Determining which chapter of bankruptcy you should file under can just as difficult of a decision as making the decision to file in the first place. The two most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but there are significant differences between the two that not only limits the type you will qualify for, but also the type will be most beneficial for your situation.
The best way to make sure that you file your bankruptcy case under the proper chapter is to hire an expert bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas. A bankruptcy lawyer has specialized knowledge and experience in bankruptcy law, code, and court systems and as such are able to provide the best advice, guidance, and service to help you file your case.
About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy under which unsecured debt is eliminated liquidating the nonexempt possessions of the debtor. Eligible forms of unsecured debt include credit card balances, personal loans, or medical bills. Other forms of debt such as child support, alimony, and certain types of tax debt are considered secured and are not eligible for elimination.
Under Chapter 7, the debtor is not required to pay back unsecured debt because the funds acquired from selling property is applied instead. Liquidation is typically completed within three to four months depending on individual circumstances providing a quicker and less expensive resolution to debt. Although unsecured debt will not need to be paid back, there is a considerable risk of losing a significant amount of your personal possessions. Thankfully, federal and state laws do provide for property exemptions at a limited value that cannot be liquidated under Chapter 7.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7, the debtor will need to have a limited income that falls below the state median. They will also be required to pass a means test that will determine disposable income. Control of the case is given to a trustee who will be responsible for selling nonexempt property and then distribute funds to creditors.
It’s important to note that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have an initial negative impact on a credit score and will appear on a credit report for up to 10 years.
About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy under which debtors enter a repayment plan to make monthly payments on their debt for 3 to 5 years. At the end of the repayment period, remaining amounts of unsecured debt are discharged, however any amount of secured debt including child support, alimony, and certain types of tax debt will need to be paid in full.
Debtors are required to submit a proposal outlining the repayment plan through which they will pay back the majority of their debt. A trustee is assigned to oversee and manage your case during this repayment period. Under Chapter 13, debtors do not lose personal property. An Automatic Stay under which creditors are not allowed to take collective action is also put into place. While Chapter 13 will also have an initially negative impact on a credit score, it will only remain on a credit report for up to 7 years making it possible for debtors to get approved for a new mortgage or other types of loans sooner.
In order too qualify for Chapter 13, the debtor must have a regular income, unsecured debt under $394, 725 and secured debt under $1,184,200. Repayment periods last 3 to 5 years are assigned depending on income levels.
Deciding which type of bankruptcy to file under is best done with help from a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas. At Fair Fee Legal Services, we have extensive experience working with the Nevada Bankruptcy Court and have detailed understanding of each chapter of bankruptcy. Contact us today to get started on the right bankruptcy case for you.
Fair Fee Legal Services
8665 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 101
Las Vegas, Nevada 89123