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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

How does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy work?

A Chapter 13 - Bankruptcy is like a payment plan. You pay your disposable income to your creditors and after a period of 3 or 5 years, your creditors are "eliminated" or discharged. Similar to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain creditors, such as student loans, are not discharged.


"Disposable income" is income less amounts reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents.

Sometimes this can take some steps to get an acceptable Plan confirmed by the bankruptcy court. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a useful tool for protecting your nonexempt assets in bankruptcy and is a valuable tool for saving a home from a foreclosure sale.

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan allows you to pay your debts over time up to a maximum of five years.  

In a Chapter 13 you can pay back creditors (while stopping court garnishments, proceedings and creditor harassment) often at no interest and not accruing penalties:

  • Foreclosure Sales due to late payments on your home

  • Stop repossession of your vehicle

  • Recover your booted or impounded car for unpaid Chicago tickets

  • Payback overdue and late child-support

  • IRS taxes in a bankruptcy and stop the IRS Levy and IRS Liens and other demands.  You basically make your own IRS payment plan

  • Payback overdue student-loan payments

  • Stop a foreclosure sale to save the equity in your home

  • Stop the loss of a driver's license for not having insurance as a result of an accident

  • Often you are only paying 10% of what you owe in a Chapter 13 plan

  • Stop your wages from being garnished by an aggressive and unreasonable creditor that wants to garnish your paycheck using a court garnishment order on your employer


In a Chapter 13, you design your own Chicago Parking Tickets payment plan or Illinois Tollway payment plan in a Chapter 13 plan which is often much more reasonable than dealing directly with the government agencies attempting to collect from you.

Example of a Chapter 13 Plan

A simple Chapter 13  bankruptcy plan example with these facts:

Foreclosure sale is scheduled and this case is filed at 8:58 a.m. on the foreclosure sale date for a sale scheduled for 9:00 a.m. of the same day.

Your mortgage is $1400.00 per month

Total mortgage late amounts $14,0000 (10-months)

Car payment is $ 350 /month

Car Insurance $100 / month

Total Credit card debt is $10,000

Monthly food is $600.00

All other expenses are $650

Monthly credit card minimum:  $265

Gross Monthly income:        4,000.00

After taxes and insurance:   3,450.00     


In this example your monthly payment for 5-years would be $344.50 for 60 months.  The result is your foreclosure sale is not valid since you filed before the actual sale.  Your $14,000 in mortgage lates are paid in full with no interest charged.  Your credit cards are paid $1000.00* and the rest of the unpaid amount was "wiped out" and now you will owe 0.00.  You also paid a total of $5670 in court, attorney and trustee fees as part of the bankruptcy payment and those were paid in full as part of your monthly payment.  To start this, your paid $310.00 as a filing fee.

In this example, the $344.50 payment is made to the bankruptcy trustee assigned to you and your normal mortgage payment and car loan payment is paid directly to them on a monthly basis.  All your other expenses function as they normally would with the exception of your credit cards (in this case $265) which you no longer have to pay because they are part of the bankruptcy. 

*Credit cards are an unsecured creditor and they must be paid at least %10 in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

To further detail this Chapter 13 example, the breakout would be:

Total debt in bankruptcy $20,6570

It consists of: 

$14,000 in mortgage arrears

$5,670 attorney fees, court trustee fees for the entire 5-years

$1,000 of your unsecured debt (10% the rest is wiped out)

The sample monthly expenses are:  $3,100.00
It consists of monthly mortgage $1400

Your car payment: $350

Car insurance:  $100

Monthly Food: $600

All other expenses: $650

No credit card payment!

Your Monthly Available for payment is $350.00

Which is your (monthly expenses) less your after deductions Net Income of $3450.



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