In general, Bankruptcy is a legal process in which an individual [Joint if it is a Husband & Wife] seeks to control creditors, and/or, permanently eliminate liabilities to creditors. The control over creditors may be to seek the elimination of debt altogether, or it may be to pay creditors through the Bankruptcy process where the rights of your creditors are modified. Even where the intent is to pay debts back to creditors, the amount actually repaid may be very minimal, or it may be as high as a 100% repayment. This amount is usually determined by your income.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy most cases call for the elimination, with certain exceptions, of all your debt. Some of the debts excepted from elimination in a Bankruptcy include, but are not limited to, Child Support, Alimony, certain Tax Liabilities; Student Loans, etc. If there is collateral associated with the debt, you may have to give up the collateral in order to eliminate the debt. If you wish to keep the collateral, you may need to sign an agreement ["Reaffirmation Agreement"] which puts you back in the same place with that creditor as if the Bankruptcy was never filed. Eligibility to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is “income sensitive”. If your income is too high, you may not be permitted to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In addition, in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, if you have too much “equity” in property you may be forced to allow the Bankruptcy Court to sell some of your property to create a fund for creditors to be paid some part, or all, of the debts owed to your creditors. When we meet with you we will make a full determination of your eligibility to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, including a determination of whether a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is your best option. If you are not eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, we will discuss your other options, including the potential of filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is essentially a “reorganization” of the debts your have with your creditors; however, it does not necessarily mean you will repay 100% of your debts. If you are forced to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the amount you actually are required to repay your creditors will be determined by your income level, and/or, by the amount of equity you have in property that exceeds the allowances in equity you are permitted to protect from creditor claims. When we meet with you we will make a full determination of you eligibility to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, including a determination of whether a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is your best option.