If you sit down and discuss your options with an attorney, you may be surprised to hear that there are multiple different types of bankruptcies. An individual will probably be best served by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay is imposed, so all collection efforts will immediately come to a halt. You can maintain possession of your car and your home if you are up to date on your payments and you don’t have a lot of equity. Property that is not exempt must be turned over to a trustee so it can be liquidated. The proceeds will be used to pay the delinquent debts. However, most people who file for this type of bankruptcy have little or no non-exempt property to surrender.
Unsecured debt will be discharged, so you will no longer have to be concerned about collection calls from credit card companies or collection agencies. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 10 years; that’s the bad news. The good news is that you still may be able to obtain debt after you file if you need to, but you will typically be required to pay higher rates of interest.
Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy. If you have enough disposable income to make payments on your debts, you will not qualify for Chapter 7, but you can still file for Chapter 13. Under this form of bankruptcy, you will get the same automatic stay. You will be able to maintain possession of your property if you can keep your payments current, and a three to five-year debt repayment plan will be submitted to the court. This plan can include past due mortgage or car payments, so a Chapter 13 can help you avoid a foreclosure or repossession if you have fallen behind. A Chapter 7 does not allow for a repayment plan to correct mortgage arrearage over a period of years.
A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy that is used by business entities, but some individuals with very high levels of debt may qualify for this type of bankruptcy. Chapter 12 is a special form of reorganization that is available to some family fishing businesses and family farmers.
We have provided a brief overview in this blog post, but we will be more than glad to answer all of your questions in detail. Our firm offers free consultations to clients in Portland, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, and a number of other cities in Oregon and Washington. If you will like to set up an appointment, fill out the request form on this website and we will contact you ASAP.