When is bankruptcy the right choice?

Most people in California are hardworking and respectable, dedicated to meeting their financial — and other — responsibilities. Unfortunately, even the most responsible people sometimes find themselves facing extreme financial situations, making it difficult meet their financial obligations. This can lead to a great deal of stress, often exacerbated by constant calls from debt collectors. Such a situation often prompts people to ask if bankruptcy is the right option for them.

There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often most appropriate for people who do not make enough money to pay their debt. The person’s property is sold, and the proceeds from the sell can then be used to pay his or her debts.

On the other hand, Chapter 13 allows debt to be reorganized into payments that will be paid over the course of several years, usually three to five. It is typically a good option for those who make enough to pay their debt but need assistance or a fresh start. Regardless of which type of bankruptcy that is chosen, the process begins when the individual petitions the court for protection.

While filing for bankruptcy can help people get a fresh financial start, it is not without consequences. For example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on a person’s credit report for 10 year while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays for seven. However, even with this in mind, many people living in California decide, often upon the advice of an experienced attorney, that taking such action is the best option for their circumstances. Often an initial consultation with such a professional is the first step to a less stressful financial future.

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