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 Indiana 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 Bluffton, Indiana bankruptcy attorney beforehand.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Bluffton, Indiana

In Bluffton, Indiana, there are 2 main 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 essential personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.

Once the eligible property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is excused. Some forms of debt, however, can't be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Bluffton, Indiana. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be discharged, Chapter 7 may not be the best choice for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Bluffton, Indiana

Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Bluffton, Indiana 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 does not eliminate any debt, but it creates a new payment plan that should give the debtor some breathing room. Typically, all of the debts are consolidated into 1 periodic payment. While this may make it take longer to pay off the debt, if the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, the plan should be manageable.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Bluffton, Indiana

Which Bankruptcy type to file under depends strongly on the facts of each individual case. If you have a stable stream of income (enough to make a payment plan manageable), and a large amount of non-exempt property that you don't want to part with, Chapter 13 may be best for you. If you don't have a stable income or large amounts of non-exempt property, you may be better off filing for Chapter 7.

Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Bluffton, Indiana who is accomplished 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.