We understand that life can throw curveballs, and sometimes, they can lead to financial challenges that seem insurmountable. It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. But remember, you're not alone. At the Law Office of Robert L. Firth, we've walked alongside countless Californians, just like you, who are facing financial difficulties.

Our team is here to help you regain control over your financial future. We're based in Cathedral City, California, and we serve clients throughout Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, and across the Coachella Valley. Our primary focus is providing comprehensive bankruptcy services, tailored to your unique situation. 



Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often referred to as a "repayment plan" bankruptcy, offers a structured way to manage and eventually eliminate your debt. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which necessitates liquidation of assets to repay debts, Chapter 13 allows those with regular income to formulate a plan to repay all or part of their debts over a period of three to five years. 

The process provides numerous advantages, including the ability to save your home from foreclosure and the opportunity to reschedule and lower secured debt payments. It's designed to give you breathing room, to catch up on missed payments and start afresh, without the constant worry of debt hanging over you. 

When Is Chapter 13 a Good Debt Relief Option?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a suitable choice if you have a regular income and wish to retain your assets, such as your home or car. It's particularly advantageous for those facing foreclosure or repossession as it allows you to protect your property. Furthermore, Chapter 13 can be an appropriate option for those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to their income level. 

What Does It Do?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy consolidates your debts into a manageable repayment plan. It halts collection efforts by creditors and provides a structured method to catch up on missed payments. You'll make monthly payments to a bankruptcy trustee, who then distributes the funds to your creditors according to the plan's terms. This process can provide much-needed financial relief and a clear path forward. 

What Doesn't It Do?

While Chapter 13 bankruptcy has many benefits, it's important to understand its limitations. It doesn't eliminate all types of debt, such as child support, alimony, most tax debts, and certain student loans. Additionally, Chapter 13 bankruptcy necessitates a regular income to meet the outlined monthly payments in the repayment plan. 

Qualifying for Chapter 13

To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having a regular income that is sufficient to cover living expenses and make monthly plan payments. Additionally, your unsecured debts must fall below a certain threshold and secured debts within specified limits.

A reliable attorney can determine if you qualify and break down the details based on your specific situation. 

The Process of Filing for Chapter 13

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves several steps: 

  1. Begin by taking a mandatory credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency. 

  2. Gather all necessary financial documents, like income statements, tax returns, and a list of assets and debts. 

  3. Complete the required bankruptcy forms and submit them to the bankruptcy court serving the area where you reside. 

  4. Once filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, stopping all collection efforts by creditors. 

  5. A meeting of creditors is then scheduled, where they and the bankruptcy trustee can ask questions. 

  6. You'll need to provide the trustee with a copy of your most recent tax return, as well as any returns filed during the case. 

  7. Start making the plan payments, potentially through payroll deductions. 

  8. To receive a discharge, you must make all payments under the Chapter 13 plan, be current on child support and alimony obligations, and complete a second course in financial management. 

Filing for bankruptcy is already stressful enough—rely on a knowledgeable attorney that can assist you throughout each step of the process.


If you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Cathedral City, California, our experienced bankruptcy attorney is here to guide you. We understand the complexities of the bankruptcy process and can walk you through every step. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and personalized legal counsel, helping you achieve a fresh financial start.