Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts excused, in part or in whole. It is typically treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some influential long-term consequences. This warrants careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Bankruptcy is a formation of federal law, and goes through federal courts. Therefore, the process governing bankruptcy in Louisiana will be roughly the same as it is everywhere else in the U.S. But individual courts have different rules for what property is exempt, so you should consult a local Lafayette Parish, Louisiana before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
There are 2 typical forms of bankruptcy in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. They are known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of part 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 typically includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some forms of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
In Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, Chapter 13 is substantially different from Chapter 7. Chapter 13 may or may not be the best choice for you; this depends on the facts of your specific situation. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up a revised payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over an extended 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 Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
The answer to this question depends strongly on your distinct situation. If you have enough stable income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 may be a good option. If you don't have much stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy lawyer in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Your lawyer can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).