If we are considering bankruptcy which is the best way to go? 38 Answers as of November 09, 2012

We are considering filing and I would like to know which is the best chapter 7 or chapter 13 ? We would like to keep our home and car. Is there something that we can do ?

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Law Office of Kristen Allard Shier
Law Office of Kristen Allard Shier | Kristen Allard Shier
Without knowing the details of your specific situation, it is not possible to advise you whether chapter 7 or chapter 13 is better for you. You should speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your situation and the options available to you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/27/2012
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
The decision as to what Chapter of the Bankruptcy you should file to use usually depends on a complete analysis of your assets and liabilities, exemptions, possible non-dischargeable claims and other information that a lawyer would want from you as part of the process of representing you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/27/2012
Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
There is no "best" or "worst" way to go, in general. You need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney who will go over your assets, income and liabilities to figure out what is best FOR YOU.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/26/2012
Burton Green, Attorney | Burton Green
It is possible to keep your home and car in either chapter. Whether you should file for 7 or 13 depends on a number of different factors which I cannot explore in this answer. Also, the means test may force you into chapter 13. Take advantage of a attorney offering free consultations and discuss your situation with that attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/25/2012
Harkess Law Offices | Nancy Harkess
You are able to keep your home and car by reaffirming the debt. If you do not reaffirm the debt, the creditor has the right to foreclose on your home or take your car even if you are making payments. Chapter 7 eliminates bills that you find impossible to pay, such as huge medical or credit card debt. A bankrupty can stay on your credit report for as long as 10 years. Chapter 13 is a repayment plan through which you make installment payments to creditors over a period of from three to five years.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/25/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Chapter 7 or 13 choice depends upon the particulars of your case and you have not provided enough detail to offer any advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    The best way to determine which Chapter of bankruptcy is best for you is for you to call me. Things to be considered included your debts, assets, income and expenses. If you are trying to catch up on back payments on your home over time or trying to strip off a second mortgage that is not secured by equity in the property, Chapter 13 may be best for you if you meet its debt limits requirement. If your income is below the means test and your assets are all exempt, Chapter 7 may be best.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    In a 13 you can keep your home and car.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Ch7 vs CH13 involves looking at your assets and taking to account any equity you have in them. It also involves looking at your income as measured by the "means test." Seek out a lawyer who is experienced in both types of cases. It is rare that assets are lost in bankruptcy. A good lawyer will let you know if that is a possibility before you file. In Ch13 you can pay back the excess equity (if any) over 60 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Maskell Law Firm, P.C.
    Maskell Law Firm, P.C. | Eric A. Maskell
    If you are behind on the house and car then Chapter 13 would be your best option. The Chapter 13 allows you to make payments towards the arrearages on both your car and home.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    David Andersen & Associates PC | Jeremy Shephard
    The answer is complicated. Each bankruptcy has its benefits. Contact an attorney and they should be able to advise you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of Diann C. Moseley | Diann Moseley
    Impossible to answer this question without further information as to which state you live in, the amount of equity in the house and car, amount of your monthly income and much more.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You may be able to keep both in a Chapter 7 if you have little or no equity. If you have too much equity then you will have to file Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    The first thing I would suggest would be to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who can review your specific finances to provides options for filing. Many times you can file Chapter 7 and retain your home and your car but you need to confirm with an attorney that this will be the right choice for you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    There is no easy answer to the question of "which chapter of the bankruptcy code is best". Each chapter has its own distinct purposes and each had different benefits. The best way to answer which chapter is best for you is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. With that said, I can make some assumptions. Assuming you have a mortgage on your house and you are behind on the mortgage, then Chapter 13 has some benefits, such as the ability to "catch-up" on past due mortgage payments (or car payments) over the course of the Chapter 13 plan. Chapter 13 also allows a debtor to, under very specific circumstances, avoid a junior mortgage all together. With that said, you should understand that assuming you are not behind on the mortgage, and assuming you have a recorded homestead (or have a relatively small amount if equity in the house) it is quite likely that you can keep your residence even in Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm | Tara D. Newberry
    If you are current on your home and car payments, it may be possible to keep both in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Your income prior to filing, total amount of debt and other assets are more likely to determine which chapter is best. In most cases, if you are eligible based on income, all of your debts are dischargeable and all of your assets are protected by exemptions, then Chapter 7 would be best since it will result in you obtaining a discharge order within a few months of filing. You will be on a quicker path to financial recovery and will eliminate all of your dischargeable debt in a Chapter 7. You also will not pay as much in attorney fees. If your income is too high to be eligible for Chapter 7, you have assets that are subject to forfeiture to the Trustee, or if you have non-dischargeable debt such as unpaid income taxes, then a Chapter 13 may be best. In sum, there are several other factors that must be examined before an attorney could advise you on which Chapter would be best.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You now have to take a "means test" to see if you can qualify for Chapter 7. Do an internet search for "online means test" and fill in the blanks to find out if you can file 7 or must file 13. I have always preferred filing chapter 7 for clients, because it wipes the whold slate clean. In a chapter 13 you have to pay a portion of the debt you owe. There are plenty of attorneys giving free consultations on bankruptcy now. After you have learned about the process, set up some free consultations and go with the one who you feel you can trust the most. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
