What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process to either re-organize or eliminate your debt under protection of the federal bankruptcy court.  Bankruptcy law is complex and should only be handled by attorneys schooled specifically in bankruptcy law.  The bankruptcy process is governed by the Federal Bankruptcy Code and the rules of each local jurisdiction.

Are there different types of bankruptcy?

Yes.  A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which type of bankruptcy is best for your specific situation.   The two primary types of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7: Generally for individuals or married couples.  Under this provision of bankruptcy law, many, if not all, of your debts can be eliminated, providing you are eligible.  A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help determine if Chapter 7 is best for you.

Chapter 13: This form of bankruptcy allows debtors to keep their property and pay back debts over time, generally a period of three to five years. It may also be possible to strip off completely unsecured mortgages from a homestead property or reduce the mortgage on investment property down to its value. Tax liens may be stripped to a fraction of what is owed.  Unsecured creditors may be required to be paid back only a minimal amount of money.

Each case is different and needs to be analyzed by a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

Who is eligible to file for bankruptcy?

This is a difficult question to answer. There is a means test to determine if you are eligible to file for bankruptcy protection.  But, there are other considerations, too. If you qualify, attorneys schooled specifically in the bankruptcy laws of the United States, would be able to help you decide the best form of bankruptcy for your specific case.

Will my credit score suffer if I file for bankruptcy?

This is not credit repair.  If you’re contemplating bankruptcy, chances are your credit score has already taken quite a hit.  In fact, depending on the case, your credit score may actually go up upon filing for bankruptcy.  But remember, each case is different. Either way bankruptcy may be the beginning to fixing your credit score.


Filing for bankruptcy protection is a serious step that may have long lasting consequences.  It’s important to ask a lot of questions when thinking about hiring a bankruptcy attorney.  Give us a call for a FREE consultation so we can help you determine the best course of action.

DISCLAIMER: Material presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. The law offices of Brooks, Frank and De la Guardia do not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where the firm or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.
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