The US Bankruptcy Code provides a number of choices to people struggling with debt. The most popular choice is to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition. Here are seven reasons why.
- Time—A normal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case takes about 100 days from beginning to end. After a brief creditor’s meeting one month into the process, the case ends two months later.
- Property—Because federal and/or State exemption laws allow a debtor to protect their assets, most Chapter 7 filers do not lose any property. The bankruptcy trustee handles most cases as “no asset” cases, meaning that the debtor is not required to forfeit any property.
- Cost—Filing under Chapter 7 is considerable cheaper than filing under Chapter 13. Even though lawyer fees may differ from state to state, most bankruptcy attorneys will quote a fee that is fair and affordable. Bankruptcy lawyers who practice exclusively in bankruptcy (not general practitioners) understand you don’t have extra money to overpay for their services.
- Repayment—You are not required to repay unsecured non-priority creditors like credit cards, utility bills, personal loans, or medical bills. If you created your debt in good faith and no creditor objects to your bankruptcy, most unsecured credit obligations will be destroyed in your bankruptcy.
- Privacy—Record of your bankruptcy is only accessible in the court system. In most cases, the only people who will know you filed for bankruptcy protection are you, the court, and your creditors.
- Credit—Most people who file under Chapter 7 can reestablish credit shortly after their bankruptcy concludes. (Your debt to income ratio improves once your debt has been eliminated: the first step towards rebuilding your credit.)
- Stress—Most chapter 7 filers never set foot in a courtroom. Instead, they merely attend a brief, informal hearing with the trustee assigned to their case.