Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation. Is it?

Often debtors will ask me to file a Chapter 13 for a debt consolidation. The particular view of consolidation is interesting. The unsecured debts are all entirely lumped together and paid over the life of the plan without interest and often at a percentage of the total unsecured debt amount. The secured debts are treated differently. They are individually determined as to how they will be treated. They are analyzed to determine if they are in fact secured or something else. If they are secured then is the entire debt or only a portion secured? The interest rate is often lowered to 5 per cent for most secured debts. This strikes out the 31 and 45 per cent interest rates of loan companies. Cars are analyzed with the 910 rule to determine if they can be valued differently from their debt. Within 910 days the entire car amount owed is paid at 5 per cent if the vehicle is retained. Cars purchased outside of 910 days are valued usually by NADA, Kelly Blue Book or some other means and paid at 5 per cent over the life of the plan. Secured debts are not exactly consolidated except for the payment the debtor will make to the Chapter 13 Trustee. This payment often conforms to the debtors pay cycle. The Chapter 13 trustee takes the money collected from the debtor in accordance with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan and pays out the creditors according to the Chapter 1`3 plan. The plan may often be modified due to taxes insurance late claims or unforeseen events. At the end of the Chapter 13 plan period the debts are discharged with the exception of a mortgage with a balance remaining.