A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay back a portion of what you owe over three to five years (depending on your circumstances). During that time, you have relief from creditor calls and other collection actions. Plus, you will have a reasonable monthly payment on your bills. When that period is over, many of your remaining debts may be discharged.
There are, however, some restrictions about what you can and cannot do with your money and finances during this time.
Can you take on new debt while you’re in bankruptcy?
You should know that you cannot take on new debt without permission when you’re in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. You should speak with the bankruptcy court or your trustee before you use credit cards, take out loans or incur a debt of any kind.
For example, if you need to buy a vehicle because yours is no longer functioning and cannot be repaired, you may need to take out a car loan. Don’t do so without consulting your attorney. You will need to speak with the bankruptcy court because failing to do so could mean that the judge could dismiss your entire case for failing to get authorization. If that happens, you will lose the right to the discharge that you’ve been working toward and collection actions can start anew.
If you are caught taking on new debts, there is a risk that you’ll be asked to pay all of your debts in full, even those that were part of the Chapter 13 plan. This is one of the many reasons to work with an experienced advocate from the very start of your bankruptcy case.