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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Book
Case Law & Updates

for Nolo's

Chapter 13 bankruptcyChapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time

10th Edition, 2010

Welcome, readers of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time
.

Throughout the book, you are referred to www.legalconsumer.com/bankrutpcy/CH13 to find updates and resources regarding issues that are still being debated in the courts.

Use the highlited links on this page to go directly to relevant resources on LegalConsumer.com. Links labeled "Case Law >>" take you to a database of cases that have been logged into our research database. We're still flling up the database, but it's a good place to start if you're interested in the topic. We also link to relevant articles and blog posts where possible. Suggestions are welcome.


Table of Contents

(Localized for Zip Code _____ coming soon, (what's this?))

Part I: Is Chapter 13 Right For You?

Chapter 1
How Chapter 13 Works

[free sample chapter on Nolo.com]

Chapter 2
The Automatic Stay

Chapter 3
Are you Eligible to Use Chapter 13

Your Proposed Payments Must Yeild as much as the value of Your Non Exempt Assets - minus adminsitrative costs of sale.

Sidebar: What is Exempt Property?

Chapter 4
Do You Have to Use Chapter 13?

A. Can You Pass the Means Test (Chapter 7 FORM 22A)?

FORM 22A - Chapter 7 Means Test Form /Form 22C - Chapter 13 Means Test Form


FORM 22A - Part I: Military & Non-Consumer Debtors Exclusion (Chapter 7 Form only)

FORM 22A - Part II: Calculation of Monthly Income for § 707(b)(7) Exclusion / FORM 22C - Part I: Report of Income

Six Month Period: What Income Counts?

Line 4/Line 3: Business Income

Line 7/22C-Line 6: Pension and Retirement Income

Line 9/22C-Line 8: Unemployment Compensation Income

Line 10/22C-Line 9: Income from all other sources

Line 12/22C-Line 11: Total Income

FORM 22A - Part III: (Application of the § 707(b)(7) Exclusion) - Median Income

/FORM 22C - Part II: CALCULATION OF § 1325(b)(4) COMMITMENT PERIOD

Line 14/22C-Line 16: Household Size

Line 15/17:

Part IV: Calculation of Current Monthly Income for § 707(b)(2)

Part V: DEDUCTIONS FROM INCOME

IRS ALLOWANCES

Line 20B/25B: Housing and Rental Expenses

Line 21B/26B: Health Care Allowance

Line 23/27: Vehicle Ownership Expense

OTHER NECESSARY EXPESES

Line 35/40: Expense for care of family member

Line 38/43: Expense for educational expenses of a family member

SECURED DEBT PAYMENTS

Line 42/47: Deductions for Debt Payments

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES / BAD FAITH

Chapter 5
Can You Propose a Plan the Judge Will Approve?

 

MEDIAN INCOME issues

IF your Current Monthly Income is Less Than your State's Median Income

IF your Current Monthly Income is More Than your State's Median Income

Understanding Property Exemptions

 

Chapter 6
Making the Decision

 

Part II: Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

 

Chapter 7
Complete Your Bankruptcy Forms

Chapter 8
Drafting Your Plan

Determining your "Projected Disposable Income" in Your Plan (See also, Chapter 5)

IF your Current Monthly Income is More Than your State's Median Income

What You Must Pay Either Through or Outside of Your Plan

Chapter 9
Filing Your Bankruptcy Papers

 

Chapter 10
Handling Routine Matters After You File

 

Part III: Making Your Plan Work

Chapter 11
Handling Legal Issues

 

Chapter 12
Carrying Out Your Plan

 

Chapter 13
If You Cannot Complete Your Plan

 

Chapter 14
Life After Bankruptcy

 

Chapter 15
Help Beyond the Book

 

Appendix A
State and Federal Exemption Charts

See the exemptions for your state here.

 

Table of Contents

Part 1: Is Chapter 13 Right for You?

