Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows an individual or business to have some or all of their debts discharged. It is normally considered as an option of last resort, because while it can stave off financial disaster, it has some considerable long-term consequences warranting careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Bankruptcy is a formation of federal law, and goes through federal courts. Therefore, the process governing bankruptcy in California will be roughly the same as it is everywhere else in the U.S. But individual courts have different rules for what property is exempt, so you should consult a local Long Beach, California before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Long Beach, California
There are 2 main types of consumer bankruptcy in Long Beach, California: Chapter 7 and 13. Chapter 7 states that a certain percentage of the debtor's property be liquidated to pay off at least a small part of their debt. However, many forms of property are exempt, and do not need to be liquidated, such as cars, homes, insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some forms of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Long Beach, California is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Long Beach, California
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Long Beach, California is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your individual case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up a revised payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a prolonged period of time, through monthly payments that should, assuming that the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Long Beach, California
Chapter 13 is normally a good option for people who have a stable 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 stable income, Chapter 7 might be more beneficial.
In any case, you should talk with a local Long Beach, California bankruptcy lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you of your options and inform you of their likely outcome. This will make it much easier for your to make an informed choice.