Bankruptcy is a court proceeding which lets a person or business have some or all of their debts absolved. It should normally only be considered as an option of last resort, because it can have significant long-term consequences, even if it can stave off financial disaster. This means that the costs and benefits need to be carefully considered before filing. Bankruptcy is controlled by federal law and handled in federal courts, so the procedural and substantive rules involved in Missouri 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 Hazelwood, Missouri bankruptcy attorney beforehand.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Hazelwood, Missouri
There are 2 main types of consumer bankruptcy in Hazelwood, Missouri: Chapter 7 and 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 basic personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.
Once the qualifying property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some forms of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Hazelwood, Missouri. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 may not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Hazelwood, Missouri
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Hazelwood, Missouri is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 does not excuse 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 Hazelwood, Missouri
The answer to this question depends strongly on your particular 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.
Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an accomplished local Hazelwood, 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.