Chapter 13 FAQs

Below, The Los Angeles Bankruptcy Firm provides the answers to questions frequently asked in its practice helping people in Southern California through a Chapter 13 adjustment of debts. If you have other questions or need advice on a particular situation, contact The Los Angeles Bankruptcy Firm for a free consultation.

How long will the bankruptcy appear on my credit report?
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years, as opposed to ten years in the case of a Chapter 7. It cannot be removed early, although there are many things you can do to start rebuilding credit soon after the bankruptcy proceedings have concluded.

How is eligibility for Chapter 13 determined?
Chapter 13 does not require a means test the way Chapter 7 does. Unless your debts are very high, as long as you have a steady stream of income that would enable you to meet your monthly living expenses and still have enough funds to contribute to a payment plan, you will be eligible to file Chapter 13.

Will I be able to save my home?
If you have missed loan payments and are facing foreclosure, Chapter 13 allows you to catch up those past payments (“arrearages”) as part of your three-year or five-year payment plan. Although this move will stop the foreclosure, you must continue to make your monthly mortgage payments going forward, or you could still lose your home to a foreclosure.

I recently finished a three-year payment plan under Chapter 13. However, I fell behind on my other obligations and find myself back in the same old financial mess. Can I file bankruptcy again?
The law prohibits you from filing for Chapter 13 within two years of a previous Chapter 13 discharge. If you previously had a Chapter 7 discharge, you may not file Chapter 13 for four years.

What if my bankruptcy case was dismissed? Am I allowed to re-file?
Yes, but you must wait 180 days if your case was dismissed due to a fraudulent filing or for not following a court order or other reasons. Otherwise, you may re-file earlier. In either case, however, if you re-file within a year of dismissal, the automatic stay will only be effective for 30 days, unless you are granted an extension by the court.