Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. The bankruptcy process begins with a petition filed by the debtor, which is most common, or on behalf of creditors, which is less common.
There are two types of consumer bankruptcy. Each is intended to help consumers in financial stress, but the solutions offered are very different. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to eliminate a lot of unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, old utility bills, unsecured personal loans, etc.), and can generally be completed fairly quickly. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the trustee can liquidate (sell) non-exempt assets to pay creditors, however, most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy don’t have any non-exempt assets, and so are able to keep their property while eliminating unsecured debts. A Chapter 7 petitioner does not have to make payments out of his or her future income to have debts discharged. A Chapter 7 asks the court to erase your debts forever. It is important to understand that some debts cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the solution of choice for people who have a lot of secured debt, and want to keep the property that serves as security for the loans. In a Chapter 13 case, the debtor enters into a repayment plan that allows 3-5 years to catch up on past due payment while keeping their property.
A bankruptcy filing involves a complicated set of requirements that must be followed to the letter to ensure that debtors emerge with the fresh financial start they need. Prior to submitting forms to the court, filers must first complete an accredited debt counseling program designed to help them better understand debt and help them avoid the practices that caused their initial financial concerns.
Our bankruptcy attorney works closely with you to make sure you meet all requirements under the bankruptcy law. We help make sure your filing completely addresses all outstanding debt, and we advise you on how to address any debt that cannot be wiped clean through bankruptcy.
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Questions? Call our office for requesting an initial consultation. (515) 817-1339.
Information contained herein does not constitute legal advice and is only intended as general information. Every case is unique and one should contact a specific attorney regarding their particular situation.
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