Should I file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a federal court process designed to help consumers and businesses eliminate their debts or repay them under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy can generally be described as "liquidation" or "reorganization."
Both kinds of bankruptcy have numerous rules, and exceptions to those rules, about what kinds of debts are covered, who can file, and what property you can and cannot keep. Call our offices today to find out if bankruptcy is right for you (760) 729-2774.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy. Individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships may file chapter 7. To begin your bankruptcy, our law offices will file an official petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs to the bankruptcy court.
As soon as your file is received, creditors are prevented from trying to collect on your debts, preserving your property and stopping you from being sued. There are two property exemption systems used in California and our offices will be able to determine which system will work best for you.
Your bankruptcy paperwork will be reviewed by a court appointed trustee, who will gather and sell your nonexempt property, using the proceeds from the sale to pay your creditors.
Twenty to forty days after filing your petition, the trustee will hold a “341” meeting. You must be present with your attorney at the 341 meeting. Afterwards, your only responsibility is to cooperate with your attorney and the trustee by providing any requested information or documents.
Note that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not stop repossession or a foreclosure. Only by filing Chapter 13 can you delay a foreclosure.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most common type of "reorganization" bankruptcy for consumers. You will be able to retain all of your property, but you must make monthly payments over three to five years to repay all or some of your debt.
Our offices will create a repayment plan that describes in detail how you will pay each of your debts. In a Chapter 13 plan, you must pay some debts in full, such as child support, alimony, a car loan, and mortgage. On your unsecured debts, such as medical bills and credit cards, you will only have to pay a portion or in some cases none.
The length of your plan will depend on how much you earn and how much you owe. Once you complete your repayment plan, all your eligible remaining debt will be wiped out and you will still have your property!
In some cases attempting to settle your debt before deciding to file for bankruptcy may be the best choice for your situation. Our offices will negotiate with your creditor(s) to forgive a percentage of your total account balance, for a substantially reduced lump sum payment.
Unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit cards may be settled. Secured debts such as mortgages, auto financing, and student loans may not be settled. Call our office today to find out the best solution for your debt.