1. How Chapter 13 Works

  • An Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Which Debts Are Discharged in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Is Chapter 13 Right for You?
  • Alternatives to Bankruptcy

2. The Automatic Stay

  • How Long the Stay Lasts
  • How the Stay Affects Common Collection Actions
  • How the Stay Affects Actions Against Codebtors
  • When the Stay Doesn’t Apply
  • Evictions

3. Are You Eligible to Use Chapter 13?

  • Prior Bankruptcy Discharges May Preclude a Chapter 13 Discharge
  • Business Entities Can’t File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Your Debts Must Not Be Too High
  • You Must Stay Current on Your Income Tax Filings
  • You Must Keep Making Your Child Support and Alimony Payments
  • You Must File Annual Income and Expense Reports
  • Your Proposed Repayment Plan Must Pay All Required Debts
  • Your Unsecured Creditors Must Get at Least as Much as They Would Have Received in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • You Must Participate in an Approved Personal Financial Management Course

4. Do You Have to Use Chapter 13?

  • Can You Pass the Means Test?
  • Forced Conversion to Chapter 13

5. Can You Propose a Plan the Judge Will Approve?

  • If Your Current Monthly Income Is Less Than Your State’s Median Income
  • If Your Current Monthly Income Is More Than Your State’s Median Income
  • Understanding Property Exemptions

6. Making the Decision

Part II: Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

7. Complete Your Bankruptcy Forms

  • Get Some Information From the Court
  • Required Forms
  • For Married Filers
  • Form 1—Voluntary Petition
  • Form 6—Schedules
  • Form 7—Statement of Financial Affairs
  • Form 21—Statement of Social Security Number
  • Form 22C—Chapter 13 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income
  • Form 201A—Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor Under § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code
  • Mailing Matrix
  • Income Deduction Order

8. Drafting Your Plan

  • Chapter 13 Plan Formats
  • What You Must Pay
  • Repayment of Unsecured Debts: Allowed Claims
  • A Model Plan Format
  • Sample Plan

9. Filing Your Bankruptcy Papers

  • Gather the Necessary Documents
  • Get Filing Information From the Court
  • How to File Your Papers
  • After You File

10. Handling Routine Matters After You File

  • The Automatic Stay
  • Dealing With the Trustee
  • Make Your First Payment
  • If You Operate a Business
  • The Meeting of Creditors
  • Modifying Your Plan Before the Confirmation Hearing
  • The Confirmation Hearing
  • Modifying Your Plan After the Confirmation Hearing
  • Amending Your Bankruptcy Forms
  • Filing a Change of Address
  • Filing Tax Returns
  • Filing Annual Income and Expense Statements
  • Personal Financial Management Counseling
  • Form 283—Domestic Support and Homestead Exemption

Part III: Making Your Plan Work

11. Handling Legal Issues

  • Filing Motions
  • Dealing With Creditors’ Motions
  • If an Unsecured Creditor Objects to Your Plan
  • Handling Creditor Claims
  • Asking the Court to Eliminate Liens

12. Carrying Out Your Plan

  • Making Plan Payments
  • Selling Property
  • Modifying Your Plan When Problems Come Up
  • Attempts to Revoke Your Confirmation
  • When You Complete Your Plan

13. If You Cannot Complete Your Plan

  • Dismiss Your Case
  • Convert Your Case to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Seek a Hardship Discharge

14. Life After Bankruptcy

  • Rebuilding Your Credit
  • Attempts to Collect Clearly Discharged Debts
  • Postbankruptcy Discrimination
  • Attempts to Revoke Your Discharge

15. Help Beyond the Book

  • Debt Relief Agencies
  • Bankruptcy Petition Preparers
  • Bankruptcy Lawyers
  • Legal Research

Glossary

Appendixes

State and Federal Exemption Charts

  • Doubling
  • Residency Requirements for Claiming State Exemptions
  • Exemptions for Retirement Accounts

