Do you have medical bills and credit card debts you just cannot pay? Is your home in the process of being foreclosed? Are your wages from employment being garnished? If you find yourself overwhelmed by debt and are unable to repay it, bankruptcy may be a feasible option. Our firm handles Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Chapter 7, sometimes referred to as “straight” bankruptcy, allows a debtor to wipe out unsecured debts and protect certain assets under applicable exemptions of the federal/state bankruptcy laws. By contrast, Chapter 13 requires a repayment plan that would allow the debtor to catch up on what is owed to creditors over a 3-5 year period. The following summarizes the difference between these two types of bankruptcies:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is available to individuals with mostly unsecured debts. After filing a petition with the court, the debtor gets automatic stay protection from creditors who are attempting to collect on debts owed to them. Further, and most importantly, the debtor will get a “fresh start” if their debts are discharged by the bankruptcy court.
The basic eligibility requirements are as follows:
-You must be an individual or sole proprietor.
-You must complete a means test which takes into account such factors as your income and family size. If a presumption of abuse arises and it is determined that you are ineligible to file Chapter 7 because your income is too high, after allowed expenses, then you may need to consider Chapter 13 instead.
-You must not have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the last 8 years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13, also known as reorganization bankruptcy, allows individuals to keep their property, including secured assets such as their car or home if they timely repay creditors what is owed to them under a court-mandated repayment plan generally within a 3-5 year period.
An individual debtor must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- You must be an individual with a regular income.
- You must have less than $465,275 in unsecured debt and $1,395,875 in secured debt.
- You cannot have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition within the last two years.
How We Can Help You
We can advise individual debtors if they are eligible to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. We will also determine the best option available to you. Our experienced bankruptcy attorney will guide you through the entire process of filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 from filing the bankruptcy petition with the court to either attending a meeting of creditors (Chapter 7) or drafting and presenting a repayment plan to the court (Chapter 13).
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at (303) 934-2833.