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 ultimately decide that they are outweighed by the benefits. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, and proceeds in federal courts. So, the procedure for filing for bankruptcy in Rhode Island will be very similar to the procedure anywhere else in the U.S. However, individual bankruptcy courts have different rules for exemptions, so it might be a good idea to consult with a local attorney in Smithfield, Rhode Island before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Smithfield, Rhode Island
There are 2 common types of bankruptcy in Smithfield, Rhode Island. They are known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 liquidates some 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 types 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 essential personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is absolved. Some types of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Smithfield, Rhode Island is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Smithfield, Rhode Island
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Smithfield, Rhode Island is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your particular case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up an adjusted payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a longer 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 Smithfield, Rhode Island
Chapter 13 is usually a good option for people who have a steady income, and a large amount of non-exempt property that they can't part with. On the other hand, if most of the debtor's property is exempt, and he or she does not have a steady income, Chapter 7 might be more beneficial.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Smithfield, Rhode Island who is experienced 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.