Richard J. Shurtz, Attorney at Law

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When choosing bankruptcy isn't easy, we're here to guide you

Many of the details and information concerning bankruptcy that makes the news concern businesses that are navigating a Chapter 11 reorganization. This information is no doubt interesting to consumer groups in Washington, but it has little bearing on debt relief that can be achieved through personal bankruptcy. We understand that choosing bankruptcy might not be the clearest or easiest choice, especially when much of the information in the media only pertains to a process that cannot help the average individual.

There are two main types of bankruptcy for which individuals might qualify. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an effective route for those who need to completely discharge their debts in order to start fresh with a new financial foundation. However, not everyone can qualify for a Chapter 7, and debt and income play a large role in determining who qualifies and who does not.

Conversely, more people tend to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which has a larger focus on repaying at least some debt with a payment plan. These plans involve establishing a reasonable amount that can be paid monthly over a period of three to five years. At the end of the payment plan, whatever unsecured debt was left over will effectively be discharged, allowing consumers to move forward with their lives. Creditors may not harass anyone who has filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and creditors continue to be banned from harassing consumers who are on a court-approved repayment plan.

Determining which type of bankruptcy can most effectively lead to much-needed debt relief can be trickier than it seems. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, although these impacts can certainly vary from person to person based on individual needs. We take great pride in creating a clearer path for Washington clients, and a wide array of additional information can be readily found on our website.

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