As an attorney knows, most people are somewhat familiar with what bankruptcy means. Bankruptcy can be a great resource for those who want to get rid of at least a portion of their debts. One of the first things we may talk with a client about during a bankruptcy consultation, is the various chapters that you can apply for and which is most suitable to your circumstances. There are six chapters total for the United States; Chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. Here we have briefly explained what each entails:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most commonly used bankruptcies used by Americans, and may also be called “liquidation bankruptcy”. Chapter 7 is when a person is able to sell off their property and distribute that to creditors as a way to pay off a portion or the entirety of their debts. Individuals are permitted to keep ownership of “exempt property”.
This chapter is intended for municipalities; towns, cities, and school districts. When a municipality files for chapter 9 bankruptcy, they are protected from persistent creditors, as they create a plan for adjusting their debts and finances.
Available to both business and individuals, chapter 11 bankruptcy may also be called “reorganization bankruptcy”. This chapter enables a business owner to stay in control of their business without needing to sell off assets. The goal is for a business to be able to get out of a serious rut and eventually become a financially stable company. Businesses may request updating the terms of their debts, such as minimum payments and interest rates as a way to alleviate the monetary burden.
Designed for family farmers and fishermen, this chapter assists such workers who are under immense financial distress. Due to the nature and unpredictability of fishing and farm work, money isn’t always consistent in the same way that it is for people in other fields. With chapter 12, a person can create a plan where they pay back creditors over the span of 3-5 years.
Chapter 13 is a “wage earner plan” bankruptcy chapter, where a person with a consistent income is allowed to establish a plan for paying back at least a portion of their debts. As an attorney may tell you, one major benefit of chapter 13 is that is permits individuals from undergoing foreclosure on their homes.
This chapter is only for debt situations that involve more than one country. The intention is for American bankruptcy courts, the foreign debtor, and foreign courts to cooperate over the issue. So, someone who is a foreign debtor with assets in multiple countries would file to operate under Chapter 15.
If you aren’t sure which bankruptcy chapter is right for you, please call today so a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL can provide the information you need to make the best decision.
Thanks to The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. for their insight into bankruptcy law and the different chapters.