An individual can file bankruptcy under one of two chapters:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help you eliminate most kinds of unsecured debt. Some examples of unsecured debts are credit cards, medical bills, most personal loans, judgments resulting from car accidents, and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to keep most of the assets (ie. secured debts such as your mortgage and carnote) you already have, as long as you are current with your payments. Chapter 7 relief is usually for those who have fallen behind on payments to unsecured debts and may be facing wage ganishment.
If creditors are harassing you, your family, your friends and/or your neighbors, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you the freedom that you want from your creditors and help you eliminate debt. If you are being sued and you own a home, it may be in your best interest to file a bankruptcy to avoid a judgment lien. The bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit immediately and prevent your creditors from placing a lien on your home or garnishing your hard-earned wages.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt consolidation/debt repayment plan which allows you to get debt relief by paying some of your debt back with little or no interest over a period of 3 to 5 years.
Most people file under Chapter 13 to stop a mortgage foreclosure and car repossession. However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also help a person to only pay unsecured creditors pennies on the dollars, while eliminating or lowering the interest rate on other debts.
The benefit of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it will spread out the payments you owe on your house or car and stop the lender from taking back the collateral (ie. house or car). Chapter 13 relief also allows you to make a reduced and affordable monthly payment that is designed to work within your own budget.