Bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13)
The decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easily decision and it is not one that should be made lightly. Other than a home mortgage foreclosure, no other decision has a greater impact on your financial health than does the decision to file for bankruptcy protection. The Law Office of Samuel L. Pooler is set up to assist you with making the best decision in this regard based on your current financial situation.
Speaking of your financial situation, there are two main bankruptcy options available to an individual, small business owner or corporation based on your financial situation: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each of these is briefly discussed below.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Fresh Start Bankruptcy: One of the primary purposes of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to provide a "fresh start" to an honest debtor by discharging certain debts. As a result of a bankruptcy discharge, the debtor no longer has any liability for the discharged debt(s). To be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must meet certain requirements. First and foremost, the debtor should be one of the following: an individual (or married couple); a partnership; or, a corporation. Next, the debtor must pass the "means test" which is a test that is applied to determine whether an individual debtor's bankruptcy filing should be presumed to be an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code. The means test, in general, compares a debtor's income (and family size) with that of the median income for the locale in which the debtor resides. Subject to the means test, relief may be available to a debtor under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code irrespective of the amount of debt owed by the debtor or whether the debtor is insolvent or not.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Reorganozation Bankruptcy: A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is what is called a "wage earner's plan." Under the terms of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an individual with a regular income is required to propose a plan through which that debtor repays all or a portion of the debt owed. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor established a repayment plan to pay off the debt owed in installments to any and all creditors over three or five years depending upon whether the debtor's income is more or less than the state median income. If the debtor's income is less than the state median, the Chapter 13 plan must be for three years (or 36 months). The chapter 13 plan for a debtor whose income is greater than the state median must be for five years (or 60 months).
If you are considering for filing for bankruptcy protection, the Law Office of Samuel L. Pooler is here to help you make the best possible decision based on your financial situation. Please do not hesitate to contact the attorney if you have any questions regarding whether bankruptcy is right for you or the bankruptcy process.