Types of Personal Bankruptcy
In the case of individuals, as opposed to businesses, there are two common kinds of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Here is a quick summary of how each type works:
Chapter 7: This type of bankruptcy basically liquidates your assets in order to pay your creditors. Some assets-- typically consisting of part of the equity in your home and automobile, personal items, clothing, tools required for your employment, pensions, Social Security, and any other public benefits-- are exempt, meaning you get to keep them.
But your remaining, non-exempt assets will be sold off by a trustee selected by the bankruptcy court and the proceeds will then be allocated to your lenders. Non-exempt assets can consist of property (aside from your primary home), recreational vehicles, boats, a second vehicle or truck, collectibles or various other valuable items, bank accounts, and investment accounts.
At the end of the process, most of your debts will be absolved and you will no longer be under any obligation to repay them. However, particular debts, like student loans, child support, and taxes, can not be dismissed.4 Chapter 7 is usually chosen by people with lower income and few assets.
Chapter 13: In this form of bankruptcy, you are allowed to retain your assets, but must agree to repay your debts over a specified period of three to five years. The trustee collects your repayments and distributes them to lenders. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is normally chosen by consumers who want to keep their non-exempt property intact or buy time against foreclosures or property seizures.