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How to Make a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy a Success

Pursuing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be an opportunity to get your financial world back on track. Dealing with the terms of the process is often challenging, but it's important to stay focused on fulfilling what's required of you in a structured manner. Here are 5 tips you can use to increase the chances your case will be a success story.

Be Upfront About Everything

The court will make its best effort to acquire all the relevant information regarding your situation. If an asset or a liability somehow went undetected by the process, it's wise to disclose this fact as soon as possible. Foremost, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will tell you to be upfront and honest because failing to do so may be seen as fraud and may hurt your case.

Secondly, the court cannot assess your ability to repay without having a clear picture. You want the terms of your bankruptcy to accord with your financial situation to give you the best chance of paying things down. From your perspective, feasibility is the name of the game.

Promptly Inform the Court of New Developments

With an order in place, it's wise to keep the court informed of all financial changes that might influence your ability to pay. Keeping the judge in the loop will ensure that you'll be seen as acting in good faith if there are repayment issues.

Keep a Rhythm

Don't strain your resources trying to pay on a plan. If your circumstances clearly change for the better, you're certainly welcome to pay down debts faster. Otherwise, the important thing is to understand that slow and steady will win the race.

Face Hard Facts

If the reality proves to be harder than what was documented, you can ask the court to modify the terms. In some cases, it may be necessary to move out of the Chapter 13 process and into the Chapter 7 system of liquidating all assets.

Live Within Your Budget

A conspiracy of circumstances and decisions has led you to this point. The best move under these conditions is to focus on maintaining a budget you can live within. One of the considerations the court will take into account is that you can handle basic needs, such as having shelter and paying for utilities. Absolutely do not take excess advantage of this arrangement. The judge will also give you more than enough financial room to continue to function as a normal person.