The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California‚ the court that governs Los Angeles‚ recently released statistics that show Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Los Angeles has become a more frequently used form of bankruptcy filing.
According to the court’s analysis‚ Chapter 13 filings have increased more than 16 percent from January to August 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. The 2011 numbers are based on estimated filings through June.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is by far the most popular chapter under which consumers file for bankruptcy‚ as it’s the chapter under which a person can have their debts discharged and move on with life the quickest.
But Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Los Angeles has its perks for people in a different situation. For those who own assets and might make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7‚ Chapter 13 allows payment plans‚ usually for three to five years‚ to pay back creditors. Once the period has ended‚ the debts are considered paid in full.
Chapter 13 usually is for people who have assets that they would like to keep‚ whereas most Chapter 7 filers have far more debt than assets that could be sold to help pay their debt. Homeowners filing for Chapter 13 would likely be able to keep their house‚ vehicles and other assets after the process has concluded.
According to the court’s numbers‚ 20‚829 people filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2010‚ compared to 73‚999 who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This year‚ Chapter 7 filings have decreased by about 6 percent‚ to an estimated 69‚327 through August. But compared to the nearly 21‚000 who filed Chapter 13 in 2010‚ there has been an estimated 24‚200 so far in 2011.
This may show that the economy is hitting the working middle class the hardest right now. While waves of low-income or no-income families have used bankruptcy consumer laws to their advantage by discharging debts and getting a fresh start‚ the middle class‚ who may not qualify for Chapter 7 are still using these protection laws to help them with their particular economic situation.
Either chapter is designed to help consumers. Chapter 13 is simply for people who make a little more money‚ but the results are the same. They can come away from bankruptcy with a fresh start ready to move on with life free from debt and hounding creditors and lenders.
And at the end‚ they can still keep their home and vehicles‚ and have their debts from medical bills‚ credit card bills and other outstanding loans go away after making monthly payments consistently on time for a few years down the road. Whatever your situation‚ bankruptcy may help. The first step is consulting with an experienced and dedicated Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer who can help you make the right decision regarding your finances.
Cal West Law will provide a free consultation to help guide you in making a decision that works for you. In Encino‚ Glendale‚ and Los Angeles‚ just call (800) 568-0707.