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The differences between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy

If a Washingtonian finds themselves struggling to pay off debts, they may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. This is an important decision to make, and depending on one's financial situation, it is likely that either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a much wiser way to go.

Although many people think of bankruptcy as a last resort, it is designed to help people overcome their financial woes. Overcoming those woes can eventually give filers a fresh start down the road. It is important to understand the differences, however. We will now go into a few forms of debt and discuss how each of them can be specifically applied to either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A common debt that people struggle with are mortgages and carloads. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one will need to either return their house or car, or pay its wholesale value. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy though, if one maintains their current court ordered payment system, they may keep them.

There are certain debts, including alimony, child support and student loans, that cannot be discharged under either form of bankruptcy. It is also important to note that if one has previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they cannot refile for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy can feel complicated and overwhelming. It may be in one's best interest to speak with a legal professional to discuss their specific situation and what options are available to help.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy," accessed on April 17, 2017

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