Being in debt is a challenge that many people in Las Vegas, Henderson, other parts of Nevada, and the rest of the country may have to deal with. While in some cases, the debts are manageable, there are several individuals for whom the debts become overwhelming although when they have a steady source of income. For those people, an individual bankruptcy filing under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code may be an effective tool to overcome the burden of debt.
In order to be eligible for a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 13, an individual must meet certain criteria. First, the amount of debt must be relatively small. Second, the debtor should have a steady source of income. And third, the debt accumulated must be the debt that has been accumulated by an individual, and not by a business. In sum, these are the eligibility criteria for an individual who is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the first time in his or her life.
If that a debtor has filed for bankruptcy earlier, a Chapter 13 filing is the better option if the earlier filing was under the same chapter in the preceding two years or under Chapter 7 in the preceding four years. Also, if a debtor has not had a bankruptcy filing dismissed by the court in the preceding 180 days, a filing under Chapter 13 is the better option.
The rules also require a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filer to complete credit counseling of at least 180 days prior to the filing. The debtor should also have a repayment plan ready and must have filed tax returns for the past four years. All of these conditions met, the Chapter 13 filing, and the eventual discharge from debts, can be expected to be smooth.
Talking of discharge, however, it is important to remember that a even successful Chapter 13 filing will not result on the discharge of certain financial obligations such as alimony, child support and certain non-dischargeable taxes.
While all of this may appear fairly simple on paper, the fact is that bankruptcy filings are often a complex affair, as there are a plethora of rules and regulations and also the opportunity of taking advantage of various exemptions that are offered at both the state and federal levels. Therefore, for people planning on filing for bankruptcy to overcome debts effectively, it may be a wise decision to seek assistance from an experienced bankruptcy attorney.