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Getting to the end of a consumer bankruptcy

Like other legal processes that seem to go on forever, a consumer bankruptcy matter can seem to sit in the courts for months. As a Rockland resident watches as his assets are sold or his debts are reorganized, he can find himself wondering when the headache will end and the fresh start can begin. That answer depends on the form of bankruptcy that he has utilized.

The two most common forms of individual bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Under Chapter 7, a person's assets are liquidated to satisfy his debts. Generally, a person can reach the end of the bankruptcy process in a matter of months under Chapter 7. However, notice of the bankruptcy will linger on his credit for a decade.

The other common form of consumer bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 allows a person to keep many of his assets and his debts are reorganized so that he may execute a repayment plan. Under this form of bankruptcy the process does not technically end until the repayment plan is satisfied, and then notice of the matter will be present on his credit for another seven years.

Both forms of bankruptcy can offer a person debt relief in a financially challenging world. Both, however, bring long-term considerations that must be assessed before a person chooses to engage in either process. It is up to the individual to decide when he is ready to pursue bankruptcy and to carefully consider his options for filing. When he is ready to move forward and start the process of rebuilding his financial life, bankruptcy attorneys can provide valuable information on how best to come out at the end of the process on solid financial ground.

Source: Fox Business, "When is a Bankruptcy Officially Discharged?" Erica Sandberg, Aug. 4, 2014

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