How to Figure the Debt Repayment Amount in a Chapter 13


List all of your debts. Start with the secured debts first and list the unsecured debts last. Secured debts would be anything that a creditor could take away if you don't pay it, such as a car or house. Unsecured debts would unsecured credit cards, medical bills and any unsecured loans.

Write the amount you owe on each debt. For secured debts, you write how much you are behind in payments, any interest and penalties if any you owe. For unsecured debts, you write the total of the debt that you are behind on and the total of the debt to pay in full. The unsecured debts will have two amounts to determine a repayment plan.

Calculate the secured debts that you must repay to keep your property. Calculate the unsecured debts for behind payments and the amount of total debt. Repayment plans look at secured debts first and then unsecured debts second when deciding on how many years you will have a repayment plan and how much you need to pay a month after your income is calculated.

Calculate your monthly income. Include all wages and any cash you receive every month such as alimony or child support.

Subtract all of your living expenses allowed from your monthly income. You can look at the sample form (See Reference) to calculate your living expenses.

Take the total amount of secured debts and divide by twelve months, twenty-four months, thirty-six months and forty-eight months. This will give you an estimate of how much your repayment would be monthly for a chapter 13 repayment plan for the amount of time of the plan. If you have this amount left over or more after you calculated your monthly budget versus your income, you may qualify for a chapter 13. Unsecured debts are calculated after the secured debts and sometimes the amount paid can be as low as a penny on a dollar or nothing at all. This all depends on how much money you have left after the secured debts and a monthly fee for the trustee.


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Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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