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Consumers with steady income may qualify for Chapter 13

Searching for information on how to handle overwhelming debt can often be overwhelming itself. You may have come across various debt relief options like debt settlement, debt consolidation and bankruptcy. You may even have seen ads for companies claiming that they can get your debt wiped out in no time.

Unfortunately, numerous scams involving debt relief are out there. You may want to trust that someone could help you get out from under your debt burden in the blink of an eye, but in most cases, finding debt relief takes work. Plus, not all options are as helpful as some may lead you to believe.

What about bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is one of the most -- if not the most -- reliable debt relief options. Though not everyone qualifies for this type of assistance, many consumers do, and with successful cases, they often find the debt relief they could not find elsewhere. If you earn a steady income, you may not think that bankruptcy could help you. However, you may have the ability to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 is also known as the wage earner's plan because you must generate a steady income in order to qualify. The regular income is important because Chapter 13 cases utilize a repayment plan to pay back creditors over the course of three to five years, depending on your income level.

What does a Chapter 13 case involve?

Before you can begin a bankruptcy case, you will need to go to credit counseling from an approved agency. This process will allow you to gain information on your specific circumstances, and you may even create a repayment plan during this time. You must complete this counseling within 180 days of filing your bankruptcy petition.

After completing credit counseling, you will need to file a bankruptcy petition with the court in conjunction with information showing your assets and debts, financial affairs, current income and spending habits, and unexpired leases and contracts. You will also need to pay the necessary case and administrative fees before submitting your repayment plan to the court. If the court approves your plan, your case will proceed.

Do you have to do this alone?

Though you will need to provide a considerable amount of personal information for your case, you do not have to go through bankruptcy alone. You can enlist the help of a New Jersey attorney experienced in this area of law who could help you gather information and understand how to work toward a successful outcome.

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