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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

At Helfand & Associates our Chapter 13 attorneys, provide individuals with help filing bankruptcy in Morris, Sussex, and Essex Counties. Our bankruptcy lawyers frequently handle Chapter 13 cases for clients in towns all over northern New Jersey including Rockaway and Lake Hopatcong.

The main purpose of Chapter 13 is to give the individual debtor greater options to deal with secured and unsecured debt and encourage repayment. In a Chapter 13, a person can save non-exempt assets that would otherwise be surrendered in a Chapter 7. If a home is in arrears, and you want to keep the home, the plan must provide for curing the arrears and paying the mortgage at the same time.

Benefits of filing Chapter 13:

  • Keep non-exempt assets. Every debtor is entitled to exemptions of personal property, home, cash in the bank, personal injury awards, and automobiles up to a certain level governed by USC 522(d). If you have more than you are allowed, you can keep this property rather than lose it by paying the non-exempt amount into the Bankruptcy Court to help pay off debt
  • “Cramdown” or “strip” claims based on value of underlying collateral. So, if your house is worth $200,000, your first mortgage has $250,000 outstanding and you have a second mortgage of $50,000, now fully unsecured, this can be stripped off in a Chapter 13.
  • For individuals in business, less expensive “reorganization” than Chapter 11.
  • Actions stayed against co-signers, not stayed in Chapter 7. Normally, a co-signer is sued immediately when the primary debtor defaults. Chapter 13 prevents this.
  • Can refinance or modify during Chapter 13 motion be filed? The Bankruptcy Court now has modification proceedings in Court which are working better than in the past.
  • More effective resolution of tax debt during Chapter 13 plan. A person who owes IRS debt can set up a plan, pay principal and interest. Penalties can be eliminated.


Only an individual can file Chapter 13. Individuals must have regular income and the plan must be feasible. Secured debt (mortgages, car loans, etc.) cannot exceed $1,081,400 and unsecured debt cannot exceed $360,475. (These figures periodically change.) If your debts exceed these amounts, Helfand & Associates can assist you with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy instead.

When you have debt problems, please come in to talk to us at Helfand & Associates. There are often options that you have not thought about or know about to make your life easier and to have a brighter future.

Chapter 13 is completely voluntary. A debtor may convert to Chapter 7 if he/she cannot complete the 13, as long as it is in good faith and not a previously converted case.

The filing of the Chapter 13 (as well as Chapters 7 and 11) causes the automatic stay to take effect, preventing new or continuation of judicial or administrative action or enforcement of judgment, lien or collection proceedings. The filing of bankruptcy does not stay a criminal action or divorce or collection of a domestic support obligation.

Chapter 13 gives debtors excellent relief from debt collection and foreclosure. At Helfand & Associates, our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can properly evaluate your case and advise you of your options to get a fresh start.

Give Helfand & Associates a call at (973) 428-0800 or contact us online for a free 1/2 hr. consultation.

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  • Whippany Office
    575 Route 10 East
    Suite 1
    Whippany, New Jersey 07981
    Phone: 973-428-0800
    Fax: 973-428-0830
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    420 Lexington Ave.
    New York, New York 10170
    Phone: 646-213-9053
  • "Without Tanya and her time, the really unpleasant experience of getting divorced would have been even worse. They were able to settle the matter very quickly and helped me fit this into my tight schedule allowing me to leave to move abroad for my dissertation research on time without having to delay the trip because of the divorce. They also did all of it within my very tight budget. Thank you so much for your help and dedication to my legal matter!"  - AG

  • "Tanya and her Associates are outstanding! What I admire most about Tanya is her knowledge of the law with her keen negotiation skills to foster mediation. Her strategies efficiently resolve conflict leading to the resolution of cases. She and her team have an outstanding work ethic, know what data are needed, and get the job done. It is a pleasure to work with such wonderful professionals."  - Tara, Whippany

  • "I found Ms. Helfand's knowledge and tenacity most reassuring during the ordeal of my divorce. She was steadfast in her guidance and was very effective in her negotiations on my behalf. I would recommend her without a second thought. "  -Jonathan

  • "Ms. Helfand was very professional and helpful with our bankruptcy case. Her advice was very useful and helped us make the proper decisions for our situation. In addition, she was very supportive during a very difficult time for us. Finally, she set very specific fee expectations and there were no surprises when it was completed. I would use her services again and would recommend her, without question."

  • "She is Incredible, very quick responding to the other party. Very professional and courteous. I highly recommend her. She has a great passion and love for every single case."

  • "Tanya and her team were very professional handling my divorce proceedings. She was very proactive in making the other attorney finally get the process moving forward. I would recommend her to anyone looking for legal services. "  -Scott

  • "Ms. Helfand strategized & processed, both, my Divorce & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. As both cases were emotionally and legally challenging, Ms. Helfand proved to be an empowering Mentor along the path to clarity for which I am truly grateful. I highly recommend her legal expertise to anyone who is seeking a confident, savvy & caring attorney to become at peace with self and any legal matters."  -Vas

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