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Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
 

Comparison

 Chapter 7Chapter 13

What are the reasons to file? 

  • You have little or no money left after paying basic expenses each month - or you're not even meeting basic expenses.
  • You have little property except for the basic necessities like furnature and clothing.
  • You have regular income and can pay your living expenses, but you can't keep up the scheduled payments on your debts.
  • You have significant equity in a home or other property and you want to keep it.

What are the differences? 

  • Creditors can't contact you while the automatic stay is in effect - or after debts are discharged.
  • Most unsecured debts can be discharged (completely eliminated)
  • The process moves quickly - you may receive your discharge in just a few months.
  • You'll make one monthly payment to the bankruptcy trustee for distribution - you'll have no direct contact with creditors during the protection period of 3-5 years.
  • You can keep most of your property while spreading out time to pay past due accounts.
  • You'll have 3-5 years to catch up delinquent accounts according to a schedule that you and the bankruptcy trustee have agreed is workable for you.

How do I qualify?

  • Debtors who have qualified under the 'means test' and completed a required pre-filing session with a credit counselor may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
  • Any individual debtor whose unsecured debts are below $360,475 and whose secured debts are less than $1,081,400.