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. Since it's a creation of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Illinois will be the same as everywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Decatur, Illinois will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Decatur, Illinois
In Decatur, Illinois, there are 2 common types of commonly-used consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 liquidates part of the debtor's assets. It requires a certain percentage of the debtor's assets to be sold off to pay as much of his or her debt as possible. However, many forms of property that most people own are exempt, meaning that they don't need to be sold. This often includes houses, vehicles, insurance policies, and basic personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.
Once eligible assets are sold, and the proceeds turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is cleared. However, some forms of debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, including student loans, taxes, child support, personal injury awards, and fines. If most of your debt in Decatur, Illinois is not dischargeable, you may want to consider other options besides bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Decatur, Illinois
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Decatur, Illinois is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not excuse debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with an altered repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original contracts that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, normally involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Decatur, Illinois
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your particular 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.
In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy lawyer in Decatur, Illinois. Your lawyer can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).