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What Different Types of Bankruptcy Cases Should I Consider?

          There are four types of bankruptcy cases provided under the law:

  • Chapter 7 is known as “Straight” or “Fresh Start” or “Liquidation” Bankruptcy. It requires a debtor to give up property which exceeds certain limits called “exemptions”, so the property can be sold to pay creditors, while allowing the debtor who files to keep his exempt property, usually including his home, cars, household goods, pensions, and the like. The great majority of Chapter 7 cases are called “no asset” Chapter 7 cases, meaning that the Debtor kept all his or her property, and there was nothing to distribute to creditors.
  • Chapter 11, known as “reorganization,” is used by businesses, including corporations, and a few individuals whose debts are very large.
  • Chapter 12 is reserved for family farmers.
  • Chapter 13 is called “debt adjustment” or “debt reorganization.” Because it causes much of your debt to be paid in one installment, it is sometimes referred to as “debt consolidation” as well. It requires a debtor to file a plan to pay debts (or parts of debts) from current income. 

 

Most individuals filing bankruptcy will want to file under either Chapter 7 or 13. Either type of case may be filed individually or by a married couple filing jointly.


 
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