Bankruptcy is a legal process allowing an individual or business to have some or all of their debt discharged. It is almost always considered as a last resort because it can have some negative long-term consequences which must be considered, even if you eventually decide that they are outweighed by the benefits. Bankruptcy is controlled by federal law and handled in federal courts, so the procedural and substantive rules involved in Oregon 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 Salem, Oregon bankruptcy attorney beforehand.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Salem, Oregon
In Salem, Oregon, there are 2 commonly-used types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 states that a certain percentage of the debtor's property be liquidated to pay off at least a small part of their debt. However, many forms of property are exempt, and do not need to be liquidated, such as cars, homes, insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
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 Salem, Oregon is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Salem, Oregon
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Salem, Oregon is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each individual case. Chapter 13 does not discharge debt, but restructures it instead. Usually, various debts are consolidated into a single monthly payment. This is designed to make the debt more manageable, giving the debtor the chance to pay off the debt over a longer period of time, without all of it coming due at once. This is usually manageable, as long as the debtor can make some sacrifices.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Salem, Oregon
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your individual situation. If you have a stable income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Salem, Oregon 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.