If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt and find yourself late on your payments each month, you know how stressful that can be. It’s especially stressful when you are getting phone calls from creditors and dealing with the threat of repossession or foreclosure. You may be wondering how you can make these things stop and preserve your future interests.

One option may be to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This option is ideal for those who have significant amounts of secured debt or earn too much to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This process requires that you follow a repayment plan over the course of three to five years, and at the end, remaining balances are dischargeable. Before you file or make any important decisions about your future, you may want to learn more about what to expect from this process.

What will you have to do?

The first step in the bankruptcy process is that the applicant will have to file all paperwork and documentation with the appropriate court. Information the court may require includes documentation establishing income, credit counseling certificate, proposed repayment plan, tax information and more. There will be certain application and administration fees due at the time of signing.

In a repayment plan, a bankruptcy applicant must show how he or she plans to address certain debts. Priority debts are those that must be paid in full, and they include child support, tax debt that is not dischargeable, wages owed to employees and employee benefit plan contributions. The repayment plan must include plans to pay certain types of secured debts in full, such as tax liens and promissory notes.

Adhering to the plan

Your main obligation as someone under the protection of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to stick to the plan. If you deviate from the plan, the judge may dismiss your case completely. You have to continue making your child support payments during bankruptcy proceedings as well as pay spousal support. You also cannot incur any new debt without first talking with the bankruptcy trustee.

Is it right for you?

No matter what you read about bankruptcy or hear from others, there is no substitute for the guidance of an experienced Louisiana attorney. A legal ally can evaluate your case, determine if Chapter 13 is right for you and help you move forward with the next steps. When it is your financial future on the line, you do not want to leave anything to chance.