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Who is Eligible Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Code, also known as Wage-earner’s Plan, Repayment Plan or Debt Adjustment is a restructuring type of bankruptcy wherein debtors are allowed to design a three-year payment proposal during which time they can settle their debts (this plan can be extended up to five years if approved by the court). This proposal, which is actually a restructured payment scheme, is aimed at helping debtors make debt payments more affordable for them. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, wherein debtors will need to submit their “non-exempt” properties for liquidation, debtors who file for bankruptcy under this chapter are allowed to keep their properties and assets; business owners are also allowed to continue operating their business, especially if it is a major source of their income and payment for debts.

Besides forbidding creditors from starting or continuing any effort to collect payment (while the chapter 13 plan is in effect), there are many other advantages offered by this chapter. As listed in the website of the United States Courts (uscourts.gov), these advantages include:

  • Keeping a debtor’s home from getting foreclosed and a chance for debtors to pay past due mortgage payments over time.
  • The chance to reschedule secured debts and extend payments for these over the approved chapter 13 plan (either three years or five years).
  • Protection for co-signers or a third party who is equally liable with the debtor.
  • Coursing all plan payments to a chapter 13 trustee instead of to the creditors directly. This keeps debtors from having direct contact with creditors.

Individuals, who may be operating an unincorporated business or are self-employed, are eligible for chapter 13 protection (corporations or partnerships do not qualify under this chapter), but only if their secured debts are less than $1,149,525 and their unsecured debts, less than $383,175 (these figures are occasionally adjusted in order to reflect changes in the consumer price index.

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Depression: How common is it?

Depression is not always a topic that people are willing to openly discuss, even if they feel they may be suffering symptoms of the disorder. However, despite people’s hesitancy to talk, depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the world, affecting approximately 7%, or 15.7 million, of all adults, according to The Solace Center website.

Major depression or clinical depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can occur to any individual at any age, including children and the elderly. The symptoms of depression are extensive, but can be hard to identify. Signs include anxiety, reduced appetite or weight loss, loss of pleasure in activities, fatigue, and irritability. These symptoms can escalate and cause individuals to inflict self-harm or have thoughts of suicide, making treatment for depression vital.

Clinical depression is often treated with medication and therapy, or a combination of both. With treatment, depression is very manageable and most individuals can lead normal and happy lives even with the disorder. After a diagnosis, a doctor or psychotherapist will determine the best course of treatment based on the severity of the disorder and persistence of symptoms. Regardless of what type of treatment is best, individuals can significantly improve their quality of life even if they suffer from major depression. While clinical depression is a serious disorder, it does not have to control an individual’s life. If you believe that you may be experiencing signs of depression, talk to your doctor or a therapist as soon as possible.

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