Chapter 7 – For individuals

Generally completes within 4 months and applies to those who cannot afford to pay part of their income to their creditors.  A trustee is appointed to review your petition and schedules and to sell any assets that are not exempt under applicable federal and state laws to pay your creditors.

Chapter 12 –  Like Chapter 13 except for family farmers and family fisherman.

Chapter 13 – For individuals

Generally continues for three to five years after confirmation of a proposed repayment plan. You must have a source of income that allows you to pay part of your income to your creditors.  A trustee is appointed to review your petition and schedules, to collect the payments, pay your creditors, and make sure you comply with the repayment plan you proposed.

Chapter 13 will allow you, providing funds are available, to bring secured payments current on assets like a home or car that you want to protect from foreclosure or repossession.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Can I keep my house and car? If you want to keep your home and car bankruptcy has different options that allow you to do that depending on the amount of equity, if any, in the item and whether you are current or behind in payments at the time you file. We will review your options during your bankruptcy consultation.

I listed my doctor but I want to keep making payments on my bill and continue services there. Is that okay?  Generally, you can make voluntary payments on debts that have been discharged.  Doctors are a common example.  If you are concerned about being able to continue services, check with their office whether repayment is required to maintain the relationship.  Use caution if asked to sign any new documents related to the discharged debt as it may make you legally liable for the debt once again.

What if I don’t want to list one of my credit cards? You are required to list all people and companies to whom you owe money. Depending on your reason for wanting to keep the credit card open and the balance owed, it may be possible to reaffirm the debt but doing so is not encouraged as this is your opportunity to remove all of your unsecured debt.

What is a reaffirmation agreement? A reaffirmation agreement is a voluntary decision on your part to continue a debt after bankruptcy (usually a car payment). It must be something that you and your family can afford and be in your best interest to continue the debt.

I signed a reaffirmation agreement and I’ve changed my mind. Is it too late? It depends. You can cancel the reaffirmation until the date you receive your discharge or within 60 days of the date it is filed, whichever is later.