Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows an individual or business to have some or all of their debts discharged. It is usually considered as an option of last resort, because while it can stave off financial disaster, it has some significant long-term consequences warranting careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, and proceeds in federal courts. So, the procedure for filing for bankruptcy in California will be very similar to the procedure anywhere else in the U.S. However, individual bankruptcy courts have different rules for exemptions, so it might be a good idea to consult with a local attorney in Atwater, California before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Atwater, California
There are 2 common types of bankruptcy in Atwater, California. They are known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a liquidation of some of the debtor's assets, which pays off part of his or her debt. Once this is done, the remaining debt is discharged. Fortunately for debtors, many types of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, essential personal items, and retirement accounts.
Once all non-exempt assets are sold, and the money from the sales turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is discharged. But some types of debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These include child support payments, student loans, and criminal fines, among others. If most of your Atwater, California debts are not dischargeable, you might want to consider options other than bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Atwater, California
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Atwater, California is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your particular case. Chapter 13 does not eliminate any debt, but it creates a new payment plan that should give the debtor some breathing room. Usually, all of the debts are consolidated into 1 periodic payment. While this might make it take longer to pay off the debt, if the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, the plan should be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Atwater, California
Chapter 13 is usually a good option for people who have a steady income, and a large amount of non-exempt property that they can't part with. On the other hand, if most of the debtor's property is exempt, and he or she does not have a steady income, Chapter 7 might be more beneficial.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Atwater, California who is experienced in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely consequences of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.