Chapter 13 vs. Debt Consolidation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is more effective than Debt Consolidation.

Whether or not you own a home here in New York, or you are in foreclosure, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a more efficient and effective way to deal with your debt than debt consolidation. Are you being bombarded by advertisements from so-called Debt Consolidation companies alleging that they can assist you? While most of these advertisements sound promising on the surface, and some companies provide some valuable services, but did you know that…

  • Debt Consolidation companies are actually telling you – indirectly – to intentionally damage your credit. They represent that they will begin to contact your creditors immediately, and begin to work out payment arrangements, but in actuality, in many instances, you are still being dunned by your creditors and collection agents and remain at risk of having litigation commenced against you and/or the enforcement of judgments that may have already been entered against you!!
  • Many creditors do not discuss work out payment arrangements with consumers who pay on time. In many instances, creditors will not even begin to consider adjusting payment terms in any manner whatsoever until an account is at least 60-90 days behind.
  • Debt Consolidation companies are only interested in collecting their fees. Many Debt Consolidation Companies will ask you to immediately begin to remit monthly payments to them. These payments are not going to your creditors!! Debt Consolidation companies “front end load” their fees so they ensure that they get paid regardless of whether or not they produce any results!!
  • (Breaking News: FTC places restrictions on fees charged by Debt Settlement Companies!)

  • Many Debt Consolidation companies and Not-For-Profit Credit Counseling Agencies are paid by the credit card companies for the money that they collect on your behalf in addition to the fees that you are already paying them
  • Although many companies do not directly disclose it directly in their advertising, there is no guarantee that all of your creditors will deal with Debt Consolidation companies. From the onset, there are numerous creditors that absolutely will not deal with Debt Consolidation companies.
  • Debt Consolidation Companies may not even be able to lower your payments at all, and in fact, may ask you to pay a higher amount!!

Using Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a pure Debt Consolidation tool is fairly straightforward.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be viewed as personal reorganization. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you deal with ALL of your debt obligations at once. Bankruptcy is not a “pick and choose” process. The law requires you to deal with all of your creditors and your creditors must deal with you.

Creditors have no choice when you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. They must comply with the requirements of the law. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your repayment plan is not based upon what the creditors want or may be willing to accept. Your monthly payment shall be based on what your individual circumstances allow you to safely afford within the guidelines set down in the Federal Bankruptcy law. This amount is determined by the Means Test.

The Means Test has been designed to determine what may be a fair and reasonable amount to be repaid to your creditors based upon income and expense guidelines based the size of your household and where you reside.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are in control of your financial situation. The filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is purely voluntary. You are actually proposing your own repayment plan within the guidelines set down in the law. So long as the plan of repayment that you propose is in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code – your creditors have no choice and must accept the repayment terms that you have proposed.

As your New York bankruptcy attorney, I can help you decide whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better route for you than debt consolidation or debt settlement. Contact my office for a free consultation today.