Is it possible to pay off my debt over an extended period of time? 25 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I want to file for bankruptcy, but I dont want to pay off my debt right away. This way I hope to keep my property. Is it possible to do this? How do I know if I qualify?

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Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Yes, we recommend that most clients stop paying the debt if they are going to file bankruptcy as they are wasting their money by paying the debt.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/26/2011
Joseph Lehn, Esq
Joseph Lehn, Esq | Lehn Law, PA
Depending on the exemptions applicable in your state and your income over the past 6 months, you may qualify for a Chapter 7 and keep most, if not all, of your property and still discharge all of your debt. If not, you can file a Chapter 13 case where you make payments for 3 to 5 years.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/22/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will allow you to pay off your debt over as long as 5 years. You should speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 8/11/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
See a lawyer about Chapter 13. That is a repayment program.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/11/2011
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
Would need MUCH more information to adequately answer your question. Some general principles of bankruptcy: Chapter 7. (The following remarks are generalizations. Its very complicated.) All dischargeable debts are discharged. Debts which are not dischargeable include most taxes, child support or alimony, student loans, criminal restitution. Unless you have unusually valuable assets you will keep most or all of them. If you make too much money or you have filed a Chapter 7 in the last eight years you cannot file a 7 but have to file a Chapter 13. Chapter 13. You make monthly payments for either three or five years. Payment amount is your disposable income after reasonable expenses. Good for back taxes or mortgage arrears. Process of determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7 is complicated. Requires an experienced BK attorney.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/11/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    If you plan to file bankruptcy and you qualify you don't want to pay any debts that will be discharged in the Chapter 7. I am happy to discuss these issues with you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Ray Fisher Law Offices
    Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
    If you file for bankruptcy there is no need to pay off your debt. The point of bankruptcy is to make the debt go away without paying it off. Normally, when you file a bankruptcy, you keep your property. Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    You can file a Ch 13 which will allow you to pay off your debt over time, but you must start paying on it right away. You can't chose to pay it off "later" unless you are willing for them to come take the property involved. You have to have enough income to make that payment, which is due within the first 30 days of filing. I would see a bankruptcy attorney right away to see what you qualified for and when it is best for you to file.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    Yes. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney to see how this can work.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The best way to pay your debts over up to five years is in Chapter 13 bankruptcy because interest stops upon filing and some creditors fail to file claims and are not paid. You do not necessarily lose property by filing a bankruptcy case and you do not lose any property if you pay all the claims filed anyway. If you do not want to file a bankruptcy case then you can work out payment plans with each creditor (if the creditors will work with you) or you can go to a debt consolidation company (not a debt negotiation company which are generally a rip off) and work out a payment plan and possibly reduced interest. Debt consolidation works well with credit cards but not other kinds of debts and not with judgments against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    A Chapter 13 case is a type of bankruptcy that allows you to repay your debt over a 36 to 60 month period of time. To qualify for Chapter 13 you must have sufficient stable and regular income to fund you plan. You must be an individual, corporations cannot file Chapter 13. Finally, your unsecured debt cannot exceed $360,475 while your secured debt cannot exceed $1,081,400. These debts limits are effective as of April 1, 2011.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you file bankruptcy you can pay your debts with a chapter 13 plan. You keep all your property. Consult with an attorney to see if your qualify.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Yes. You file Ch. 13.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Chapter 13, if it works for you, involves repayment of debt, usually over a 3-5 year period of time. The calculations to see if you qualify and formulate a plan are complex and you need a lawyer, and the good news is that you can roll your legal fees into the plan too. That is sometimes a good way to keep assets. See a lawyer and see if it's the best answer for you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC | John Scott Logan
    Most bankruptcies discharge your debt, rather than paying it off. If you want to repay something or everything over up to 5 years, Chapter 13 is the best option if you are eligible. If not, an individual Chapter 11 case would work.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Yes but it will be in a chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    If you file a Ch 7, you will receive a discharge in 3 months but might have to liquidate non-exempt property. In a Ch 13, you get to keep your property but pay into a payment plan for 3 to 5yrs
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    That would be a Chapter 13. The best route is to see an attorney because they are complicated. You will have to complete a means test if you have primarily consumer debts and there are limits to debt. You also need a regular income - job, business or investment as long as it can be determined and worked into a plan. The means test will give you a good idea what you are facing and you can find some means test calculators on the internet. But filing a Ch13 should be done by an attorney to get the best result.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Check out a Chapter 13 BK or Chapter 11. They are both payment plans.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Chapter 13 is a 5 year repayment of your debt. Call a bankruptcy attorney to see if you qualify
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    If you wish to pay off your debt file a chapter 13 bankruptcy through a reputable bankruptcy attorney. Choose an attorney who is certified by the American Board of Certification
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    A chapter 13 Plan is the perfect way for a person like you to pay off their debt at 0% interest. You may not even have to pay 100% of the debts owed. And, in a Chapter 13 Plan, you do not lose any property. That's right. Not any. You will definitely need an attorney for this project. Go see an experienced bankruptcy attorney that does not charge for the initial consultation. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code allows an individual with regular income to pay creditors over 60 months, without selling any property, based on your ability to pay. A review of income and obligations, and types of creditors is necessary to determine qualification and plan payment requirements.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    In order to determine your best option, you should speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Many, including my firm, offer a free initial consultation. A Chapter 13 plan will allow you to pay debts over 36-60 months and keep all of your property - even if you have some property that is not exempt. A consultation with an attorney can quickly tell you if this is a good option for you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Stephen C. Sutton
    The Law Offices of Stephen C. Sutton | Robert S. Sutton
    Yes, by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is akin to a court protected repayment plan that typically lasts 60 months (5 years). To qualify for Chapter 13 you must have regular income and the plan must be feasible, to determine this you should sit down with an attorney and discuss your financial situation. Chapter 13 is designed to help people keep certain assets by allowing you to get caught up in the arrears, so in all likelihood you will be able to file bankruptcy and keep your property .
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/11/2011
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