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The Advantages and Alternatives to Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

chapter-7-bankruptcy.jpgDeciding to declare bankruptcy is a difficult decision and one not to be taken lightly. In some situations it can be the right or wrong thing to do. You need to remember that bankruptcy will affect your reputation, self-image, and future credit. However, it can improve your quality of life as the communications from creditors begin to dwindle down.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly known as liquidation bankruptcy. Typically, in this category of bankruptcy, all of your debts are discharged, with certain exceptions of course. Any nonexempt assets that you own will be sold to satisfy debts of your creditors. It is important to note that there are alternatives to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. If you are a business owner, you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, so that you can continue your business and avoid liquidation.

Advantages of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are many reasons why Chapter 7 may be better for your situation over filing Chapter 13. Chapter 7 cases are resolved much faster than Chapter 13, and you will usually be able to keep most of your property. You can also avoid paying the bank a portion of your debt, unlike in Chapter 13. You can get a better understanding of the benefits of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy by viewing a chart created by the American Bar Association.

Nevertheless, not everyone will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have a sufficient amount of income that is subject to a repayment plan under Chapter 13, you will not be eligible for Chapter 7 filing.

Situations When Chapter 13 May be More Favorable to Chapter 7

Even if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7, you should consider filing for Chapter 13 when:

  • You missed payments on your home mortgage or car loan, as you might be able to reinstate the original agreement;

  • You have student loans, tax debt or other debt obligations that will not be discharged in Chapter 7. Instead, they will be considered part of the Chapter 13 plan and can extend the time for repayment;

  • You would like to pay off your debts, but need the assistance and security of the bankruptcy court;

  • You have nonexempt property that you want to keep; and

  • You asked someone to become a co-debtor on your personal debt, and want to prevent creditors from going after the co-debtor.

Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney

As you can see, deciding when to file for bankruptcy is a hard enough question alone, but it soon becomes more complicated when determining what type of bankruptcy for which to file. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should consult an experienced San Jose Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at Diemer, Whitman & Cardosi, LLP who will give your case the personal attention it needs in order to resolve your debt issues. 

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  • Santa Clara County Bar Association | 1917
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  • CWL | California Woman Lawyers
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  • The State Bar of California
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