Consumer Bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and 13)
This guide contains some basics as well as practical issues related to consumer bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and 13). This guide is NOT meant as a "do-it yourself" manual. If you need to file a bankruptcy, you should always speak to an experienced attorney.
Chapter 7 BankruptcyA Chapter 7 requires no repayment plan and is usually over in four or five months. Unlike, debt consolidation, which may take years and require you to make regular payments before being debt free. A Chapter 7, on the other hand, wipes the slate clean and gives you a fresh start. It eliminates your liability to pay your general unsecured debts. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you obtain relief available to you through the Federal Bankruptcy Code (Title 11 of the United States Code).
However, not every person can or should file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The issues to consider before filing a Chapter 7 will be discussed in a later section. Before you decide to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, it is vital that you speak with a knowledgeable consumer bankruptcy attorney.
Property ExemptionsWhen filing a bankruptcy, you can use the Federal or State exemptions to protect your property/assets (e.g. vehicle(s), clothing, furniture, your residence (homestead), retirement, personal injury settlements, tax returns, money in other accounts, etc.).. When filing a bankruptcy, it is important to make sure you all your property or equity is exempt. It is also important to chose the correct exemption scheme (State or Federal) to use.