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Three Different Types of Bankruptcy

Are you struggling with overwhelming debt? Bankruptcy could be the answer. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious financial decision, and it can have lasting repercussions, but if approached carefully and strategically, it offers you a fresh start. There are various types of bankruptcy, each with its own set of rules and regulations. However, they all have one thing in common: they give individuals a way to address their financial troubles by providing them with legal protection against creditors.

Over 750,000 Americans file for bankruptcy each year to eliminate or reorganize their debt—a sobering statistic that reminds them how serious this issue can be. Here is an exploration of three types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 so that you can determine which is best suited to handling your situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful tool for individuals struggling with unmanageable debt levels. It allows filers to discharge most unsecured debts, removing the legal obligation to pay them while providing an orderly and fair process. Doing so can provide much-needed financial relief and put individuals in a better position to make financial progress. The risk associated with Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Potential damage to credit score
  • Liquidation of some of the filer's assets
  • A potential challenge from creditors
  • The potential for property liquidation
  • A lasting impact on your credit history

It is important to remember that bankruptcy will not solve all of your financial problems. It won't erase child support or alimony payments, and you may still be responsible for certain taxes, student loans, and other debts. Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, speak with an attorney who can help you understand the process and evaluate your options.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy

It is a bankruptcy that is commonly used by businesses. It allows companies to reorganize their debts and establish a plan for repaying creditors over time. Unlike other forms of bankruptcy, it does not require the liquidation of assets. Instead, the company develops a repayment plan and works with creditors to reach an agreement for restructuring debt. Chapter 11 offers certain protections to businesses, such as:

  • The ability to stay operational during the process
  • Prevent creditors from taking legal action
  • Reduce or eliminate debt obligations
  • The ability to restructure contracts and leases

There are a lot of preparation requirements involved for this process to be successful, including:

  1. Gathering financial documents
  2. Creating a plan of reorganization
  3. Negotiating a repayment plan with creditors
  4. Making payments by the court-approved plan
  5. Filing all necessary paperwork on time and attending required court hearings
  6. Consulting legal and accounting professionals, and more

Procedural requirements are strict and must be followed; otherwise, the case may be dismissed or converted to another form of bankruptcy. That being said, if done within these parameters, Chapter 11 bankruptcy can provide businesses with an opportunity for a fresh start, allowing them to remain operational throughout the process. Speaking with an attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the process is important.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If you don't qualify for Chapter 7 or prefer to keep certain assets that are otherwise at risk in a Chapter 7 filing, Chapter 13 may be a viable alternative. This form of bankruptcy, often referred to as reorganization bankruptcy, allows you to reorder your debts and create an achievable payment plan.

The length of the repayment plan is generally 3–5 years, depending on your income and other factors. During this time, the debtor is protected against collection actions from creditors and will make payments that are manageable for their budget.

If you decide to pursue Chapter 13 bankruptcy, requirements include the following:

  • Gathering financial documents
  • Conducting research and understanding the process
  • Developing a plan of reorganization
  • Making payments by the court-approved plan
  • Filing all necessary paperwork on time and attending required court hearings
  • Consulting legal and accounting professionals.
  • Submit a detailed plan that outlines how you will repay your creditors

Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides several advantages, including:

  1. The ability to keep certain assets
  2. Lower or eliminated interest rates
  3. Reduced debt amounts
  4. Protection from creditors' collection efforts
  5. The ability to catch up on missed payments

Let Us Help You Fill Bankruptcy Today!

Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. Three different types of bankruptcy vary in terms of their complexity and the level of debt relief they offer: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. No matter which type of bankruptcy you are considering, it's important to consult with an experienced attorney who can answer all of your questions and help you navigate the process.

At Law Offices of James C. Shields, we are ready to help people who cannot pay their debts. We offer payment plans, and our fees are reasonable. Plus, we guarantee our work. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get a fresh start financially. We are compassionate professionals committed to helping our clients find a solution that meets their needs.