Chapter 12

Chattanooga Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Helping Farmers and Fishermen Throughout Tennessee and Northwest Georgia

If you are a family farmer or fisherman with excessive debt related to your profession, Chapter 12 bankruptcy can help you get your debt under control and stop collection activities. It enables you to resolve debts by restructuring your business and financial assets while maintaining control over your farming or fishery operations. 

At Tom Bible Law, we can help you determine if Chapter 12 is right for you and help you throughout the bankruptcy process. With three Tennessee offices—in Chattanooga and Tullahoma—we are able to offer experienced counsel and legal representation to residents of Tennessee and North Georgia. 

Call (423) 690-7712 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation with one an experienced Chapter 12 lawyer in Chattanooga at our firm.

What Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy established specifically for family farmers and fishermen, allowing them to reorganize their debt while maintaining their operations. In contrast to bankruptcy for Chapters 7 and 13, which deal with selling assets to repay debts and are geared toward those who earn wages, respectively, Chapter 12 offers a customized solution for those in the fishing or agricultural industries who are having financial troubles.

Our Chattanooga Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Lawyers at Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr. are aware of the difficulties that small-scale farmers and fishermen may encounter. One of the many benefits of this form of bankruptcy is that it allows one to customize a repayment plan based on seasonal fluctuations in income, which is especially beneficial for people whose income varies from season to season.

When filing under Chapter 12, an extensive repayment plan outlining the distribution of debts over a three to five-year period must be submitted to the court. This plan needs to be practical, proving that the debtor can afford the suggested payments while continuing to support themselves. A Chattanooga Chapter 12 lawyer can help with creating this plan, settling debts with creditors, and making sure all legal criteria are met.

One of the significant benefits of Chapter 12 bankruptcy is the ability to modify the terms of secured loans, potentially lowering interest rates or extending payment schedules, which can provide much-needed relief and stability. Additionally, it allows for the discharge of certain debts that cannot be repaid under the plan.

If you're a family farmer or fisherman facing financial difficulties, consulting with a  knowledgeable Chattanooga Chapter 12 attorney at Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr. can provide you with the guidance needed to explore your options and devise a plan to restore your financial stability. Reach out to us for a consultation to see if Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a suitable path for your unique circumstances.

The Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Process

Once you decide to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, you must then file a petition with your local bankruptcy court. Depending on your situation, you must also include specific forms and documents, such as financial documents, tax returns, and a list of creditors. It’s important to ensure that your petition is properly completed and that you submit all the necessary supporting documentation. If not, you risk your petition being rejected by the court. 

To be eligible for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, you must meet the following conditions:

  • At least half of your gross income for the previous year must have been from farming or fishing
  • At least 80% of your debt must be related to your professional farming or fishing operations 
  • You must earn enough income to be able to make debt payments over a 3- to 5-year period 
  • You must not owe above a certain amount of debt (varying based on profession)

Chapter 12 Repayment Plans

After filing your petition, you must provide the court-appointed trustee with a complete list of your liabilities and assets within 15 days and meet with them (and potentially your creditors). Within 90 days, you must file a repayment plan, detailing how you intend to pay off your debts. Typically, the repayment plan is income-based and outlines a payment schedule lasting 3 to 5 years, with the specific amount and length of time varying based on your specific situation. 

Creditors will also receive notification and can make certain claims on behalf of their interests. The court will review these claims and determine how and when each of your debts should be paid off (whether they should be paid with existing assets or through the repayment plan). 

In order to be approved by the court, your repayment plan must meet certain criteria, especially regarding the amounts paid for each type of debt (secured and unsecured) and which debts are given priority in a repayment plan. If a plan does not meet these criteria, the court may request an adjustment hearing, where all parties will negotiate modifications. Once a plan is confirmed, all obligations outlined within it are legally binding on you and the creditor. 

Legal Counsel on Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

At Law Office of W. Thomas Bible, Jr., our Chapter 12 bankruptcy attorney is ready to answer your questions. With decades of legal experience and thousands of successful cases, you can be sure that we’ll do everything we can to help you get the most out of Chapter 12 bankruptcy as a debt relief option. Our team will help you evaluate your situation and legal options, as well as advocate on your behalf during negotiations with creditors and the court concerning the terms of your repayment plan. Whether it’s through Chapter 12 or some other debt relief option, it’s our goal to help you achieve a sustainable financial situation. 

If you’re ready to take control of your debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy, call (423) 690-7712 to discuss your case with our Chattanooga bankruptcy lawyers.

Free Consultations Available Contact Our Offices

Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (423) 690-7712.

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