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What is required to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Part I

People in Tyler who are facing financial difficulties may decide that filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for them. Some may decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as the process is relatively quick from start to finish, so they can move on with their lives with a fresh financial start. Others may want to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, especially if they think they can pay back some or all of their debt given time or if they want to preserve assets that might be lost if they file for Chapter 7. However, they should keep in mind that not everyone qualifies for Chapter 13.

First of all, an individual filing for Chapter 13 cannot be a business entity. That being said, if a person is a sole proprietor, he or she can file for Chapter 13 as an individual, at least with regards to the debts for which he or she is personally liable.

Also, if an individual had completed a Chapter 13 repayment plan and had his or her debts discharged within the past 24 months, he or she cannot file for Chapter 13 a second time until the necessary time period between bankruptcy filings has passed. Similarly, if a person filed for Chapter 7 and had his or her debts discharged, he or she must wait four years to file for Chapter 13.

In addition, if, within the past 180 days, an individual had a previous petition for bankruptcy dismissed because the individual purposely violated a court order or because the individual did not go to court when required, then he or she cannot file for Chapter 13. Also, if, within the past 180 days, an individual had a previous petition for bankruptcy dismissed at the individual's request due to a lifting of the automatic stay by one of the individual's creditors, then he or she cannot file for Chapter 13.

Individuals wishing to file for Chapter 13 must also complete credit counseling and file a certificate of proof 180 days or more before filing for Chapter 13. If a debt management plan was established, this must also be submitted to the bankruptcy court.

There are other requirements that must be met to be eligible to file for Chapter 13 that will be discussed in the future. Until then, those who are wondering whether they qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing may want to consult with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Who Can File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?," Accessed Sept. 10, 2017

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