    You do not have a choice, as there is a (financial) means test which will place your petition in a Ch. 7 or Ch. 13.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    The choice between the chapters is based on your income. Either way you can reaffirm those debts and keep your house and car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Gilgannon Law, LLC | Stuart D.P. Gilgannon
    Either option will usually allow you to keep both your home and your car. This is assuming you don't have a significantly high amount of equity in your home. The best option usually is determined by the type of debts you wish to discharge or catch up on. In addition, there may be reasons that make you ineligible for a chapter 7, including your income level or amount of assets.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Gingo & Orth | George Gingo
    Chapter 7 wipes out debt and makes creditors angry and gives debtors a sense of relief and breathing space. Chapter 13 makes creditors happy and makes debtors pay their debts on a stringent plan for 5 years, resulting in a lot of stress. Most chapter 13's fail (78%).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    There is really not one "best" for everyone. Discuss your situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and he/she can guide you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Wajda Law Group, APC
    Wajda Law Group, APC | Nicholas M. Wajda
    Unfortunately a complete answer to your question can only be given after receiving a lot more information about your situation. For some, a Chapter 7 is surely the best option. However, it must be determined if you first qualify for Chapter 7 and second if your property (car and/or home) would be protected in a Chapter 7. For other, a Chapter 13 will provide a greater benefit and thus that chapter is the better option. You should set up a (usually free) consultation with an attorney in your area to figure out which chapter is best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    John C. Schleiffarth, P.C. | John C. Schleiffarth
    Good question. The answer to whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will be better for you depends on your particular circumstances. Many Chapter 7 filers keep both their home and theirs cars, but they cannot have much equity in either. In order to file Chapter 7 you also have to pass a means test based on your income. I suggest meeting with a bankruptcy attorney for a personalized consultation. You will need specific legal advice based on your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The answer depends on your current financial condition. You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney to determine which chapter bankruptcy is best for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are current on the payments, you might be able to file a chapter 7. If you are behind on the payments, you might have to file a chapter 13 case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    If you are behind in mortgage payments a 13 is the way to go. A 7 will not work when your in arrears on the mortgage. A 7 is good if you are up to date with mortgage and if married can exempt $100,000 of equity. Car is not an issue if you are current and intend to retain.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Greeves & Roethler, PLC
    Greeves & Roethler, PLC | Glenn Roethler
    The answer to the questions is impossible to know without going over your individual situation. The preference between a Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 can vary on many factors. The first factor is whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 13. If your income is too high based on your family size, you will not be able to qualify. The next issue is what property do you have, and will you be risking losing it in a Chapter 7, where you may be able to keep it in a Chapter 13. Then you have to determine whether Chapter 13 provides benefits for you that Chapter 7 does not. Chapter 13 is more complex than Chapter 7 but offers many benefits that a skilled attorney can help you with.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Office of Larry Webb
    Law Office of Larry Webb | Larry Webb
    It can take a couple of hours to answer this question. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 each have their strengths and short comings; it all depends upon your situation. One size does not fit all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    Are you behind on your car and house payments? If you are behind, chapter 13 may be a better option because it will allow you to remain in possession and to make payments on the past due amount for 3-5 years, but you must have a regular income to qualify for this chapter. If you are current on your payments, chapter 7 may be a better option.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    The answer is not so simple. You need to talk to a certified bankruptcy specialist who will ask you questions such as the amount of equity in each and what you owe on each.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    In my view, unless your income is too high (over the CMI test), consider filing Chapter 7 to have your unsecured debts Discharged. File Chapter 13 only if needed to catch up mortgage arrearages or car payments. Shop around, get the lowest priced and experienced bankruptcy attorney you can find, and go with the information provided to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    That depends on a number of factors such as whether you are current on your payments and your income, among other things. I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    It depends on many many factors, for example your household income, the value of your assets, the types of debts you have, etc., there is no quick answer to this question. It's best to consult with an attorney if you don't know the difference between the two. If you cannot afford an attorney, go to your local legal aid to see if you qualify for free help.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/23/2012
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    You might be able to keep both in either chapter. It depends on how much you owe and whether you're delinquent in your payments. If you're delinquent and/or you have substantial equity in either, Chapter 13 is probably the only way to keep a house and car. But if you're current in your payments and there isn't much equity above what you owe plus your exemptions you might be able to keep either or both in a Chapter 7. Your attorney will be the best one to advise you completely.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all." Choosing the right chapter depends upon income, how far in default you are on your obligations, how much equity you have, i.e. how much more than the liens is the item worth and a host of other factors. It is something that a competent bankruptcy attorney ought to be able to tell you after taking into account all the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/23/2012
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