The filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in Florida, requires the debtor(s) to create a three to five year repayment plan to pay off a portion of their debts.  You may wonder, why would I want to do a chapter 13 bankruptcy and make monthly payments when I can just file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and not make any monthly repayments.  Well, there are certain benefits to chapter 13 bankruptcy that are not obtainable in a chapter 7.  Examples of chapter 13 benefits include:

  1. Stripping or wiping out a second, third, forth, etc. mortgage or home equity line on your house.
  2. Helping the debtor keep their house by allowing them to play catch up on their missed mortgage or vehicle payments.
  3. Allowing the debtor to keep all their assets (unexempted).
  4. Allowing the debtor to create a repayment plan with backed owed taxes or support obligations.
  5. Allowing the debtor to strip down the car loan to the true value of the car and not what the debtor owes.

Furthermore some debtors don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and thus are required to file a Chapter 13.

So if you have decided that a chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you then you will need to prepare to supply documents, more documents than you have EVER supplied in your life.  A chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee can and will ask you to provide proof of everything and anything.  Here is a great way to get started.

  1. Bank Statements
    1. Get copies of the last six months worth of bank statements and all canceled checks.
    2. Pay stubs
      1. Six months worth of paystubs in order to determine the debtor’s income.
      2. Tax returns
        1. Two years worth of tax returns
        2. Retirement/Investment Accounts
          1. Copies of the most recent statement for your retirement, IRA, or 401k institution.
          2. Bills (VERY IMPORTANT) The trustee wants proof of your monthly payments therefore obtain copies of the last six months of all of your household bills:
            1. Power bill
            2. Water/Sewer bill
            3. Home phone
            4. Cell phone
            5. Internet
            6. Cable
            7. Alarm
            8. Landscaping
            9. HOA/ Monthly maintenance bills
            10. Car insurance
            11. Life Insurance
            12. Car payment
            13. Secured debt payments (i.e. furniture, or electronics paid for on a store credit card)

Having these documents ready and in hand when you meet your bankruptcy attorney will allow the chapter 13 bankruptcy process to go faster and smoother.  Delaying or failure to provide these documents could have a substantial impact on your case including increases in your monthly payments due to incorrect amounts used.

Remember Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that takes time and requires meticulous attention to each bill or expense of the debtor.  Your bankruptcy attorney can only use the numbers based on the documents you provide them, so make sure to provide everything any anything you can, and then expect the bankruptcy trustee to ask you for EVEN MORE documents.

If you are thinking of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida and would like to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer then please contact Shmucher Law, PL at 954.309.5559 or 305.741.5553.  We offer free consultations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, and Sunrise Florida.