People all over the country, and right here in Memphis, Tennessee are struggling to pay all the debts they owe. People are often afraid to seek Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection for fear of being forced out of their house.
A new program recently started in Jacksonville. When an individual files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they can now participate in a foreclosure mediation program. This program allows the person in debt to meet with the banks and their creditors to work out a payment plan. This plan can allow the debtor to stay in their home.
This program may not work for everybody. While the program allows the filer to remain in their home, it does not take them all the way through the bankruptcy process. Instead of having their debts discharged, the program allows the person to work with their creditors to come up with a payment plan. For people who are struggling to pay their debts, this may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a person the opportunity to reorganize. Filing for bankruptcy discharges certain debts and allows an individual a fresh start and a way out of debt. In a typical Chapter 13 proceeding, a person's house is not exempt and may be taken over by the bank. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, a person's house is generally exempt.
For people in over their head, sometimes bankruptcy is the only way out. However, in certain circumstances, a person can avoid bankruptcy by working directly with his or her creditors. An experienced attorney can help guide an individual through their various options.
Source: Biz Journal, "Bankruptcy foreclosure mediation program could help many, but not everyone," Christian Conte, Oct. 25, 2012