Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding for relief from debt. It is a process in which consumers and businesses can eliminate or repay some or all of their debts under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. The most common bankruptcy proceedings are commonly known as "Chapter 7" and "Chapter 13". These terms are taken from the Chapter in which their provisions appear in the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed by individuals or businesses. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case typically lasts three months from the time your attorney files the bankruptcy paperwork with the court.
Chapter 7 results in the discharge of most debts including:
- credit cards
- medical bills
- personal loans
- past due utilities, cell phone bills
- leases for apartments or equipment
- business loans
- automobile loans (unless you want to make payments and keep the car)
- mortgage (unless you want to make payments and keep the house)
- most other loans except:
- Student loans (unless there is substantial hardship)
- Child support
- Income tax (unless due for more than 2 years)
- Fines owed to governmental agencies
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filing a Chapter 13 results in the creation of a plan for repayment of that part of your debt that you can afford to pay under your circumstances over a certain period of time.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as "wage earner" bankruptcy because, in order to file for Chapter 13, you must have a reliable source of income that you can use to repay some portion of your debt. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must propose a repayment plan that details how you are going to pay back your debts over the next three to five years. The minimum amount you will have to repay depends on how much you earn, how much you owe, and how much your unsecured creditors would have received if you had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When you visit McKelvie Law Office, your bankruptcy attorney will discuss options with you and will help you determine which plan you qualify for and which is best for you. Call today for a free bankruptcy consultation.