Are you at that financial point in your life where you’re considering filing for bankruptcy? There are two types of bankruptcy for you to consider as an individual: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. They are very different and you need to learn the details of both before choosing one.
Chapter 7 is the most common. When a person files under Chapter 7, their assets are sold to pay the money that is owed to their creditors. The courts decide on the amount of payment based on an individual’s situation.
All of the assets are not exhausted. Each state has its own procedure as to what is to be liquidated and you may be able to keep your home and car.
In October 2005, the laws concerning Chapter 7 bankruptcy were changed. Now, there are tests that have to be passed in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A person’s income must be lower than the determined median income for the state in which they reside. Also, a person must not have the assets available to pay at least twenty-five percent of their debt owed in order to qualify to file under Chapter 7.
Under special circumstances an exception can be made to the testing requirements. Such was made for victims of Hurricane Katrina so they could start over after their homes were flooded. If you are not allowed to file for Chapter 7 you can appeal but it will be another court date and expense but it could be worth it.
Chapter 13 allows you to repay your creditors. You have a certain amount of time to repay your debt and ways are created to allow you to do this. Your assets aren’t liquidated and the court works with you to find an amount you can reasonably handle for repayments.
This process is now a little different with the new bankruptcy laws. The court used to decide what was necessary for you to pay or not. Things like rent or mortgages, groceries and utilities etc were deemed necessary. Now the IRS has a formula to determine this.
It is not easy to file for bankruptcy. A potential filer must first attend credit counseling. The government can also take any assets that were obtained just prior to declaring bankruptcy thus not making it an option to hide money within property previously purchased by abusers.
Filing bankruptcy is very serious. Know which type you qualify for before filing. Also know that bankruptcy lawyers will charge more for their part in you filing.