Did you know that you have alternatives to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? If you do not qualify or do not find the provisions in Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be appropriate for your financial situation, you could pursue personal bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. This alternative form of filing can let you to keep more of your personal property, allowing you to move forward with your financial success faster than you thought possible.

Can I save my home during bankruptcy?

Using a Chapter 13 proceeding makes it far more likely that you will be able to keep your home from foreclosure. By choosing this method, you could set yourself up with a payment plan that allows you to “catch up” on house payments while you are working to discharge debt. Chapter 13 has a variety of other advantages — namely, that it is less likely to be dismissed than Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those clients who are facing primarily consumer debt may have their Chapter 7 case thrown out; that process involves liquidation of debt and is more inclined toward debt forgiveness. Chapter 13, however, often requires a special repayment plan to resolve debts, allowing for more flexibility. Chapter 13 cases may be less likely to be disallowed during courtroom evaluation.

How does the “means test” affect me?

Courts decide who is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin by applying the means test. That is, certain categories of earners cannot qualify for liquidation of debt. Those include consumers whose current monthly income (over five years) is higher than $12,475 or is more than 25 percent of the filer’s unsecured debt amount. Such cases can be converted to Chapter 13 repayment from Chapter 7 liquidation with the consent of the filer.

Bankruptcy issues can quickly become convoluted and confusing. Determining which type of bankruptcy is best for your personal situation can be particularly challenging. Increase your chances of courtroom success by seeking legal assistance from the very start of your bankruptcy process.

Source: United States Courts, “Chapter 7 – Bankruptcy Basics,” accessed July 17, 2015