Having the inability to pay outstanding bills, month after month, can cause stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty of whether there is any relief in sight. However, bankruptcy is a debt relief option that allows you to shed burdensome debt while keeping much, if not all of your property. In addition, bankruptcy can stop most debt collection activities (including creditors' phone calls), stop a pending foreclosure or repossession and can give you the opportunity to catch-up on your mortgage or vehicle payments.
Bankruptcy in the United States dates back as far as the U.S. Constitution, and as a concept, bankruptcy has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is a process that helps debtors obtain a "fresh start" by eliminating certain debt that they cannot afford.
The two types of bankruptcies most often used by consumers (individuals and married couples) are chapter 7 and chapter 13. Each case is different and which chapter will be appropriate for you will depend on numerous factors, including how much property you own, your income and the nature of your debt. For example, if you are in danger of losing your home, or are behind on your mortgage payments, chapter 13 bankruptcy would likely be the best choice. However, if most of your debt is unsecured and your assets are few (or you have a limited amount of equity in your assets), chapter 7 may be the best choice.
The goal of bankruptcy is to obtain a "discharge," extinguishing your personal obligation to repay certain debt. Not all debt can be discharged through bankruptcy but lots can, including credit card debt, unpaid medical bills, and other unsecured debt.
To schedule a free consultation and learn whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you, please click here. If you would like to learn more about the bankruptcy process, including how chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies work, please visit the Bankruptcy Resources page. Those filing under chapter 13 may be eligible to defer most of their attorneys fees until after the case is filed.
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