Everyday many hardworking Americans dig themselves deeper into debt. As lost jobs and medical bills make it hard to pay day-to-day expenses, many empty their retirement accounts and resort to credit cards in order to make ends meet. As interest accrues and bills keep coming, many people feel suffocated by an ever-growing mountain of debt.
- Chapter 7 is the quickest way to eliminate debt. Commonly called a “liquidation bankruptcy” Chapter 7 requires nonexempt assets be sold to pay off debts. However, federal and state exemptions allow you to keep most of your property — such as your car, your home, your retirement accounts and your household goods.
- Chapter 13 is the method selected for those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7, or for those who have a lot of equity in their home. Under Chapter 13, you keep all of your assets and develop a three- to five-year repayment plan that pays creditors pennies on the dollar. At the end of the term, all your remaining debts are discharged.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used for corporations or partnerships. Chapter 11 allows businesses to reorganize their debts and preserve their business assets while continuing to operate. Chapter 11 is an expensive, complex form of bankruptcy. As much thought and planning goes into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy it is generally not a recommended strategy for individuals.