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5 points about filing for bankruptcy

Losing your job because of illness or injury sends you into a downward spiral. Your income stops when you lose your job. In some cases, workers' compensation payments help, but they usually aren't what you need to cover the basics. Add in the medical bills that you might have coming in and the situation can get dire. If you are facing a sea of debt, you have options to consider. Bankruptcy is one of those options.

Relief from creditor harassment

One of the benefits many people look forward to when they file bankruptcy is the automatic stay. Once the stay is in place, creditors generally can't try to collect debts from you. This means you won't have to worry about answering your phone or checking your mail. If a creditor does contact you, you may have legal options to explore.

Repayment plans are possible

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to make a repayment plan through the trustee. This plan is based on your income. The trustee works with you to determine your income. From there, the trustee determines the repayment plan based on a pre-set formula. The court wipes out any debt remaining when you successfully complete the repayment plan and complete any other conditions required for bankruptcy discharge.

Liquidation might occur

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as liquidation bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court seizes your personal assets to help satisfy the debts you owe. The liquidation satisfies all your debts. Your bankruptcy is closed when you meet all the other criteria set by the court.

Some assets are protected

Bankruptcy code protects some assets. Before you decide to file bankruptcy and before you decide which chapter to file, consider how your choices will impact your assets. Retirement accounts are one special consideration for many people. Another common concern is the home. Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a temporary solution to foreclosure. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides a longer-lasting solution because you have three to five years to pay arrears on the mortgage.

Some debts will remain

Some debts can remain when the bankruptcy is complete. Student loan debt, back child support and other similar debts will stay put. Bankruptcy erases many other debts, including medical debt and credit card debt. This might help you cover the medical bills you are liable for because of the illness or injury that led you to lose your job and started this downward spiral.

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