If you are having trouble keeping up with your bills, are receiving harassing phone calls all day, or need to figure out a way to make up payments that you are behind, then bankruptcy may be an option for you. There are both benefits and detriments to those considering filing bankruptcy. In my opinion as a Seattle bankruptcy attorney, the benefits significantly outweigh the detriments to those considering filing bankruptcy. Individual debtors considering filing bankruptcy will file either a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are considering filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should speak to a Seattle Bankruptcy lawyer to better asses your situation.
When a debtor files for bankruptcy they may be able to discharge all of their unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills, or other bills that are not secured by property. Debts such as child support, debt owed to the government, or debt incurred from criminal activity may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Additionally, a chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to make up any payments that you are behind. This helps if you are behind on your mortgage or vehicle payment and you wish to retain your home or vehicle. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy you do not need to make any payments to your unsecured creditors and the debt just goes away. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy you may have to make payments to the bankruptcy trustee for a period of 3-5 years. The payments will be based on the amount of disposable income that you have available after paying all of your living expenses. If you decide to file bankruptcy, it will be listed on your credit report for a period of ten years, however you can start to rebuild your credit immediately through pre-paid credit cards and paying your bills on time.