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Statistics show Chapter 13 bankruptcies on the rise

In Oregon, people who are struggling with debt, wage garnishment and creditor harassment may find relief by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This helps reduce debt without requiring a person to give up assets such as a car or a home. Rather than discharging the whole debt, the income, living expenses and debts are assessed and manageable installment payments are set up over a specified amount of time. A trustee is responsible for taking the monthly payments and distributing them to debtors. If the debtor makes every payment, at the end of the payment plan, the remaining debts are typically discharged.

According to Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, the report published by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for 2014 shows that the overall number of Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy filings were down 12 percent from the total for the year before. In 2013, the number of petitions topped one million. In spite of the downward trend, the number of Chapter 13 bankruptcies went up by 2 percent. Not only that, 36 percent of the debtors filing in 2014 had filed a previous bankruptcy petition in the previous eight years.

There were 178,369 people who completed their repayment plans in 2014, which is 51 percent of those who were originally scheduled for completion that year. Fifty-four percent of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases that were dismissed occurred because the payment plans were not fulfilled. According to the Oregon State Bar, a person who is unable to make payments can file for hardship discharge rather than allow the case to be dismissed and the original debts to be reinstated.

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