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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Legal Rights After Chapter 13 Dismissal
 

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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.

The Effects of Chapter 13 on Wage Garnishment

You may be considering filing for bankruptcy if your indebtedness is so severe that your wages are being garnished by your employer before you receive your pay. If you are eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to stop wage garnishment and setup a court-supervised payment plan to enable you to emerge from debt.

How to File Bankruptcy With Unsecured Debt

Many people who file for bankruptcy do so because they seek a financial clean slate and relief from a heavy debt burden. Whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the court can discharge – or erase – many of your unsecured debts at the end of your case. Your eligibility to file bankruptcy is not affected by whether your debt is secured or unsecured.

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