The Serious Business of Bankruptcy

The federal government makes available a way for those who are struggling under the weight of impossible debt to have a new start by freeing them of their financial burden. A bankruptcy isn't easy, but can make it possible to live a normal life again, freed of the heavy burden of crushing debt. When you are facing what seems like an intractable fiscal problem, filing bankruptcy might be the answer.

There are any number of reasons why you may find yourself deeply in debt. Some of the most common are losing a job, hospital bills and spending beyond your means, usually with the "assistance" of credit cards. Filing bankruptcy doesn't mean that you are an irresponsible person, simply that circumstances beyond your control have led to an unmanageable level of debt.

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Being deeply in debt can be utterly miserable. You begin to fear opening your mailbox and become anxious every time the phone rings. It seems that no matter much you pay on your credit cards, it just isn't enough and the balance keeps growing. Your credit suffers and it seems like there is no way out.

By filing bankruptcy, you gain a chance to get a fresh start by reducing or eliminating your debts. With out of control debt, it becomes impossible even to lead a normal life. However, something which bankruptcy will not permit you to do is to avoid paying debts which you are capable of paying.

This means that some of your money and perhaps property will be handed over to your creditors in a fashion considered fair by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The court will decide what you may keep and what will be sold to help settle your debts. You might also have to pay off debts with cash on hand if your liquid assets are over a certain predetermined amount.

Bankruptcies are sorted into types known as chapters. These different chapters are designed to address different situations which are varied enough to justify a different approach. The most common types filed are chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called a "straight bankruptcy" and results in all debt which cannot be settles through the sale of your assets being written off. Chapter 133 bankruptcy, by contrast organizes your debts into a payment plan which fits your situation. In either case, the calls and mail stop flooding in and you can breathe easier. Once you notify a court that you intend to file for bankruptcy protection, the calls will stop, as will other collection efforts including legal actions, evictions, foreclosures and repossessions - the relief is almost instant.

Other bankruptcy chapters are target for specific needs, such as chapter 11 for businesses and chapter 12 for farmers. These are aimed to eliminate certain types of debt.

Filing bankruptcy can be complex and is a serious business, You should always work with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcies if you are considering this move.

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