or the unfortunate loss of a job. All of these things could change the status of your Chapter 13. If you fall behind on Chapter 13 plan payments and don’t tell your attorney, they will usually only find out when the Trustee files a Motion to Dismiss your case for failure to make the required plan payments. Whereas letting him know beforehand allows for proper planning, modifications, or conversions necessary to deal with the changed circumstances.
How Does The Grafton Firm Handle Chapter 13 in Maryland?
At the Grafton Firm, you will always meet with an attorney, who will help craft the best options for getting out of debt for YOU. If that option is Chapter 13, we will start with preparing the basics of your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules. From there, we will work with you to determine the best Plan to present to the Court. The Plan must be something that the Court will Confirm. Finally, once all documents are completed, we will sign and e-file your Bankruptcy.
This process may span 2-3 separate meetings. We will make that determination and schedule the entire process at our first meeting. You will need to gather all of the necessary documentation and complete some paperwork for the Attorneys to complete your Bankruptcy Schedules.
If you are struggling to pay your bills every month, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the answer to allow you to get your head above water while still keeping your possessions. Contact the Grafton Firm today for a free consultation to learn more.