While there are several different types of bankruptcy procedures, each known by the title of the chapters of the Bankruptcy Code where they appear, the two most commonly used by individual consumers are:

(1) Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most frequently used by individuals. Under this arrangement, a court-appointed trustee collects your assets, sells them for cash, and makes distributions to creditors. You can keep assets that are exempt either under Federal law or the law of your home state. You cannot repeat this filing for six years.

(2) Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for an individual debtor who has a regular income and stable job. Under this procedure, you pay debts off over a three-to-five year period and keep your property. At a confirmation hearing, the court either approves or disapproves the plan. A Chapter 13 can be filed at any time.

Individuals may also use Chapter 11 reogranizations, but this form is generally targeted to businesses. Farmers can use Chapter 12

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