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How can I save my house in Chapter 13 Proceedings

A summary by Bankrutpcy Attorney Brian D. Lerner on Chapter 13 Proceedings and how you can save your house by properly filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Question: I am over my head in the bills and I have not been able to pay my house for almost one year. They are going to consider foreclosing on the property. Is there anything I can do to save my house?
Answer: There are several factors which I would have to inquire about. However, if you qualify, the Chapter 13 is a very good petition in Bankruptcy Court to be able to save your house.
Question: How does Chapter 13 work?
Answer: Chapter 13 is filed in Bankruptcy Court under a Plan which would have to be confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court. The payments on a Chapter 13 Plan would be anywhere between three years and five years. It would depend on several factors such as how much you make, what amounts are owning and what is the type of debts that you have. However, 3 years is normally the minimum. Thus, you would have to show at a minimum that you can actually make the payments on the Chapter 13 Plan. It must be feasible.
Question: How do I know what amount I must pay?
Answer: This is known as your disposable income. First, we would take all the income you make and then deduct all the expenses and normal items (some actual and some what the IRS states is normal) and the bottom line would be the disposable income.

Question: Will my mortgage be lowered?
Answer: No. However, in a Chapter 13, the types of debts you have will be divided in priorities with the top priority being paid off first, and then the second, and then the third. As the priorities get lower, the chances of paying them through the Plan become less and less likely. For example, let us say you have $50,000 in credit card debt, and $25,000 in loans that are unsecured. These would essentially be categorized as the lowest priority – general unsecured creditors. It is very possible that not a single penny will get paid back to these creditors. Thus, your mortgage is much less of a problem when you do not have to worry about paying back general unsecured debt.

Question: What about the amount I am behind on my mortgage?
Answer: It is possible to pay this entire amount off through the Plan. As you stated, you were about 1 year behind. Let’s say this is about $20,000. The $20,000 would be divided among the months of the Plan and when the Plan was paid off, there would be no more arrears.
Question: What happens to the debt that could not be paid off during the Plan.
Answer: some of this depends on what type of debt. However, if you referring to normal general unsecured debt, then whatever is left over (which might be 100% of what was owed) is legally discharged and you owe nothing further.
Brian D. Lerner does both Immigration Law and Bankruptcy Law. In Immigration Law he is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization. In Bankruptcy Law his firm will prepare Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Circuits. Mr. Lerner handles all types of immigration cases and does a significant amount of deportation cases. As a deportation attorney, he is able to apply for many types of relief in Immigration Court, such as Cancellation of Removal, Asylum, Convention Against Torture, Adjustment of Status and more. Office in Long Beach and clients all over the State of California. Please call (866) 495-0554 for a free consultation or e-mail Brian D. Lerner at

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