Tear-Out Forms

  • Voluntary Petition
  • Exhibit “C” to Voluntary Petition
  • Exhibit D—Individual Debtor’s Statement of Compliance With Credit
  • Counseling Requirement
  • Schedule A—Real Property
  • Schedule B—Personal Property
  • Schedule C—Property Claimed as Exempt
  • Schedule D—Creditors Holding Secured Claims
  • Schedule E—Creditors Holding Unsecured Priority Claims
  • Schedule F—Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims
  • Schedule G—Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
  • Schedule H—Codebtors
  • Schedule I—Current Income of Individual Debtor(s)
  • Schedule J—Current Expenditures of Individual Debtor(s)
  • Declaration Concerning Debtor’s Schedules
  • Summary of Schedules and Statistical Summary of Certain Liabilities and Related Data (28 U.S.C. § 159)
  • Form 3A—Application to Pay Filing Fee in Installments and Order Approving Payment of Filing Fee in Installments
  • Form 7—Statement of Financial Affairs
  • Form 10—Proof of Claim
  • Form 20A—Notice of [Motion to] or [Objection to]
  • Form 21—Statement of Social-Security Number(s)
  • Form 22A—Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation
  • Form 22C—Chapter 13 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income
  • Form 23—Debtor’s Certification of Completion of Postpetition Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management
  • Form 201A—Notice to Consumer Debtor(s) Under § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code
  • Form 283— Chapter 13 Debtor’s Certifications Regarding Domestic Support
  • Obligations and Section 555(q)
  • Amendment Cover Sheet
  • Daily Expenses
  • Notice of Plan Amendment and Confirmation Hearing Date
  • Proof of Service by Mail
  • Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

Charts

  • Median Family Income Chart
  • Bankruptcy Forms Checklist
  • Bankruptcy Documents Checklist

Index

 

 

 

KEY to Acronyms
Used In Case Law Topic Headings

CMI = "current monthly income" (what Part I of form 22C calculation produces -- determines plan length)
PDI = "projected disposable income" (used for plan confirmation under the code -- law pre-dates BAPCPA & form 22C)
CDI = "current disposable income" (result produced by form 22C calculation)

Welcome, users of Nolo's

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
LegalConsumer.com helps you find local information and services to help you file for bankruptcy.

If you don't own the book, you can still use this site and the free means test calculator.

Don't own a copy?

Learn more...

Albin Renauer, the operator of LegalConsumer.com and the Means Test Calculator, is also a coauthor of Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy provides clear, user-friendly information and all the forms you need to get through the entire bankruptcy process. The book and the local resources you'll find on LegalConsumer.com are a perfect combination. The book is designed to work with LegalConsumer.com's means test calculator and lists of exemption laws, which determine what property you'd get to keep in bankruptcy.

The book covers the entire process, and gives you the line-by-line instructions you need to fill out the required Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. Meanwhile, this website gives you access to the latest local court information and county standards for the means test calculations that you must do to file a sucessful bankruptcy petition.

But first, use the book to find out whether you qualify for Chapter 7 -- and whether or not it's the best way to deal with your debts. It's important to learn what bankruptcy cannot do. You don't want to go to all the trouble of filing bankruptcy only to find out that the it won't help solve your particular problem or kind of debt. The book clearly explains what doesn't bankruptc yan and cannot do.

If you do decide Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right option, you'll learn how you can use it to:

  • cancel as much debt as possible
  • stop wage garnishments and attachments
  • keep the maximum amount of property using exemption laws
  • deal with secured debts and liens on your property
  • keep your home and car, if possible.

If you think you want to file for bankruptcy but aren't sure you can afford to hire an attorney, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will help you learn what it takes to complete your bankruptcy petition on your own and complete the bankruptcy process.

You'll also learn how to rebuild your credit rating after bankruptcy.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy doe s not cover business bankruptcies, farm reorganizations (Chapter 12) or individual repayment plans (Chapter 13). For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see Nolo's  Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time.

