Bankruptcy: Laws, Forms & Information
Learn About Bankruptcy
Check out the following categories for lots of free legal information on bankruptcy:
- Should I File for Bankruptcy? - Get basic information on what bankruptcy can do for you, and what alternatives you have.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Learn about the most common type of bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - This type bankruptcy is powerful for debtors who have steady income and valuable assets. Also see the Chapter 13 Repayment Plan.
- Basic Bankruptcy Information - Articles covering the basics about bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcy Debt Relief - What debts are wiped out in bankruptcy? Find out here.
- Credit Card Debt - Bankruptcy eliminates this common type of debt.
- Bankruptcy Exemptions and Your Property - Learn about exemptions and how they protect your property from creditors when you file for bankruptcy protection.
- Bankruptcy Filing Process - Find articles that cover the basic process of a bankruptcy case.
- Bankruptcy Planning - If you're going to file for bankruptcy, make sure you plan ahead.
- Using a Bankruptcy Lawyer - Find out how much a bankruptcy lawyer will cost and what to expect from her.
- The Bankruptcy Forms - Learn about the detailed forms required to file a bankruptcy case.
- Filing for Bankruptcy - Considerations when you're filing for bankruptcy.
- After Bankruptcy - Learn about rebuilding credit and other steps after you've completed your bankruptcy case.
Popular Bankruptcy Articles
- How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - This page will walk you through the forms necessary to file a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own. Complete with sample completed forms.
- How to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Learn how to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own and find sample completed forms to help you along the way.
- Sample Bankruptcy Forms - Here's what the bankruptcy forms look like, and examples of a completed petition and required forms.
- Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Once you've decided that bankruptcy is the right solution for your financial situation, you will need to decide which type of bankruptcy is best.
- Using Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Stop Wage Garnishment - Having your wages garnished is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to a person. Wages are garnished after a creditor gets a judgment against you that you don't pay and then goes back to the court to get the order...
- Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners - If you own a small business and are struggling with debt and considering declaring bankruptcy, you may wish to explore some options. There are a few different...
- Mortgage Refinancing With Bad Credit - If you are considering mortgage refinancing and your credit score leaves much to be desired, there are a few things you should know before you begin the refinance process.
- On Bankruptcy, Debt and Consumer Rights - This blog contains valuable information for anyone thinking about filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Books from Nolo
- How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Considering bankruptcy but can't afford to hire an attorney? The reliable, up-to-date information in How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will help you successfully complete your bankruptcy claim without breaking the bank.
- Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners - When your small business is underwater, you need to know how to handle your own personal bankruptcy filing. Spare yourself the legal fees and get Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners, the only book that shows you how to handle Chapter 7 as a business owner.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Are you considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Use this plain-English guide to decide if Chapter 13 is right for you and to learn how to keep valuable property and discharge your unsecured debts.
- The Foreclosure Survival Guide - Keep Your House or Walk Away With Money in Your Pocket - Includes information on bankruptcy options to help with foreclosure.
- The New Bankruptcy - Is bankruptcy the right solution to handle your overwhelming debts? Pick the best strategies for your situation with the information and practical suggestions in The New Bankruptcy.
What Is Bankruptcy?
The purpose of bankruptcy is to enable individuals and businesses to regain control of their finances by eliminating or reorganizing their debts. The two types of bankruptcy most commonly used by consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee sells your nonexempt property to repay unsecured credtitors. Because you get to keep your exempt property (each state and the federal bankruptcy code has a list of exempt property),most debtors lose little, if any, property in Chapter 7. In return, you can wipe out most types of unsecured debt. Some debts, however, like certain tax debts and back child support, can never be wiped out. And some, like student loans, are difficult to eliminate (but not impossible).
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you keep all of your property and repay your unsecured debts (in full or part) through a Chapter 13 repayment plan, which lasts from three to five years. Because you can make up mortgage or car loan arrears in Chapter 13 (but not in Chapter 7), Chapter 13 is often a good choice for people who want to keep their homes or cars, but are behind in payments.
If you are considering bankruptcy, start here to learn more about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, whether you are eligible for either type of bankruptcy, which debts will be discharged and which will not, what property you'll keep, what property you might be at risk of losing, alternatives to bankruptcy, and more.
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