Can Someone in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Get a Passport?

By Mary Jane Freeman

Debtors file for chapter 13 bankruptcy to obtain a fresh financial start by reorganizing and repaying their debts. Filing for bankruptcy doesn't make you ineligible for obtaining a U.S. passport. However, falling behind in child support payments can result in the denial of your passport application.

Chapter 13 Overview

A chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding is a popular option for debtors. It allows them to enter into a repayment plan that lasts from three to five years. Unlike in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, debtors are not required to give up any assets. Instead, they pay as many of their debts as possible over the duration of the plan. Any debts remaining unpaid when the plan period ends are typically discharged, and the debtor is no longer responsible for them.

Eligibility for a Passport

In general, filing for, and participating in, chapter 13 bankruptcy doesn't prohibit a debtor from getting a passport. But a passport may be denied to a debtor prior to the bankruptcy filing if he is past due on child support payments. A parent with $2,500 or more in child support arrearages will be denied a U.S. passport. However, when the debtor files for chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect prohibiting creditors from pursuing debt collection while the bankruptcy is underway. As a result, the debtor will no longer be denied a passport, at least not during the bankruptcy, unless the stay is lifted and child support services is permitted to restart its collection efforts.

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How Does Bankruptcy Affect Child Support in Illinois?

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Disadvantages to Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives a debtor the opportunity to get back on his feet when the debt load becomes too much to handle. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings carry potential disadvantages, such as negatively impacting the debtor's creditworthiness, so a debtor may choose to file another type of bankruptcy case or attempt to avoid bankruptcy altogether.

How to Find Out if a Bankruptcy Filing Has Been Dismissed in Alabama

A dismissal ends your bankruptcy case and can have severe consequences. For example, if your bankruptcy case is dismissed, you will not receive a bankruptcy discharge and your creditors can continue to contact you and pursue legal action against you. In contrast, if you complete your bankruptcy case, the court will grant a discharge and all debts that are part of your bankruptcy case will be erased. There are several ways that you can determine the status of your bankruptcy case in Alabama.

Laws on Debt Forgiveness Through Chapter 13

When debt piles up, individual debtors may need the structure of a bankruptcy case to get back on their feet again. If you qualify, bankruptcy offers protection from collection efforts and a chance to partially erase some debts while paying others. An online legal services provider can help you file your bankruptcy case.

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