Every now and then, individual and businesses go overboard with their expenditure. This might result in them going under. Bankruptcy is a legal way to get rid of the entire amount or some portions of the debt. However, there are long term effects of filing for bankruptcy, the major being, bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years depending on which chapter you filed under. This may adversely affect your ability to get a loan at a favorable rate, open credit card accounts, etc.
Since bankruptcy is a complex process involving lots of paperwork, it is advised to seek guidance from experts like the Dallas based bankruptcy law firm Recovery Law Group. It is also mandatory for an individual to complete a credit counseling course from a government-approved counselor in order to create a budget for monthly expenses. Individuals can file for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Both chapters can help in getting rid of unsecured debts, as well as stop all kind of collection actions including foreclosure and wage garnishment.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
This is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. A bankruptcy trustee supervises the sale of non-exempt property to pay off your creditors. Any debt which remains is discharged. Certain debts like alimony and child support, student loan and certain government taxes are not eliminated even after bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 7 has consequences; you end up losing some of your property, your bankruptcy is reflected in your credit score for 10 years. Additionally, if you end up in a financial mess again, you will not be able to file under this chapter for 8 years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In this case, you can keep your assets by paying for them along with repaying your debts through a court-approved repayment plan over a period of 3 to 5 years. After the duration, any remaining debts are discharged, even if only part payment is done on them. This bankruptcy allows you to keep your assets while repaying some debt. Moreover, this bankruptcy is reflected in your credit report for 7 years only and you can file for bankruptcy under the same chapter after 2 years of discharge.
Common bankruptcy terms
Some common bankruptcy terms people come across during their discussion with lawyers are –
- Bankruptcy trustee: A person/corporation appointed by the court to review the petition, assess the property, oversee the sale of assets and disburse the proceeds among creditors in case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 case, they also oversee the repayment plan, receive money from debtor and pay it to the creditors.
- Bankruptcy discharge: Completion of bankruptcy proceedings results in discharge. In Chapter 7 this takes place when assets are sold and creditors are paid, in Chapter 13, after completion of the repayment
- Credit counseling: A compulsory course of action prior to filing for bankruptcy. You are required to complete a personal financial management course through government-approved credit counseling agency before bankruptcy discharge. This can be waived off under special circumstances.
- Exempt property: State and the federal government allow bankruptcy filer to keep some property. this cannot be sold to repay creditors. Generally, some equity in the home, vehicle, work tools, household items, etc. is exempted.
- Lien: Legal action which allows the creditor to hold or sell debtor’s real estate for security or debt repayment.
- Liquidation: Selling of non-exempt property of the debtor in order to generate cash to pay off the creditors.
- Means test: A test used to determine the ability of a bankruptcy filer to repay their debts. This considers the filer’s assets, income, expenses, and Failure to pass means test disqualifies them from filing under Chapter 7. Individuals can then file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy Dallas.
What happens after a bankruptcy discharge?
People might end up losing some property when they file for bankruptcy. It also has long term effects on your credit report. Depending on the chapter of bankruptcy, bankruptcy remains on credit report for 7-10 years. You might face difficulty in getting a loan, or if offered it might be at a higher rate of interest. In case your loan was co-signed by your spouse or parents, they might also face some problems if you file for bankruptcy. Getting a mortgage becomes difficult for bankruptcy filers. They need to give a larger down payment, get a mortgage at the higher interest rate. Reaffirming current mortgage is a better alternative.
It is important to have credit information updated on your credit report if you wish to avail credit at favorable terms. This can be done by rebuilding credit, paying bills on time, living within budget, etc. it is important to consider bankruptcy alternatives like debt consolidation, debt settlement, etc. prior to filing. To know more about bankruptcy options, contact experienced lawyers at 888-297-6023.