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Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13

Many people contact our office and want to know the difference between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While each of these types of bankruptcy is very different, they are both designed to provide debt relief for individuals and married couples.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is intended to eliminate most consumer debt. There are certain type of debt that cannot be discharged however, such as student loans and most other government loans. Under certain conditions, some tax debt, either from the state or federal government, may qualify under Chapter 7 bankruptcy for discharge. As a filer of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are allowed to claim one personal residence as an exemption from discharge of debt. If you “reaffirm” your promise to continue to pay your mortgage payments, you can keep your home in most cases. You may also be able to hang onto your auto through reaffirmation as well. Generally your creditors will fight the total discharge of your debts. It is up to the bankruptcy court to decide which debts can be discharged and erased completely and which debts must be repaid under the terms of the Court.

Will You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

As a result of the Debt Relief Act of 2005, all those petitioning for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must make an income at or under the “median income” which is determined by the amount of people that make up your household. If your income is over the median, you still may qualify by way of the means test. The test examines their debt ratio to assets and determines whether they qualify for debt elimination. A skilled attorney will conduct the test and ensure your income and debts are applied accurately for the greatest advantage to you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a debt-restructuring plan to provide the debtor relief. For those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy this can be a good option. Others who qualify for Chapter 7 may choose Chapter 13 if they do not want to discharge all of their debt. Every individual qualifies for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and many types of debt may be included. A debt-restructuring plan will be submitted under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can save the debtor thousands of dollars in interest over the course of the debt. If creditors accept the restructure plan the bankruptcy court will supervise repayment. Debt such as Small Business loans can be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While student loans cannot be discharged, you will be able to make payments in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may choose to postpone repossession or foreclosure on your auto or home by exempting these debts from the petition.

To better understand debt relief options under Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney from Englett and Associates at, (855) 215-2280. We offer debt relief solutions in compliance with U.S Bankruptcy Code.

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