In order to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to compile a pretty significant amount of information that shows the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that you’re in need of debt relief. Your Maryland bankruptcy attorney can give you a comprehensive list of what you need, but it’s a good idea to pull together as much information as you can before you meet with your lawyer for the first time. That way, you’ll be able to make the process go more smoothly.
What Documents Do You Need to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Maryland?
Filing a wage earner’s plan (that’s the other name for Chapter 13) is a process that begins with you gathering documentation about your debts. You’ll need to tell the courts about your:
- Monthly expenses
You’ll also have to put together a repayment plan that outlines how you propose to repay each of your creditors. The trustee in your case will evaluate your plan and determine whether it’s fair to you and your creditors, and whether it’s economically reasonable to expect you to be able to pay the amount you propose.
In order to do that, you have to back up your repayment plan with solid facts. You can do that by gathering all the information you have and providing it to your bankruptcy attorney.
- A list of all your creditors, and how much you owe each
- Proof of your income
- A list of all your property
- A list of your monthly living expenses
Creditor Information You Must Provide
If you want all of your debt to be included in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to create a list that includes each creditor, how much you owe, and the nature of each creditor’s claim.
You can include secured debt and unsecured debt in your repayment plan. If you don’t include a creditor on this list, that creditor won’t be included in your bankruptcy. (If, for some reason, you want to exclude what you owe to a creditor that the law allows you to include in your bankruptcy, talk to your attorney. He’ll be able to give you the case-specific guidance you need.)
Proof of Income
Your trustee needs to know that you have money coming in, how much you’re paid, and how frequently you’re paid so he or she can determine whether your repayment plan is economically feasible. If you’re over-promising how much you can pay, or your trustee thinks you can pay more, then he or she will raise an objection to the way you’ve structured your repayment plan.
Your lawyer’s experience with the bankruptcy courts will come in really handy when you’re developing your plan. If you’re under- or over-estimating your ability to pay, your lawyer will let you know what he’s seen in the past while working with the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.
List of Your Property and Assets
Your trustee needs to see what you own outright and how much money you have in the bank. Remember, the trustee’s job is to make sure your bankruptcy case is fair to everyone involved. In order to do that, he or she needs to know how much money you have saved and whether you’re even eligible for this type of debt relief. (If you’re not eligible for Chapter 13, you may still be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)
List of Your Monthly Living Expenses
Food, rent, your car payment… if it costs you money each month, your trustee needs to know about it. That’s how he or she will determine how much you’re able to pay as part of your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Typically, the trustee will first use basic budgeting techniques to determine whether your plan is reasonable. For example, if you make $2,000 per month and your monthly expenses are $1,950, but you plan to send $400 per month to the trustee to disburse to your creditors, the trustee may have a few qualms about passing your plan through.
Do You Need to Talk to a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If you’re considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get out from under a mountain of debt, you’re not alone – and we may be able to help you.
Call us right away at 301-933-2595 for a free Chapter 13 consultation. We’ll give you case-specific advice you can use now to start moving forward.