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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Experience, Knowledge, & Involvement from Start to Finish

Are you looking for a way to manage or reduce your debt as efficiently as possible?  Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code provides a legal solution for those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or who have sizable assets they wish to retain. If you earn a steady income or want to protect valuable assets, this type of bankruptcy plan may be right for you.


The Law Office of James J. Rufo has been a stable presence for clients in and around White Plains and New York City who need solutions to crushing debt. My firm has been guiding individuals and small businesses through all the variations of the Bankruptcy Code for nearly a decade. As a result of my concentration on this area of law, I understand the state and federal statutes governing bankruptcy and have kept up with new legal developments. Over the years, I have developed a beneficial rapport with the bankruptcy judges who may oversee your case. Throughout the entire process, you can rely on my unfailing support, counsel, and direct involvement.

What Is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy was designed for those who have the income needed to make monthly payments through a three (3) or five (5) year payment plan. A Chapter 13 debtor makes monthly payments to the Chapter 13 trustee, and the Chapter 13 trustee pays your creditors according to your plan. Eligibility for a Chapter 13 filing is based on how much secured and unsecured debt you have; these levels cannot exceed a certain amount.


A Chapter 13 debtor’s monthly chapter 13 plan payment is equivalent to the amount of income that is left over after deducting the debtors’ reasonable and necessary monthly living expenses from their net monthly income.  The type of debts incurred will also influence the amount of your monthly chapter 13 plan payment. A Chapter 13 debtor may wind up paying only a portion of their unsecured debt after the full repayment period has ended with any remaining amount left over being discharged. However, certain priority debts must be fully repaid, such as tax bills, child support, and others.

Your Path to Financial Freedom Begins Here

Get your questions answered by contacting me, James J. Rufo, Esq. at (914) 600-7161 or via email at today. Your initial consultation is free.

This type of bankruptcy
can work for the following:

  • Those that do not qualify for a Chapter 7 liquidation plan but need to lower their payments of unsecured debt or stop lawsuits

  • Those who wish to catch up on debt such as alimony or child support over the span of the payment plan

  • Those who wish to eliminate unsecured lesser liens on your home or stop foreclosure by catching up on missed mortgage payments

  • Those who wish to stop repossession of a vehicle by catching up on car payments

Do I Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

To file for Chapter 13, you must meet the following requirements:


  • You are an individual or couple. Businesses cannot file for Chapter 13.

  • You did not have debt discharged from a previous Chapter 13 case within the last 2 years.

  • You did not have debt discharged from a prior Chapter 7 case within the last 4 years.

  • You cannot file if a prior filing of yours was dismissed within the last 180 days for violating a court order, failing to appear before the court, or requesting that your case be dismissed after a creditor requested the automatic stay be lifted.

  • You completed a credit counseling course 180 days before filing.

  • Your debt is within the limits. These are adjusted every 3 years -- as of April 2019 the limits are:

    • Unsecured debt is under $419,275

    • Secured debt is under $1,257,850

  • Your income tax returns have all been filed.

  • You have enough disposable income to repay your debt while living comfortably.

Your Path to Financial Freedom Begins Here

Get your questions answered by contacting me, James J. Rufo, Esq. at (914) 600-7161 or via email at today. Your initial consultation is free.

Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is that, generally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates nonexempt property to pay off your creditors and discharge remaining debt. Chapter 13, on the other hand, is a repayment plan that allows you to keep your nonexempt property.

Many people file Chapter 13 because they don’t qualify for Chapter 7.  Under the Chapter 7 means test, you generally must make less than your state’s median income to qualify. Some, however, will choose Chapter 13 even though they qualify for Chapter 7 because they want to stop foreclosure and keep other high-value assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are exclusively for individual persons, a business cannot file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

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