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Bankruptcy Basics

Although it is a common enough word, what exactly does bankruptcy mean? And what are its implications? As is to be expected, filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process but before such a step is taken it is essential to understand exactly what it is all about.

Simply put, bankruptcy can be defined as the legal process thorough which individuals or businesses who end up in financial trouble are able to work out their debts and pay them out under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Often "liquidations" or "reorganizations" are the words that are used to sum up the process that unfolds when you file for bankruptcy.

The two kinds of bankruptcy that you can file for are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are various factors that would determine whether you should opt for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you can use liquidation, which literally means that you sell off property in order cover as much of the debt as possible, but at the same time you will have enough of the property left over in order for you to start all over again financially. On the other hand, the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the reorganization type of bankruptcy where the debtor is allowed three to five years over which to pay back the debts.

One should keep in mind that there are intricate details to this legal process that should be taken into consideration before decisions are made about filing for bankruptcy. Who qualifies? Which kind would apply to you? And will you be able to keep your property? There are many such questions that arise in such a situation. It would be a good idea to consult a competent bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through these complicated decisions and procedures.

Filing for bankruptcy cannot be the solution to all your financial problems though. In fact, bankruptcy cannot cover all kinds of debts. Common kinds of debts that bankruptcy does cover are credit card debts, medical bills and unsecured loans. However, debts related to child and spouse support and other tax debts cannot be covered in bankruptcy.