"Clear instructions on when and how to fill out the necessary forms."
-Forbes

"Exceptionally clear…"
-The New York Times

"A do-it-yourself bankruptcy book for people who can’t afford expensive lawyers."
-Newsweek


Press Reviews

"Exceptionally clear."
The New York Times
"How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy advises on everything from how to file court papers to how to respond to threats from creditors.... A do-it-yourself bankruptcy book for people who can’t afford expensive lawyers."
Newsweek
"An in-depth guide to filing under Chapter 7, including state-by-state and federal exemptions as well as forms for do-it-yourself filers."
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine
"Can help you decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you."
Detroit News
"A valuable, easy-to-understand workbook."
Los Angeles Times
"Includes clear instructions on when and how to fill out all the necessary forms, which assets you may legally keep, even advice on whether your case is complicated enough to make it worth your while to hire a lawyer."
Forbes
"The best [bankruptcy books] I know are published by Nolo."
Harry S. Gross, host of
“Speaking of Your Money”
"Covers all the recent changes to the bankruptcy law, and shows you how to get through the entire process with the least damage."
Accounting Today

Customer Review

"I bit the bullet, and purchased Nolo's How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. I represented myself in court and I was granted a discharge of all debts five months later."
Danielle A.,
Richmond, VA
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy lets you cut down debts and keep valuable assets.

If you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which lets you wipe out some of your debt and pay back the rest over time, use this plain-English guide to decide whether or not it's right for you.

Nolo's Chapter 13 Bankruptcy breaks down the Chapter 13 process and provides clear explanations of the law. First, you can:

  • consider nonbankruptcy alternatives for solving your debt problems
  • decide which is better for you -- Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
  • determine whether you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Then, delve deeper into Chapter 13 and find out:

  • how filing bankruptcy stops creditors instantly (the "automatic stay")
  • how Chapter 13 can help you avoid foreclosure
  • whether you can reduce your car loan balance, or the balance on other secured debts
  • whether you can get rid of second mortgages or home equity debt

If you think Chapter 13 bankruptcy could work for you, you'll be ready to:

  • determine (with the book's forms and step-by-step instructions) whether you have enough income to come up with a repayment plan that the court will approve
  • calculate the amount of your monthly plan payment
  • find and work effectively with an excellent lawyer, and
  • rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

This newest edition includes new information on hiring and working with a lawyer, recent court rulings that interpret the federal bankruptcy laws. You'll also find the atest bankruptcy exemption laws in your state, which determine what copy you can keep, and recent IRS standard expense amounts, which affect Chapter 13 plan payments.

For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you own your own business and are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see Nolo's Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners.

"An excellent book that can guide you through the process."
-Forbes

"This is the best book going if you choose to file alone or if you want background on the Chapter 13 process."
-Attorney Gary Klein, Coauthor of Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice

"An excellent resource …"
-Consumers Digest


Press Reviews

"In Nolo’s usual thorough fashion, here is a guide to an alternative to the typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy."
Orange County Register
"An excellent book that can guide you through the [Chapter 13] process."
Forbes Magazine
"Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will save you a fortune in attorney fees and confusion."
The Midwest Book Review
"This is the best book going if you choose to file alone or if you want background on the Chapter 13 process."
Attorney Gary Klein,
co-author of Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice
"An excellent resource..."
Consumers Digest
"Contains many tear-out forms, federal and state exemptions charts, and the most recent legal documents and instructions on how to fill them out. "
Reference & Research Book News

 

The New Bankruptcy

The New Bankruptcy

If you're feeling overwhelmed by debt, you may be considering bankruptcy. But is filing bankruptcy the right solution for you and your family? Find out with this plain-English book.

The New Bankruptcy provides the strategies, clear-cut answers, and information and you need to figure out whether bankruptcy can help solve your debt problems. Find out:

  • the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • how Chapter 13 repayment plans work
  • which debts are wiped out
  • how bankruptcy affects homeowners
  • whether you'll be able to keep cars and other assets
  • how bankruptcy affects your credit score
  • other ways to handle your debt problems

The latest edition of The New Bankruptcy includes updated lists of assets you can keep (exemptions) when you file bankruptcy, plus the latest rules handed down by the Supreme Court as it interprets the federal bankruptcy law. You'll also get worksheets to help you determine whether you can file for bankruptcy, helpful checklists, and easy-to-understand information for all 50 states.

"Authoritative, comprehensive and packed with helpful advice and useful information, including state-specific details."
-Eric Tyson, Author of Personal Finance For Dummies

"…it's important to know whether [bankruptcy] remains a viable option, and this book will offer both explanations and reassurances…"
-Accounting Today