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Chapter 13 bankruptcies aren't a walk in the park

There are a lot of considerations that you have when you are thinking of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some of those that you need to think about revolve around what your life will be like once you file. It is likely going to change dramatically.

One of the biggest changes is that you won't have to worry about the debts any longer as long as they are covered by the bankruptcy. This means you can answer the phone and check the mail without having to worry about a creditor trying to collect the debt.

With a Chapter 13, you will still have to take care of some debts. For example, if you plan to keep the house and the car, you will need to make payments on those. Other debts like student loans will also have to be taken care of.

You will have to make payments to the bankruptcy trustee. These are then divided among the creditors you have that are covered in the bankruptcy. Because these payments are based on your income and allowable expenses, you will be on a very tight budget for the duration of the bankruptcy.

While your case is open, you will likely have to rely only on your income to make ends meet. You can't open new lines of credit unless you have the approval of the court. Since Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve three to five years of payments, you should be prepared to be budget-minded throughout the process. It can be hard to stay motivated, so make sure you are finding ways to keep your focus during this time.

Source: The Balance, "Living With a Chapter 13 Case, Part 1," Carron Armstong, accessed May 29, 2018

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