Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The prospect of facing bankruptcy can be overwhelming and embarrassing. Often, it can be difficult to even know where to begin.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or the wage earner plan, presents an opportunity to repay your debts without being hounded by creditors.

The team at Dorothy Bartholomew PLLC can help you experience the benefits of debt relief...

Chapter 13 road sign

A Fresh Start on a Debt-Free Life Begin the Chapter 13 Process with Our Help

A Way to Avoid Foreclosure

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop foreclosure proceedings and allow you to keep your house. You may even be able to cure delinquent mortgage payments over time.

Reschedule Secured Debts

If you have secured debts for which you have put up collateral, you can reschedule them and extend them over the life of your Chapter 13 plan. This rescheduling process can often lower your payments.

No Direct Contact with Creditors

Those who qualify for Chapter 13 often make enough money to repay their debts, but do not have liquid assets to meet demands for immediate payment. Chapter 13 acts as a consolidation loan, allowing you to make payments to a trustee rather than dealing directly with creditors.

Can Chapter 13 bankruptcy really help me rebuild?

Thousands of People File for Chapter 13 Every Year

How do I know if I qualify to file?

Chapter 13 Eligibility

Any individual is eligible for relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they:

Meet Debt Requirements

To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your unsecured debts must be less than $394,725 and your secured debts must be less than $1,184,200. 

Have Not Filed Recently

You cannot file for bankruptcy if a previous petition was dismissed because you willfully failed to appear before the court or comply with court orders within the last 180 days. You are also ineligible if, in the same time period, your petition was voluntarily dismissed after creditors attempted to recover property.

Have a Steady Income

When filing for Chapter 13, you need to prove that your income allows you to pay for your monthly household expenses and keep up with a repayment plan. If your income is too low or irregular, the court may not confirm your proposed plan.

Are Not a Business

Chapter 13 is not available to corporations or partnerships. However, you can include personal business-related debts in your repayment plan.

Full-Service Debt Relief in a Comfortable Environment

Dorothy Bartholomew and our team are dedicated to providing customized legal services in an empathetic and compassionate environment. Over the last 25 years, we have filed more than 8,500 bankruptcy cases.

We also have six puppy helpers at our office to make your time with us as stress-free as possible. Our team knows what you are going through and we are here to help.

Team at Dorothy Bartholomew PLLC
The team at Dorothy Bartholomew PLLC

What happens during the bankruptcy process?

What to Expectduring the Chapter 13 Process

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are more complicated than filing under Chapter 7. However, our bankruptcy attorneys, Dorothy Bartholomew and Jada Wood, can guide you through the process to ensure the best possible outcome.

Create a Repayment Plan

Before filing for bankruptcy, our team can help you devise a three- to five-year repayment plan for handling your debts. You will also need to take a credit counseling course.

File Your Bankruptcy Forms

To start Chapter 13, you will file your forms with the court clerk, pay the filing fee, and present a certificate proving you took the mandatory credit counseling course.

Get Your Plan Confirmed

Once you file your forms, your creditors have the opportunity to object to the plan at a confirmation hearing. Our attorneys can represent you during the hearing.

Follow Your Plan

How long it takes to repay your debts depends on how much you earn. Most filers have five-year plans. You may be able to modify your plan if your income changes or have your debts discharged due to hardship.

Attend Debtor Education

At some point during your repayment plan, you will need to complete a second debtor education course.

End Your Case

At the end of your repayment plan, you will need to prove that you are current on child support and alimony and have completed the budget counseling course. If you meet all the requirements, the remaining balance on your qualifying debts is erased.

What happens after my case ends?

A Discharge Releases You from All Qualifying Debts

If you meet all of the requirements at the end of your repayment plan, the judge in your case will grant you a discharge. A discharge releases you from all debts included in the plan with a few exceptions. Creditors will not be able to start or continue any legal actions to collect debts accounted for in your discharge

Certain long-term financial obligations are not covered in a Chapter 13 discharge, including:

  • Mortgages
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Certain taxes
  • Government-funded student loans
  • Debts from death or personal injury caused while under the influence
  • Restitution or criminal fines

You will still be responsible for these debts after your case ends. 

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can affect your credit score even after freeing you from debt. The fact that you filed for bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report for seven years, which may affect your ability to get additional credit.

"Dorothy and her staff were excellent! I had the best experience working with them and would highly recommend working with Dorothy. Everyone treated me with dignity and professionalism and the rates were very reasonable...​Go see Dorothy...you won't be disappointed!" Laura B.

Dorothy Bartholomew

Dorothy Bartholomew

Dorothy Bartholomew has been practicing law since 1991. Joined by her associate Jada Wood, Ms. Bartholomew has handled over 8,500 cases. She is also a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates

Find out more about our debt relief services by contacting our firm online or calling (253) 922-2016 today.

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Fife Office

5310 12th St. East
Ste C
Fife, WA 98424

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