The Complete Guide to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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As tempting as bankruptcy may be, it is nothing to be entered into lightly and should always be considered as a last resort. To that end, before you file for bankruptcy, there are two things you need to do first, and in this order. One, exhaust every other possibility. Two, educate yourself about the bankruptcy process. The articles below will help you do both, on topics ranging from bankruptcy alternatives, to the means test, to find a good bankruptcy attorney.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy FAQs — What’s dischargeable, and what’s not? What assets can you keep? Will bankruptcy stop foreclosure or eviction? Does your spouse have to file, too? Get answers to these and other common questions about chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Taking the Means Test — Before you can file chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are going to need to pass the means test. Find out what to expect, including the questions you’ll have to answer and what happens next.

Can Student Loan Debt Be Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? — If you’re going to file for bankruptcy, you’ll obviously want to include your student loan debt. But can you? Get the facts about proving undue hardship.

What Property Can You Keep After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? — Believe it or not, you will probably be able to keep most of your personal property. It all depends on the value of the asset and the exemptions specific to your state.

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQs — What is the difference between chapter 13 and chapter 7 bankruptcy? How long does it take to pay off chapter 13? Will it affect your credit? Get answers to these and other commonly asked questions about chapter 13.

General Information on Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Myths — Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy does not discharge all types of debt. That’s just one of the many myths you need to know the truth about before you file.

What Debts Can Be Discharged in Bankruptcy? — You know you can discharge credit cards and debt that has gone to collections. But did you know you can also discharge utility bills and unpaid rent? See a longer list of qualifying debts (as well as a list of what bankruptcy won’t wipe clean).

Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 — An unprecedented number of bankruptcy filings prompted new laws that went into effect in October of 2005. See what changed.

Preventing Bankruptcy

Under 30? Three Reasons to Rethink Bankruptcy — As overwhelmed as you may feel by debt, bankruptcy is likely not the best bet if you are in your 20s. Get the facts and consider your alternatives.

Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy — Does it feel like bankruptcy is your only option at this point? Make sure of it by considering all of your alternatives first. Get tips on reducing your expenses, settling with creditors, and getting credit counseling.

How to Prevent Medical Bills from Bankrupting Your Family — Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy. In many cases, this stems from the loss of a job due to a debilitating disease — just when you need it most, you lose your health insurance. Get tips on what to do if this happens to you.

Preparing to File for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Forms — This link will take you to the United States Courts website where you can download official forms and instructions on how to file for bankruptcy.

50 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney — As if filing bankruptcy is not stressful enough, finding a competent lawyer is just more additional stress. Here are great questions to ask lawyers before hiring one to handle your bankruptcy case.

How to Overcome the Stigma of Filing Bankruptcy — Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy is not an easy decision — one made even harder when you let the stigma associated with bankruptcy influence your decision. While it should only be used as a last resort, don’t let stigma alone be a deterrent.

Bankruptcy Troubleshooting

What If You Can’t Qualify for Bankruptcy? — If you cannot pass the means test, you will not be able to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. All is not lost, though. There are effective alternatives for dealing with your debt, like settling debt with your creditors (try this for sure) or stopping credit card payments altogether (consider this carefully, as you could face lawsuits).

What If You Can’t Afford to File for Bankruptcy? — Though the cost of filing pales in comparison to the debt you could have discharged, if you don’t have the money to file then you don’t have the money to file. If that’s the case for you, get tips on what to do.

Common Mistakes Made When Filing Bankruptcy — Whether you are filing on your own or using a bankruptcy attorney, mistakes get made. Take a look at the most common errors that could get your bankruptcy case dismissed.

The Dismissal of Your Bankruptcy Petition — Filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean the discharge of your debts is a done deal. Not only can a court dismiss your bankruptcy case, but you can voluntarily dismiss it yourself if you change your mind. Get the facts, including how to reinstate a dismissed bankruptcy or file a new one.

Bankruptcy Fraud Cases — Bankruptcy fraud is a federal crime punishable by up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison. See what constitutes bankruptcy fraud and statistics of its prevalence.

Understanding the Liabilities of Bankruptcy Attorneys — See how the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 affected attorney liabilities.

After Bankruptcy

Is There Life After Bankruptcy? — Absolutely! In fact, you will probably be surprised at how fast you can turn your credit and financial situation around.

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