Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out most of your debts. There is a "means test" for filing this type of bankruptcy. You must make less than a certain amount of money. Talk to a lawyer to see if you qualify for this type of bankruptcy. You cannot repeat this type of bankruptcy filing for 6 years.
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In addition to deciding whether to file, you’ll also want to consider which type of bankruptcy is right for you (typically either Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13). Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages to consider as you decide whether chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option.
Bankruptcy will ruin your credit for some time to come. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. Although a bankruptcy stays on your record for years, the time to complete the bankruptcy process under Chapter 7, from filing to relief from debt, takes only about 3-6 months. If you decide against Chapter 7 when it may be the right decision for you, your missed debt payments, defaults, repossessions, and lawsuits will also hurt your credit, and may be more.
Hiring an attorney is not required, but it is recommended. Filing for bankruptcy is a very complicated process and is rarely successful without the help of an attorney. Free legal services are available for those who cannot afford an attorney. For help finding an attorney, contact the American Bar Association or the Legal Services Corporation.
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Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that either reduces, restructures or eliminates your debts. Filing bankruptcy with a court is the first step. You can file on your own or you can file with an attorney.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court states that it is extremely difficult to succeed in bankruptcy filings other than Chapter 7 without an attorney. It further warns of serious long-term financial and legal consequences of a do-it-yourself filing, such as loss of property, as well as the technical complexities and the harm caused by mistakes or inaction.
There are three types of bankruptcy that a business may file for depending on its structure. Sole proprietorships are legal extensions of the owner. The owner is responsible for all assets and liabilities of the firm. A sole proprietorship can take bankruptcy by filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13.