The specter of bankruptcy keeps many people from considering it as a viable way to solve their debt problems. But millions every year take advantage of the process. The two most common forms of personal Bankruptcy include:
Chapter 7 – Gets Rid of Everything, but you may be able to save your house and your car. A Chapter 7 is very difficult to achieve because several years ago, the laws were changed to make it more difficult for someone to qualify. Although you can spend time to learn enough to file yourself, most people use the services of a local attorney to help. In each area of the country, and indeed the states, there are qualifying rules. The rules are standardized related to the median incomes in that location, and whether you fall above or below the line. There is usually a very narrow margin within which you can qualify, and this is best handled by a knowledgeable attorney. If you choose, you can elect not to include your house or one car used for work. But think carefully about this…you may file only once in a 10 year span of time, so if you get into further trouble during next 10 years, you will not be able to file again to solve those problems. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for 10 years, and will cause problems for financing in the future.
Chapter 13 – Partial Repayment of Debt. This type of bankruptcy is what most people qualify for. The court will review your assets and liabilities, and decide what amount is repaid. You will give the court your income, they will give you back an allowance, and use the rest to slowly pay off your debts, usually over 3-5 years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for 7 years, and it will be difficult to qualify for new financing during this time.
So is Bankruptcy right for you? Call a local bankruptcy attorney, set a free consultation appointment, and find out. Make sure you take all your statements with you.
If you have a business, there are also alternatives for you with Bankruptcy. Ask your attorney about this.