Financial recovery through the federal process of bankruptcy is a public option for all businesses and individuals, but there are eligibility standards for any bankruptcy case. If you want to file for liquidation bankruptcy, for example, you must pass the Means Test to qualify for a Chapter 7 petition. If you’re ineligible for Chapter 7, you can choose to file for debt reorganization (Chapter 13), but even that process has certain prerequisites. With the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd., you can determine which type of bankruptcy in Mankato, MN is best for your financial situation.
The two common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. The former reorganizes your debts into a manageable repayment plan for a three to five-year period. The latter liquidates non-exempt assets, distributing the value of those non-exempt assets to creditors and discharging your debts in return. Which type you file for depends on two things: your debt-to-income ratio (passing the Means Test or not) and your choice.
If you pass the Means Test and qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll have the option to choose between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While there are occasionally financial circumstances that force filers to stick with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s likely that you’ll have a choice. Behm attorneys can help you make this choice based on several factors of your situation:
- Nonexempt assets: Non-exempt assets are assets that have value in excess of your applicable bankruptcy exemptions or for which there are no bankruptcy exemptions that one can utilize to protect or keep them. These assets will be liquidated in a Chapter 7 case and the sale proceeds will be used to repay something to your creditors. If you want to keep non-exempt property, Chapter 13 is the right choice for you. As long as you pay the value of those non-exempt assets to your creditors through a 36 to 60 month chapter 13 repayment plan, you can retain non-exempt assets that you would otherwise lose in a chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.
- Car loan: If you have debt on your motor vehicles, you could have those assets taken back by the creditors who have liens on them in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, choosing a Chapter 13 repayment plan could allow you to repay your car loans over time and in a more manageable way and keep your credit in a more stable position.
- Mortgage: Similarly, you can have equity or value in your home protected by the Homestead Exemption in a Chapter 7 case but you may be behind with your mortgage payments. In a chapter 7 case and if you wanted to eventually avoid a foreclosure proceeding, you would likely have to pay back any delinquency in full to the mortgage lender in 30 to 60 days. However, in a chapter 13 repayment plan, you could break that mortgage delinquency up and repay it over 36 to 60 months, avoid a foreclosure proceeding and retain your home property. You may also be able to strip off or cram down any second or third mortgages in a Chapter 13 case.
- Priority debts: When you file for any type of bankruptcy there are a number of debts that fall into the “priority” category. These debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 liquidation, but they can be integrated into a Chapter 13 repayment plan and paid off. If you want to repay debts like child support and tax debt in a structured repayment plan, choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7.
Both chapters have their own advantages depending on your situation. To find out which type of bankruptcy in Mankato, MN is right for you, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.