Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic provides informed representation and dependable services to Illinois consumers. If you are experiencing financial troubles, we can help you take advantage of the benefits of bankruptcy. Well-versed in the applicable provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, we regularly help our clients file for personal bankruptcy.
When you consult with us, we will determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you. The benefits of each form of bankruptcy depend on your financial circumstances. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys leverage their knowledge and skills to protect your interests.
At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, we offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner you can learn about the benefits of bankruptcy and take action to protect your financial future.
The Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you are struggling with debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you restore your financial stability. Some benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Debt forgiveness – Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides for a discharge of much of your unsecured debt. Qualifying debts (e.g. credit cards, personal loans) can be fully wiped clean and a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can take less than six months to complete.
- Stop creditor harassment – When you file for personal bankruptcy, the judge will issue an order known as an “automatic stay,” which stops creditors from contacting you or taking any collection activities against you (repossessions, wage garnishments, foreclosures). If the creditors are hounding you, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop their harassment.
- Property exemptions – There is a common misconception that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy means selling all of your possessions; however, a skilled bankruptcy lawyer can help you explore exemptions under state law that may allow you to keep your home, vehicle, household goods, and other items.
- Repair your credit rating – Although a Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 years, you can take steps to repair your credit rating over time.
- Stop Foreclosure – If you’re behind in your home mortgage payments, the automatic stay stops foreclosure activities. While filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t eliminate your mortgage debt, it can give you time to restructure your finances and save your home.
- Options for your vehicle – If you’re behind on your auto loan and want to keep your car, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to (1) reaffirm the debt or (2) redeem the vehicle (if it is worth less than you owe, you may be able to pay the cash value).
The best way to take advantage of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. When you consult with Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, we will take the time to explain the bankruptcy process and work to help you eliminate your debts.
Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to repay their obligations through a court-approved repayment plan over a period of 3 to 5 years, depending on their debt and income levels.
A typical repayment plan involves making monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who distributes payments to creditors. For those who qualify, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers a number of benefits, such as:
- Stopping foreclosure — Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops a foreclosure through the automatic stay. Mortgage payments in default can be included in the repayment plan, however, you must also continue making outstanding monthly payments.
- Discharging debts — Unsecured debts that you cannot afford to pay in the repayment plan are eliminated just as in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows you to make a fresh start.
- Protecting non-exempt property — Property that is not eligible for protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be exempt under Chapter 13 because it is a reorganization bankruptcy.
- Repaying back taxes — Back taxes not eligible for discharge can be included in the repayment plan and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must accept payments in the amount determined by the bankruptcy court.
- Paying student loan debt — Student loans cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy; however, loans in default can be included in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
- Saving your vehicle — A Chapter 13 repayment plan allows you to catch up on auto loan payments.
While a Chapter 13 bankruptcy only remains in your credit report for 7 years (as opposed to up to 10 years for a Chapter 7 filing), all your disposable income must go to repaying your debt, which could limit your options. The best way to determine whether filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right option for you is to consult with the legal team at Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys
There are a number of benefits to bankruptcy, but it takes a skilled bankruptcy lawyer to protect your interests. At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, we have a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with trustworthy advice and helping then make a fresh start. If you are struggling with insurmountable debt, don’t delay. Contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers.