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 controlled by federal law and handled in federal courts, so the procedural and substantive rules involved in Illinois are often the identical as everywhere 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 Prospect Heights, Illinois bankruptcy attorney beforehand.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Prospect Heights, Illinois

In Prospect Heights, Illinois, there are 2 commonly-used types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 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 excused. Some forms of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Prospect Heights, Illinois is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Prospect Heights, Illinois

Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Prospect Heights, Illinois is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not eliminate debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with a new repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original agreements that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, usually involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Prospect Heights, Illinois

Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your individual 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.

Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an accomplished local Prospect Heights, Illinois bankruptcy attorney before you make the decision to file. He or she will be able to advise you of your options, and suggest the best possible course of action for your particular situation.