Types of Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy code describes the four types of bankruptcy available to individuals:

The Bankruptcy Code is divided into chapters. The chapters that usually apply to consumers are Chapter 7, where most or all of your debt is wiped out, and Chapter 13, which involves a repayment plan. In most cases, once you file your case, the “Automatic Stay” immediately goes into effect. The Automatic Stay means that a bankruptcy filing automatically stops, or stays, and brings to a halt most lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, evictions, garnishments, attachments, utility shut-offs, and debt collection harassment. Generally, most creditors cannot take any further action against you or your property without permission from the Bankruptcy Court.

Chapter 7.  Chapter 7 is designed for debtors who are having financial difficulties and are not able to re-pay their debts.

If your current monthly income is above the State Median Income you will be required to perform a Means Test to determine if you are eligible for this type of bankruptcy relief.  If you do not meet the requirements of the Means Test then you may be precluded from filing a Chapter 7 and have the option of converting to Chapter 13 or filing a Chapter 13.

Under Chapter 7 a Trustee takes possession of all your property. You may claim certain property as exempt under Kansas law.  You can only exempt the value of property that is not subject to the liens of your creditors. The Trustee then liquidates the non-exempt property and uses the proceeds to pay off your creditors according to priorities of the Bankruptcy Code.
The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 is to obtain a discharge of most of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, your discharge may be denied by the Court, and the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated. The filing fees charged by the court for a Chapter 7 total $274.00.

Even if you receive a discharge, there are some debts that are not discharged under the law.  Therefore, you may still be responsible for such debts as certain taxes and student loans, alimony and support payments, criminal restitution, and debts for death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.

Under certain circumstances you may be able to keep property that you have purchased subject to a valid security interest. Some of these options include what is called redemption and the reaffirmation of an existing pre-bankruptcy debt.

Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with a regular and stable source of income who are temporarily unable to pay their debts but who desire to use their best efforts and good faith to pay them in installments over a period of time subject to the protections afforded by the Chapter 13 rules.  You are only eligible for Chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. The filing fees charged by the court total $189.00 for a Chapter 13. Under Chapter 13 you must file a plan with the Court to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings or by the disposition and/or abandonment of certain collateral such as land and motor vehicles. You are protected from your creditors in most case upon the filing of your case but your plan must be approved by the Court before it can take effect.

Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is designed primarily for business reorganization, but is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complex. In the majority of cases, Chapter 11 is unnecessary and too expensive for consumer debtors. The court filing fee is $1039.00.

Chapter 12. Chapter 12 lets family farmers repay their debts over a period of time and is similar to a Chapter 13. The filing fee is $239.00.

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