Creating a Realistic Chapter 13 Repayment Plan: The Problems Skip to main content

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Creating a Realistic Chapter 13 Repayment Plan: The Problems


Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the facilitation of a financial reorganization plan that allows you to pay back your expenses over the course of three to five years. As a result, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy also requires that you look ahead three to five years in order to construct a realistic and sensible plan that can work for you.

Unfortunately for many people who are bankruptcy bound, the future is far from unclear. And, just as many circumstances can occur that exacerbate your financial present and force you into bankruptcy, the same unexpected scenarios—from a job loss to a medical emergency—can cause your Chapter 13 reorganization place to fail.

In part one of this series, we’ll explore why so many Chapter 13 repayment plans fail for one (or several) reasons, including:

Poor Design
A house with a bad foundation can last a while without problems; but the smallest storm, wind, or water can ruin the entire structure. The same is true with a poorly designed repayment plan. A plan that doesn’t take into consideration potential problems over the long-term is destined to fail from day one.  Working with a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you craft a stronger and more sensible plan that takes into consideration even the smallest obstacles to success.

Unexpected Expenses
Even a good Chapter 13 plan can be stymied by unexpected expenses. Just consider today’s economy, for example: Many experts could not have predicted the record joblessness, housing crisis, and unprecedented economic downturn plaguing much of America for the past three years. Similarly, many debtors entering a financial reorganization plan post bankruptcy will likely face an uphill battle if they do not take into account unexpected medical bills, unemployment, the possibility that they owe more on their home than it’s worth, and other catastrophic changes in their economic well-being during the entire course of their bankruptcy.  If these changes occur, it is possible to modify your plan and keep your bankruptcy alive. It's important to inform your attorney of any changes immediately so that a timely modification can be made.

Inability to Live Within the Repayment “Budget”
Oftentimes, many consumers fall victim to the same budgeting woes that may have created their financial mess. Instead, our clients are encouraged to use their reasonable repayment plans (emphasis on “reasonable”) as a type of bankruptcy-sanctioned “financial planning,” that allows them to follow a schedule that alleviates debt while providing room to save and spend wisely.

Keeping Your Lawyer Out of the Loop
In what can be considered to be the worst case scenario, one or more of the above reasons is compounded to cause the debtor to get potentially fall behind in their Chapter 13 repayment strategy. What’s worse however is when the debtor fails to alert their bankruptcy lawyer to these facts. It is of the utmost importance to advise your lawyer of this change in circumstances so that the problem can potentially be dealt with before it gets too out of hand.

As a result of the intricacies of a financial repayment plan, it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney before entering into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A qualified bankruptcy attorney is important during the bankruptcy process to help you navigate any uncertain waters and work in your best interests during the duration of your personal bankruptcy. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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