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 a creation of federal law, and goes through federal courts. Therefore, the procedure governing bankruptcy in California will be roughly the same as it is anywhere else in the U.S. But individual courts have different rules for what property is exempt, so you should consult a local Madera, California before you file.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Madera, California

There are 2 common forms of consumer bankruptcy in Madera, California: Chapter 7 and 13. Chapter 7 requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property be liquidated to pay off at least a small part of their debt. However, many types 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 absolved. Some types of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Madera, California is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Madera, California

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Madera, California differs significantly from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up an adjusted payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a longer 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 Madera, 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.

Whatever your situation, you should speak with a local Madera, California bankruptcy attorney. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your options and their likely consequences, which will help you make a more educated decision.