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You may be eligible for a Chapter 13 hardship discharge if you are struggling with your repayment plan. Contact Weintraub Zolkin Talerico & Selth LLP to discuss this option, as the chances of getting your hardship discharge may be greatly improved with experienced attorneys assisting you.
If you have recently decided to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our Los Angeles Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can help you create a repayment plan that is realistic for you but that will also get approved by creditors and the bankruptcy court. Because the repayment plan may last up to five years, planning ahead and being realistic about how much you can pay is essential. However, even with the most careful planning, your repayment plan may have become unmanageable due to uncontrollable changes in your life.
Call (310) 220-4147 to discuss the hardship discharge or other options you may have for getting your Chapter 13 repayment plan under control including a hardship discharge.
Getting a Hardship Discharge Approved
Even if you have not met all the requirements of the Chapter 13 repayment plan, you may be able to have some of the debts you owe discharged.
Typically, these are the requirements that the court considers when approving a hardship discharge:
- Difficult circumstances beyond control: You cannot complete the repayment plan due to circumstances “for which you should not justly be held accountable.” You must show that the unfortunate circumstances are permanent such as a catastrophic injury or illness that will prevent you from maintaining a job.
- Adequate payments to creditors: You have already paid a considerable amount of your debt which equals the amount you would have repaid had you liquidated your assets under Chapter 7.
- Modification is not feasible: If you are unable to meet your repayment obligations, a modification to the plan may be suggested. However, to get a hardship discharge, you would have to show that even a modified repayment plan would be unacceptable and you would still be unable to pay.
If you do not qualify for a hardship discharge, you may need to consider converting to a Chapter 7, or consult a bankruptcy attorney to discuss additional options.
Facing Hardship Due to COVID-19?
If you have been facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and have filed Chapter 13 before March 27, 2020, you may be able to modify your plan or extend your repayment period for up to seven years rather than the original five years under the CARES Act. You must be able to show material financial hardship due to COVID-19, such as job loss or decreased income.
Should I Stop Making Payments If I Cannot Afford Them?
If you cannot make your payments on the approved plan, do NOT simply stop making your payments. Significant penalties will be imposed. You must have a hardship discharge approved. Even if the discharge is approved by the court, not all your debts will be discharged. Some debts that may not be dischargeable include secured debts, arrears on secured debts, student loans, criminal fines, and many others.
Call Weintraub Zolkin Talerico & Selth LLP at (310) 220-4147 for more details about the hardship discharge, including how you may qualify and what to do if a creditor objects to your request for a hardship discharge.
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