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Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson, PLLC

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Choices

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: October 2, 2013

People sometimes ask what’s the difference between a “lawyer” and an “attorney?”

It’s a good question. In the United States, there is no difference between an attorney and a lawyer. The US has a united legal profession meaning that there is no distinction between lawyers who try cases in court and those that do not.

However, in most countries, there is a clear difference between these two roles.

In Canada, England and Australia, the role of lawyer and attorney are quite different. These jurisdictions operate under common law. Within these countries, there are additional legal roles that do not exist in the US.

Although in the United States there is no real difference between an attorney, lawyer, counselor at law and the like, when it comes to bankruptcy, there are numerous different types of bankruptcy and numerous different results and rights that are involved.

Before we talk about the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, let’s talk about the similarities.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies:
  1. 1Cancel current or pending garnishments of wages, salary, income, bank accounts. We can put a game plan together and counsel you through the legal process so you can take control of your financial situation. Save your paycheck and protect your funds from creditors. For unsecured debt, it freezes the interest that creditors can charge.
  2. If a creditor takes more than $600 from you within 90 days, as your representative we can recover the funds for you.
  3. Stop pending real estate foreclosure. However, this is a situation where filing a Chapter 13 might be more beneficial because under a legally approved Chapter 13 plan, you are allowed to keep your house and get time to cure the missed payments at zero percent interest.
  4. You need to provide the court with your last filed IRS tax return. In the case of a Chapter 13, you also need to have filed your tax return for the prior 4 years.
  5. For both cases, the Means Test is very important to determine your options.

When it comes to the differences, there are several and the selection of which one is best for you depends on your unique situation. Everyone is different. That is why I meet with you in person to go over the big picture.

  • If you file a Chapter 7, you cannot file another Chapter 7 for 8 years.
  • If you file a Chapter 13, there are several different timelines that apply. Even is you filed a Chapter 7 fewer than 8 years ago, you can still file a Chapter 13 to take control of your financial situation. However, there are several different timelines and results that can occur. That’s why we meet in person to discuss those scenerios.
  • In a Chapter 7, you do not make payment toward any debt that you do not want to reaffirm and keep.
  • In a Chapter 13, you make payments toward your creditors based on what you can afford. However, there are numerous different components in making that decision.

You need to use your best judgement to stop the creditor’s judgment against you. Take control of you situation and protect your assets by retaining the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson as your representative. Stop creditor harassment, cancel debt and prevent creditors from taking your federally protected assets. Give us a call and find out your options.

Over the past 32 years, we have helped over 2,300 people take control of their lives and we can help you as well.

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