In a challenging economy, individuals are bombarded with advertisements and suggestions regarding how they can strengthen their finances. It is wise to take the time to learn the benefits and costs of your options. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can thoroughly educate you on your options and provide valuable insight regarding your best course of action.
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At Rauser & Associates Legal Clinic LLP, we are regularly asked to explain the differences between debt consolidation programs and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The short answer is that Chapter 13 is the only true debt consolidation program. There are governmental regulations set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. Everything is handled through the court system and there are significant penalties for creditors who do not honor the automatic stay and repayment program.
Conversely, debt consolidation often requires the direct negotiation with each of your creditors to reach an agreement. Since this agreement is not typically legally binding, the creditor can often change its mind and end the payment plan. Chapter 13 bankruptcy limits the actions the creditors can take. Through the Chapter 13 repayment plan, you simply pay a trustee who, then, distributes money to your different creditors. You no longer have to interact with them.
Other benefits include:
- Chapter 13 has a set repayment plan that is either three or five years depending on your income.
- Chapter 13 typically requires you to only pay a percentage of your total debt rather than the full amount.
- If a creditor violates the provisions of Chapter 13, it might be held in contempt of court.
Depending on your situation, Chapter 13 consolidation may be the right choice. You can count on the attorneys at Rauser & Associates Legal Clinic LLP to give you honest answers and a true assessment of your options. When you need a different level of service, contact any of our offices to schedule a free legal evaluation.
If you have further questions about the differences between Chapter 13 and debt consolidation, contact any of our convenient Ohio offices by calling 888-843-5787. Offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Canton and throughout Ohio. Someone is available six days a week to discuss your options.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.