If only declaring for bankruptcy was as easy as Michael Scott from the Office makes it look. You see, one can’t simply “declare bankruptcy.” You will most likely have to hire an actual bankruptcy lawyer in order to help you file the necessary documents required by the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy petition consists of “schedules” in which you are required to list all of your assets and debts. All of your debts must be listed and you cannot choose not to include somebody in your bankruptcy.
Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you will be able to retain all of your assets and whether or not you have to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. For most people, they can keep all of their assets as they are protected by the allowable bankruptcy exemptions.
A chapter 7 bankruptcy is very different than filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Usually those who have a below median income for their state and family size will opt to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy which can get rid of credit card, medical and other unsecured debts without having to make any payments. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is for those individuals who make above the median income for their state and family size in which they must make payments that are based on their available disposable income every month. A person who is trying to make up payments on a home or strip a second mortgage may also opt to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. A chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts for 3-5 years. A below median income debtor may opt for a 3 year plan, while an above median debtor must propose a 5 year plan. Once the chapter 13 case is filed, a bankruptcy judge must confirm the plan and subsequently your creditors will begin to be paid.
If you have additional questions please call Symmes Law Group at 206-682-7975 to set up a free consultation