A client I met with today was behind 2 months on his car payments and very concerned about the finance company repossessing his car that is his only source of transportation. He also owed a few medical bills, child support, and credit cards.
My first thought was that a chapter 13 would be a good option for him. Chapter 13 is different from a chapter 7 bankruptcy as it proposes a plan to pay as much debt back as he is able. So in this situation, we would propose a plan to pay his car and protect it from repossession. The problem was his child support which he wanted to make sure was paid. The amount owed could not be paid in full without making payments beyond what he could afford. In most chapter 13 bankruptcies all child support must be paid during the life of the plan which is usually 5 years. In this case, a different rule applied. Since the child support was now owed to a governmental agency, he could pay what he could afford for 5 years and then resume paying the remaining balance owed after his chapter 13 case was finished. Thus, my client is able to protect his car and continue to pay his child support at a reasonable monthly payment.
The moral of this story is that just because you think your situation is hopeless, get the advice of an experienced attorney. At Bond and Botes, we have been helping people for 25 years deal with their debt. Please call and let our receptionist schedule an appointment for you. The initial consultation is free and with an experienced attorney who can explain your options and find a solution to your debt problems.
Robert Reese is a Managing Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Birmingham, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Jacksonville State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. Robert is also a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). Read his full bio here.