Dallas W. Jolley

Attorney and

 Counselor at Law


(253) 761-8970

dallas@jolleylaw.com


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CHAPTER 13

Save your home from foreclosure

Pay your traffic tickets over time and get your driver's license back, save your business, and eliminate the same debts as you would in Chapter 7

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The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income. (Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and pay debts over time, usually three to five years.)

A Chapter 13 case begins by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court serving the area where the debtor has a domicile or residence. 


Unless the court orders otherwise, the debtor must also file with the court


(1) schedules of assets and liabilities; 

(2) a schedule of current income and expenditures; 

(3) a schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases; and 

(4) a statement of financial affairs. 


Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b). The debtor must also file a certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed through credit counseling; evidence of payment from employers, if any, received 60 days before filing; a statement of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing; and a record of any interest the debtor has in federal or state qualified education or tuition accounts. 11 U.S.C. § 521. The debtor must provide the Chapter 13 case trustee with a copy of the tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year as well as tax returns filed during the case (including tax returns for prior years that had not been filed when the case began). Id. A husband and wife may file a joint petition or individual petitions. 11 U.S.C. § 302(a). (The Official Forms may be purchased at legal stationery stores or downloaded from the Internet at www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html. They are not available from the court.)

The courts must charge a $235 case filing fee and a $39 miscellaneous administrative fee. Normally the fees must be paid to the clerk of the court upon filing. With the court's permission, however, they may be paid in installments. 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a); Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(b); Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule, Item 8. The number of installments is limited to four, and the debtor must make the final installment no later than 120 days after filing the petition. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1006(b). For cause shown, the court may extend the time of any installment, as long as the last installment is paid no later than 180 days after filing the petition. Id. The debtor may also pay the $39 administrative fee in installments. If a joint petition is filed, only one filing fee and one administrative fee are charged. Debtors should be aware that failure to pay these fees may result in dismissal of the case. 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c)(2).


In order to complete the Official Bankruptcy Forms that make up the petition, statement of financial affairs, and schedules, the debtor 

must compile the following information


1- A list of all creditors and the amounts and nature of their claims;

2- The source, amount, and frequency of the debtor's income;

3- A list of all of the debtor's property; 

4- A detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.



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