How does Chapter 13 differ from a private consolidation service?
In a Chapter 13 case, the bankruptcy court can provide relief to individuals that a private debt consolidation service cannot provide. A Chapter 13 case can stop home foreclosures. A Chapter 13 case can stop lawsuits from proceeding against you and can stop garnishments of your wages and bank accounts. A Chapter 13 case can stop unsecured creditors (including credit cards, payday loans and tax debts) from assessing additional late fees, penalties and interest. A Chapter 13 case can force your unsecured creditors to accept a Chapter 13 plan that only pays a portion of the debt and to discharge the unpaid portions of those debts. Private debt consolidation has none of these powers.