Before you consider filing for bankruptcy, it is important to understand the differences between Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy. Richard P. Arthur’s and Christopher S. Owen’s experience as a bankruptcy attorney will help you determine which option best serves your needs.
Under federal law, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to consolidate your unsecured debts and repay them, interest-free, over a period of three to five years. It is an alternative form of bankruptcy designed for those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or those who wish to protect non-exempt assets from liquidation. Filing a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief will immediately stop phone calls and letters from creditors and collection agencies. It will also stop the bank from foreclosing on your home.
To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, you must have a regular source of income, either through employment or the operation of a business, which must be able to cover the cost of a court-approved repayment plan. Keep in mind that your petition may be denied if your debt limit exceeds a certain amount.
Although the idea of living debt-free via Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief is appealing, there are numerous reasons why Chapter 13 may be a better option, assuming: