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 Summit, Illinois bankruptcy lawyer beforehand.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Summit, Illinois

In Summit, Illinois, there are 2 main forms of commonly-used consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of some 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 usually includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.

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 Summit, 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 Summit, Illinois

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Summit, Illinois 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 a modified 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 Summit, Illinois

Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your individual situation. If you have a steady income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a steady 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 Summit, Illinois who is experienced in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely consequences of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.