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How do I survive the Chapter 13 repayment plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Bankruptcy

When faced with overwhelming debt, you likely fear that you may lose your property, either through bankruptcy or a lawsuit. However, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida might be a viable option to help you keep your property and eliminate that overwhelming debt.

Chapter 13 enables you to structure a repayment plan spanning 3 to 5 years, contingent on your income and expenses. Though, you may fear that life during this repayment plan will be unbearable.

The dynamics of your repayment plan

Full payment of priority debts is required. These include child support, alimony, employee wages and specific tax obligations. Additionally, monthly allocations for secured debts, like mortgages and car loans, are integral if you want to keep the property.

Disposable income remaining at the end of the month is channeled towards unsecured debts, like credit cards and medical bills. These debts do not have collateral backing and are subject to potential discharge or reduction in bankruptcy.


The plan’s duration hinges on income and the applicable commitment period. Those below Florida’s median income qualify for a 3-year plan. Conversely, income surpassing Florida’s median qualifies for a 5-year plan.

Adhere to your budget

Succeeding in the Chapter 13 repayment plan requires unwavering adherence to your budget. Living within your means is crucial. Avoid unnecessary spending and make timely and complete monthly payments. Failure could lead to case dismissal or conversion to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, potentially resulting in property loss.

Incurring new debt during Chapter 13 bankruptcy is prohibited without court and trustee authorization. Unauthorized credit card usage or loan acquisition can result in penalties or loss of bankruptcy protection.

Can the repayment plan change?

Yes. Unforeseen difficulties, such as job loss, illness or family emergencies, may impact your repayment ability. Promptly informing your trustee and attorney of any issues or changes in circumstances is crucial. They may assist in plan modifications or request a hardship discharge from the bankruptcy court.

A hardship discharge offers an early exit from Chapter 13, contingent on proving an inability to make payments due to circumstances beyond control. A hardship discharge could be based on the fact that the creditors received at least as much as in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or that there was no reasonable possibility of modifying the repayment plan. While a hardship discharge discharges only unsecured non-priority debts, you remain obligated to pay priority and secured debts in full.

Seek assistance when necessary

Surviving the Chapter 13 repayment plan entails seeking assistance when encountering challenges. Remember, you do not have to do this alone, and this will only last, at most, 5 years. Lean on your friends, family and support network to get through this journey.



Kingcade & Garcia | A Miami Law Firm