Understanding The Different Types Of Bankruptcy

By: Chrissafin
If you are an individual in the US you can apply for two different types of bankruptcy. The first is chapter 7 which can totally eliminate all of the individual's debts. The second is chapter 13; with this option the individual's debts will be paid off during the following five years.

Businesses cannot file under chapter 7 nor 13, they must instead file under Chapter 11. They will be able to use Chapter 11 to renegotiate their debt and too generally reorganize them so they can get back on the road to financial health.

Following the new bankruptcy laws there are now tests in place to determine whether or not an individual can qualify the chapter 7. You will need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to find out which bankruptcy you will be able to file under.

Basically in the test they will calculate the individuals monthly income, if the individuals income is higher than the average in the state he or she resides in, the individual will definitely not be allowed to file under chapter 7 and he or she will then have to file under chapter 13.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all debts, including secured and unsecured can be discharged. However, some assets owned by the individual may be confiscated and sold by the court in order to satisfy a portion of the secured debt.

So out of the two different types of bankruptcy an individual can file under, chapter 7 will reward the most financial relief.

Paying your debts off over time

If the individual cannot qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will still be able to file for chapter 13. In doing so they will be obligated to make payments on a monthly basis to a court trustee, who will in turn send out the payments to the individuals different creditors.

Chapter 13 will allow the individual to honor their financial obligations and at the same time stop creditors from demanding collection actions against the debtor.

In the past, a lot of people may have started out in Chapter 13 bankruptcy and found they were unable to meet the obligations and so moved into Chapter 7.

Under the new bankruptcy laws, which went into effect in 2005, the choice between the two types of bankruptcy is determined by the courts means test.

If the person has the means, current income level, to pay off their debts, they are restricted to filing for Chapter 13 whether they like it or not.

Whether you file for chapter 7 or 13, any assets or initial payments will first go to creditors with priority access. Priority access will be granted to but not limited to, student loans, part income taxes and generally most other government obligations you may have.

When all priority access creditors have had their debts resolved, the paying off of debts process will then move on to those creditors that were unsecured.

When you've filed bankruptcy the fact that you have done so can stay on your public record for as long as 10 years into the future! So you really must carefully consider all your options before taking on a bankruptcy, bankruptcy should always be your last option.
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