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Chapter 13 Attorney in Ventura, California

Life can take unexpected turns. Sometimes, those twists and turns lead us down a path of financial difficulty. If you're struggling with debt, you're not alone — and it's important to remember that seeking help is not a sign of failure. It's a step towards regaining control and setting yourself up for a brighter financial future. Bankruptcy could be just the tool you need to reset your financial situation and start fresh. 

At the Kenneth H.J. Henjum Law Office, we understand the challenges you're facing and we're here to help. Our attorney has a deep understanding of bankruptcy law and has assisted numerous clients in Ventura County and beyond, including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Paso Robles.  

Our team will take the time to understand your unique financial circumstances and guide you through your best options under the bankruptcy code. Set up a consultation to get started. 

Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Before initiating the bankruptcy process, it's essential to understand what bankruptcy is, how it works, and whether it's the right choice for you. Essentially, bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses to declare themselves unable to pay their debts. It provides them with an opportunity to eliminate or restructure their debt while protecting them from creditor actions. 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is specific kind of bankruptcy. Often referred to as a "repayment plan" bankruptcy, Chapter 13 offers a way to restructure your debt into more manageable payments over a specified period. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves liquidating assets to pay off debts, Chapter 13 generally allows you to keep your assets while making regular payments towards your debt. 

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When Is Chapter 13 a Good Debt Relief Option?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a good option if you have a regular income but are struggling to meet your current debt obligations. It allows you to use your disposable income — the money left over after all necessary living expenses are covered — to pay back a portion of your debts. 

What Exactly Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Do?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers several benefits. It allows you to keep your assets, including your home and car, as long as you continue making payments. It also provides protection against creditor harassment and collection actions, giving you peace of mind as you work toward a more financially stable future. 

What Doesn’t Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Achieve?

While Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide significant relief, it's important to understand its limitations. This kind of bankruptcy won't eliminate all types of debt; obligations like child support, alimony, certain tax debts, and student loans will still need to be repaid in full. Additionally, it requires a commitment to a repayment plan that typically lasts between three to five years, requiring a stable income and the ability to meet these obligations. 

Qualifying for Chapter 13

To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must meet certain criteria. You need a regular source of income that can cover your living expenses and allow for monthly payments towards your debts. Your total unsecured debts must also fall below a certain threshold. As of 2023, the maximum amount of unsecured debts allowed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $419,275, and secured debts $1,257,850. These figures may change from year to year, however. It’s important to contact a bankruptcy attorney for help understanding your specific situation. 

The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in California

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves several steps and requires careful preparation. You'll need to provide detailed information about your financial situation, including income, expenses, debts, and assets. You'll also need to complete a credit counseling course and other steps. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through this process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately. 

With the assistance of your lawyer, you'll propose a repayment plan detailing how you plan to pay back your debts over time. This will be reviewed by your creditors and the court, and must be approved before your bankruptcy can proceed. 

What Happens After The Chapter 13 Process Is Completed?

After completing the Chapter 13 repayment plan, any remaining eligible debts will be discharged, giving you a clean slate and the opportunity for a fresh financial start. However, keep in mind that bankruptcy does not mean you won’t have to continue managing your future finances responsibly. 

Chapter 13 Attorney in Ventura, California

If you're struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy, the most important step you can take is to reach out to a detail-oriented attorney. Allow an experienced lawyer to guide you through this complex process. At the Kenneth H.J. Henjum Law Office, we're committed to helping you navigate your financial challenges and find the best path forward. If you live anywhere in Ventura County or the rest of California, including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, Carpinteria, or Santa Barbara, reach out to us today.