Financial hardships can take a toll on anyone. For many Missourians facing mounting debt, bankruptcy can seem like a lifeline. Our Castle Law team breaks down the key differences and resources available to help you make informed decisions about your financial future.
Chapter 7: A Fresh Start Through Liquidation
Think of Chapter 7 as a financial reset button. A court-appointed trustee will liquidate non-exempt assets (those exceeding Missouri's generous exemptions) to pay off your debts. In exchange, most eligible debts, like credit cards and medical bills, are discharged, providing a clean slate.
- Quick relief: Discharge typically occurs within months.
- Eliminates significant debt: You can walk away from crippling financial burdens.
- Protects exempt assets: Keep essential belongings like your home and car (within limits).
- Liquidation of assets: You may lose some non-exempt property.
- Credit score impact: Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years, impacting your ability to borrow.
- Not for everyone: Income and asset restrictions apply.
Chapter 13: Repayment Plans for Regaining Control
With Chapter 13, you keep your assets but commit to a 3-5 year repayment plan to pay back a portion of your debt. This plan, crafted with a trustee and approved by the court, can restructure your debt, reduce interest rates, and stop creditor harassment.
- Retain your assets: No liquidation risk for most Missouri residents.
- Reduce debt and interest: Potentially negotiate lower payments and interest rates.
- Rebuild credit: Successful completion can show responsible financial management.
- Long-term commitment: Requires sustained financial discipline for several years.
- Less debt discharged: Not all debts get eliminated, and some may only be partially paid.
- Higher upfront costs: May require upfront court fees
Navigating bankruptcy can be complex. Fortunately, Missouri and Castle Law Office offer valuable resources to guide you through the process. Remember, bankruptcy is a big decision. Consulting with a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
Our Kansas City bankruptcy lawyers want you to succeed after filing for bankruptcy and we'll do everything in our power to make that happen. Give us a call at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney about your financial situation, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.