What chapter should I file? 18 Answers as of February 29, 2012

Please help me identify which chapter should I file for my bankruptcy. I am not able to make any payments for my outstanding bills. Shall I go for Chapter 13 or 7? What is the difference between the two?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Ch 7 takes 90 days and involves liquidating unexempt assets. Ch 13 takes 3-5yrs, you pay into a payment plan but get to keep your property.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/29/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Chapter 13 is a payment plan for debtors with regular income. If you have no excess income you might want to consider filing chapter 7. To decide which chapter is better consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/29/2012
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Jackie Ferguson Graham
If you don't have funds to pay anything towards your bills then a chapter 13 is not for you. To determine whether you qualify for a chapter 7, an attorney has to look at whether you have filed before, what your household income is, and what you owe. But not everyone qualifies for an chapter 7 however. A chapter 7 is a total liquidation and a 13 is more like a consolidation of your debt.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 2/29/2012
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
You will only qualify for a ch. 7 given your income restrictions. A ch. 7 usually lasts for about 3-4 months. A ch. 13 usually lasts 3- 5 years during which you are making payments to a ch. 13 trustee.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 2/29/2012
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Ch 7 is the regular bankruptcy to discharge most of your debts. Ch13 involves making payments. There are eligibility requirements for both. Consult with a lawyer to make the right choice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/29/2012
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
    Ch 7 is a liquidation of non-exempt assets and a discharge of the rest of your property. A Ch 13 is a consolidation of the debt and but into a monthly payment with a plan in place to pay it off over 3 to 5 years and a discharge of the remaining debt. To determine what is right for you it would require a more extensive review of your assets and financial situation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you make too much money to qualify for a chapter 7, or have too much assets, then you would file a chapter 13, if not, then file a chapter 7 which will discharge your unsecured debts.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Do you have a home? Any extra income after living expenses are paid? If no to both, you probably want to be in Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Barrister Firm
    The Barrister Firm | Christopher Benjamin
    The simplest distinction between these two chapters is that 13 is for those who have disposable income and can create plan of repayment and a 7 is for those that have no disposable income and need to liquidate their debt.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    In a chapter 13, you make payments. In a chapter 7, you debts are liquidated. If you cannot afford payments, it appears that chapter 7 might be a better option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    Chapter 7 is usually the way to go, especially if most of your debt is unsecured debt (and you do not want to pay it back) or your income is low. Chapter 13 makes more sense if you need it to catch up overdue house payments or car payments- Chapter 7 does not do that for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    Whether to file under Chapter 7 or 13 usually depends on your income and household status. You will not be able to file for 7 if your income exceeds a set amount or you can not pass the means test. Chapter 7 is sometimes referred to as "straight" bankruptcy, while Chapter 13 is a payment plan through the Court. You should seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney to determine which, if either, is best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    A chapter 7 is generally more favorable if you are not looking to save a home or catch up on mortgage payments. A ch. 7 discharges your debt and you don't pay any of it back. A chapter 13 is a wage earners repayment where you would need to pay back anywhere from a percentage to 100% of your debt over a period of 3-5 years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Most of the time a Chapter 7 is what you need and it is the cheapest and quickest but some people need to file a Chapter 13 for many reasons such as high income, need to pay arrearage on a mortgage, taxes that are unpaid and must be paid, need to remove certain types of liens, etc. You need a consultation with an attorney to decide which is the best choice for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    A Chapter 7 is called the fresh start Bankruptcy because you are not repaying creditors in a repayment plan. A chapter 13 is a debt repayment plan. In very general terms, people usually file a Chapter 13 when they are behind on secured debt (like a car or a house) and they want to keep the property. For instance, if you are 4 months behind on a mortgage and want to keep your house, you would filed a Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 would allow you to catch-up the mortgage arrearage in the Chapter 13 plan, provided you started making your regular mortgage payment the month after your case was filed. In A chapter 7, your debt is wiped clean (with some exceptions like student loans, certain taxes, and domestic support obligations for example). If you have a car and still owe money on the note, you will need to pay the car note if you want to keep the car but if you wanted to get out from under the car note, you could discharge the car debt and surrender the car. There are some income qualifications on who can file a Chapter 7, so please talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney to get more information. A good Bankruptcy Attorney will offer a free consultation (in my opinion).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    You either qualify for a CH. 7 or a CH. 13. You don't get to pick. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    Chapter 7 is the most commonly used bankruptcy proceeding. There are factors that determine what you file which include eligibility under the means test, type of debt and whether you are trying to retain secured property like a home or car.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/28/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney