For consumer Bankruptcy ( as opposed to business Bankruptcy Chapter 11 ) there are basically 2 Chapters of the Bankruptcy code available, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is basically for consumers that do have non exempt assets such as a house and or expensive vehicles and they desire to keep those assets. Unlike a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which as mentioned is a complete discharge of all dischargeable debt, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is one in which the debtor makes monthly payments to the Bankruptcy trustee , usually over a 5 year period according to a plan agreed upon by the Trustee, creditors and the debtor. The amount of the payments is determined by how much assets and how much debt the debtor has and the ability of the debtor to make the monthly payments. The percentage of debt that is paid back by the debtor to the trustee ( for the benefit of the creditors ) is determined by the factors mentioned in determining the amount of the payments. Some Chapter 13 cases may be “full payback" meaning the creditors will get paid back all they are owed but it will be spread out over a 5 year plan.If the debtor does not have enough assets to pay back in full, a lesser percentage is determined. For example if debtor has enough assets to pay back one half of what is owed this means each creditor will receive one half of what is owed ( this would be known as a 50% plan ). As mentioned, the plan has to be agreed upon ( trustee confirms the plan after a hearing ). Additionally the plan has to be feasible ( workable ), meaning the debtor must have the ability to make the payments during the life of the plan, or the trustee will not confirm the plan. If the plan is confirmed but the debtor is unable to make all of the payments during the plan, the bankruptcy will be dismissed and the debts will not be discharged.
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