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Because filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows Florida residents the chance to restructure the debt and make payments in an attempt to keep their property, there are very specific requirements that filers must meet. How much debt is owed and whether the person has the ability to make the payments to repay the debt are two of the most important factors.

To qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing as of 2014, the debtor must have unsecured debts totaling less than $336,900, and all secured debts must be less than $1,010,650. Unsecured debts refer to debts where collateral is not an issue, such as with medical or credit card debt, and secured debts are when the creditor can take ownership of property if the debt is not paid, including mortgages and car loans. It’s important to talk to a bankruptcy attorney if you are unsure if you owe too much for a Chapter 13 filing, as the maximums are adjusted every few years.

Those wishing to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must also have a plan to pay off the debts, taking into consideration the specific guidelines for certain types of debts and show proof of sufficient income. Some debts, including delinquent child support and tax liens, must be paid in full.

There are many different rules and exceptions when it comes to bankruptcy law. To make sure that everything is properly filed and the debtor knows what to expect moving forward, it is important to talk to an attorney who can adequately assess your situation and provide guidance moving forward.

Source: FindLaw, “Who Can File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?” Dec. 11, 2014