Benefits of Chapter 13
With the economy still reeling with uncertainty and unemployment still hovering close to double-digits, many people are still having trouble digging out from under debt. As a result, more and more people are turning to bankruptcy to help get their financial lives back on track.
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, bankruptcy levels rose 9 percent in 2010, with over 1.5 million people filing for personal bankruptcy. But for those thinking about bankruptcy, there are different types to consider. In some cases, one Chapter may be more appropriate than the other.
Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have some stark differences between them. In a Chapter 7, assets are liquidated to pay off creditors. Unsecured debt is discharged, meaning that it does not have to be paid back.
In a Chapter 13, however, the debt is consolidated into a three to five-year payment plan. You spend that time getting your finances in order and paying off your debt. People generally find the payments to be more manageable when spread out over time.
While both Chapters offer the protection of an automatic stay, which forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection actions, Chapter 13 offers that protection throughout the life of the repayment plan.
Saving Your Home
One of the biggest benefits to Chapter 13 is the ability for people to save their homes. For those with trouble meeting mortgage payments or falling behind, Chapter 13 allows them to repay the delinquent amounts over the life of the repayment plan, spreading the amounts over the three to five-year period.
Is it Right for You?
Chapter 13 can offer consumers the chance to save assets and their homes. But the process can be complex and may not be right for everyone. If you find yourself falling into financial trouble, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for advice.