Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts discharged, in part or in whole. It is usually treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some major long-term consequences. This warrants careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law and handled in federal courts, so the procedural and substantive rules involved in Illinois are often the same as anywhere else in the U.S. However, individual bankruptcy courts have slightly different rules for items such as exemptions, so it would be a good idea to consult with a local Mascoutah, Illinois bankruptcy lawyer beforehand.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mascoutah, Illinois

In Mascoutah, Illinois, there are 2 commonly-used forms of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. 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 the eligible property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is excused. Some types of debt, however, can't be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mascoutah, Illinois. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be discharged, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Mascoutah, Illinois

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Mascoutah, Illinois is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is highly dependent on the facts of each individual case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge debt. Instead, it restructures it. This involves the bankruptcy court coming up with a new payment plan that supersedes the terms of the agreements that gave rise to the debt in the first place. This results in a new payment plan that the debtor should find manageable, if he or she can make a few sacrifices.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Mascoutah, Illinois

This depends entirely on the facts of your particular case. If you have a decent amount of steady income, and a large amount of non-exempt property which you don't want to part with, Chapter 13 might be the best option for you. If most of your property is exempt, and you don't have much steady income, Chapter 7 might be the best option.

In any case, you should talk with a local Mascoutah, Illinois bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney can advise you of your options and inform you of their likely consequences. This will make it much easier for your to make an informed choice.