Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows an individual or business to have some or all of their debts discharged. It is typically considered as an option of last resort, because while it can stave off financial disaster, it has some substantial 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 San Luis Obispo, California before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in San Luis Obispo, California
In San Luis Obispo, California, there are 2 typical types of commonly-used consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of part of a debtor's assets. It requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property to be sold to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of property that most people own, however, is exempt. This typically includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the appropriate property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is absolved. Some forms of debt, however, can't be excused in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in San Luis Obispo, California. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be excused, Chapter 7 may not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in San Luis Obispo, California
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in San Luis Obispo, California differs considerably 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 a revised payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over an extended 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 San Luis Obispo, California
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your distinct situation. If you have a stable income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in San Luis Obispo, California who is accomplished in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely results of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.