WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY ?
"A Fresh Start"
The Supreme Court of the United States has described Bankruptcy as "a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt". It allows citizens to become re-established as hard-working members of society and fulfill the American Dream.
Guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution
Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants all citizens the right to file Bankruptcy. Upon ratification of the Constitution in 1789, Congress was given the power to create "uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptces".
CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Chapter 7 is the most common and quickest type of bankruptcy filed. In a Chapter 7 case, the debtor's assets are examined by a court-appointed trustee to determine if there is anything available to be sold or recovered for the benefit of creditors. Generally, most, if not all, of the debtor's assets will be "exempt" (protected under State law) from distribution to creditors. Therefore, most Chapter 7 cases are "no-asset" cases, meaning that all of the debtor's debts can be completley wiped out without the debtor losing or liquidating any of their property.
Since Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is so convenient and provides the quickest benefits to debtors, there are very strict standards and qualifications on who can file a Chapter 7. Therefore, you will need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7. During your initial consultation with our office, we will be able to help you determine whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
Chapter 13 is often referred to as a "debt reorganization plan" because it allows the debtor to eliminate most debts without liquidating any property. Under Chapter 13, the debtor submits a repayment plan to the court detailing how they plan to repay a minimal percentage of their debts over a 3 to 5 year period of time. For most debtor's the repayment plan submitted under bankruptcy will much more manageable than any private debt consolidation or credit negotiation plan they would enter into outside of bankruptcy since interest and fees do not accrue on unsecured debt while in bankruptcy. Upon completion of the 3 to 5 year period, the court will completley wipe out the debtor's remaining unsecured debt.
Generally, the amount of debt the debtor will have to repay is determined by their income, secured debts, and assets. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with an estimate of your monthly payment in a Chapter 13 case.