There are several forms of bankruptcy, each named after a specific chapter in the bankruptcy code. The most commonly filed form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7, often called straight bankruptcy. In this form of bankruptcy, you have the opportunity to discharge most debts. The debts that qualify for discharge include unsecured consumer debt such as credit cards, medical bills, overdue utility and phone bills, as well as personal loans.
The chapter 7 process involves filing a petition and documentation that reveals all of your assets and liabilities. Most people who file for Chapter 7 do not lose anything. Those that own any assets beyond the state exemption amount may have some items liquidated, but this does not happen often. We can quickly advise you regarding what to expect if you choose to file Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 can be the right choice for those who are struggling with a mortgage, but want to keep their home. It is also a good choice for debtors who owe non-dischargeable taxes, and want an opportunity to pay the taxes without incurring late fees or penalties. Also, Debtors who have high-interest car loans, own a business, have high incomes, or have substantial assets usually find chapter 13 beneficial.
This form of bankruptcy allows you to have a repayment plan for all of your overdue bills, lasting for three to five years. Your financial situation is carefully evaluated, and after paying your costs of living, the remaining amount you have available is applied to all of your back debt. At the end of the repayment period, most of the remaining debt is discharged. There are many advantages to Chapter 13, including the fact that the dischargeable debt is either wiped out or reduced significantly, taxes are paid back without interest and penalties, car loan interest rates are reduced, and assets are protected from liquidation.
At the end of the process, most people pay far, far less on their back debt, a significant savings. This form of bankruptcy also protects any co-signer you may have on any purchase, as in Chapter 7, these people will suffer consequences.
The first step is to contact our San Jose bankruptcy lawyer at The Fuller Law Firm, PC. We can evaluate your personal situation and advise you about the various options. We are on your side, and we want you to get the maximum benefit out of filing. Call today. We also serve the areas of Oakland and Salinas.