Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts absolved, in part or in whole. It is normally treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some huge 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 Indiana 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 Chesterton, Indiana bankruptcy lawyer beforehand.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Chesterton, Indiana

In Chesterton, Indiana, there are 2 common forms of commonly-used consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property be liquidated to pay off at least a small part of their debt. However, many types of property are exempt, and do not need to be liquidated, such as cars, homes, insurance policies, and retirement accounts.

Once qualified assets are sold, and the money turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is absolved. However, there are certain types of debt that cannot be absolved in bankruptcy, including student loans, taxes, child support, and criminal fines. If most of your debt is non-dischargeable, it may not be a good idea to file for bankruptcy in Chesterton, Indiana.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Chesterton, Indiana

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Chesterton, Indiana differs substantially from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your 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 contracts that gave rise to the debt in the first place. This results in an altered 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 Chesterton, Indiana

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

Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an experienced local Chesterton, Indiana 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 individual situation.