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In November 2005, the new Federal bankruptcy law went in effect making it more difficult for debtors to discharge their debts. The two major pieces of this new law dictate that a debtor must seek the help of an approved debt counseling organization and complete an approved personal financial management course. Only if the debt counseling program can not help in restructuring the debt, can a debtor ask the court to discharge debts in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 proceeding.
Bankruptcy should be the last resort in handling your indebtedness. That is not to say that debt brought on by health or other extenuating circumstances won't leave a debtor with bankruptcy as the only option. However, if you have the will and desire to avoid bankruptcy, our programs can and will help you back to a debt free life. Some bankruptcy actions can remain on your credit report for 10 years. Potential lenders base their approval or disapproval and the interest rate you will pay on your credit report. Those ads that say that past bankruptcy is not a problem really mean it's not a problem if you are willing to pay 23 to 29% interest and have a large down payment.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
This form of bankruptcy is by far the most common one used by individuals. It enables the debtor to eliminate certain debts and make a new start. It requires the debtor to liquidate all non-exempt assets. Chapter 7 is used when the debtor does not have sufficient income after deducting basic expenses to pay off their debt. Exemptions such as property and basic living expenses vary by State. Among debts that cannot be declared in Chapter 7 are alimony, child support, back taxes, student loans, or recent large purchases.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is for debtors that do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy either because of excessive disposable income or because the debtors have assets they wish to protect. Chapter 13 allows the debtor to commit to a court approved repayment plan to pay off all or part of the debt. The plan usually involves a restructured payment schedule that pays off the outstanding debt in 3 to 5 years. As with Chapter 7, a filing under Chapter 13 halts all collection and foreclosure proceedings to allow the debtor, the creditors, and the court to reach a settlement on the repayment plan. The court will appoint a trustee to oversee the repayment plan.
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