If you have unaffordable debt and you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debt is eliminated. This is what most people think all bankruptcy cases look like, although that is a myth. You also may be able to use Chapter 13, for example. With Chapter 13, your debt is not eliminated, but is re-organized into a payment plan of three to five years. There are some rare exceptions for longer cases.
You may be wondering why you would ever choose Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7? Why even file for bankruptcy if you have to pay back what you owe? Isn’t that what you already have to do?
You may not qualify
First and foremost, if you earn a wage, you may not qualify for Chapter 7 in the first place. This means you would need to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy or nothing. There are people who can choose between the two different types, but the first step is just to see what you qualify for.
Re-organizing your debt
Chapter 13 is beneficial because it re-organizes the debt that you have and puts it into a repayment plan. Your debt becomes affordable since you can pay it over such a long span of time. After the term is up, if you haven’t missed any of the payments, then your debt has been eliminated. As you do this, creditors cannot take additional steps to collect.
It’s important to understand the ins and outs of bankruptcy if you want to use this process to take control of your debt. With experienced legal guidance, you can knowledgeably and carefully consider your options.