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. Since it's a product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Missouri will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Arnold, Missouri will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arnold, Missouri
In Arnold, Missouri, there are 2 common 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 normally includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the qualifying property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some types of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arnold, Missouri. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Arnold, Missouri
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Arnold, Missouri is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is highly dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not excuse debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with an altered repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original contracts that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, normally involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Arnold, Missouri
The answer to this question depends heavily on your particular situation. If you have enough steady income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 might be a good option. If you don't have much steady income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an experienced local Arnold, Missouri 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.