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Chapter 13 is informally referred to as the “Wage Earners Plan.” This is because most people who file under Chapter 13 have a regular income that will allow them to repay their debts over a three to five year span. Before the debtor can start repayments to creditors, the court must sign off on the repayment plan.

The first step is to file paperwork with the court listing your monthly income, debts, property and expenses so the court can get a full picture of your financial situation. You are required to file your tax return, and prove to the court that you've filed your tax return for the previous four years.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy also requires that you complete a credit counseling course with a vendor approved by the court. Once you've done these things, you are required to submit a plan to repay your debts to your creditors. The payments will be paid monthly to a court appointed trustee, and you are required to make each payment on time.

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