A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a wage-earner's bankruptcy because it comes with regular payments to the bankruptcy court. There are specific requirements for a debtor to be able to file this type of case. Before you file, you should ensure that you meet the requirements so you aren't wasting your time if you don't.
You'll have to make payments to the court for three years if your income in below the state's median. If your income is above the median, you'll have five years of payments to make. Because you do have to pay the court, you're required to have a regular income. You'll have to provide the court with your most recent tax returns.
You'll also have to tally up your debts to ensure that it doesn't exceed what's allowed. You can have a total of $394,725 in unsecured debts like credit cards and up to $1,184,200 in secured debts, which includes vehicle loans and mortgages.
If you have any previous bankruptcies, you'll need to look at them to make sure they don't disqualify you. Having a bankruptcy discharged within the 180 days prior due to a failure to comply with the court prevents you from being able to file a Chapter 13.
There might be other factors that you need to consider before you move forward with a Chapter 13 filing. Discuss your situation and any concerns you have with your attorney so that you can ensure that you're comfortable with the decision you're making. This is a major decision, but it isn't one to put off. The sooner you get things started, the sooner you can enjoy a fresh financial start.