A person who is struggling to pay their bills because of high payments due on credit accounts and medical bills might opt to pursue a bankruptcy. For people who have an income, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the most appropriate option.
When you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are put on a payment plan with the bankruptcy trustee. This gives you a chance to reorganize your debts so that you can afford to make the payment for them. You'll make these payments regularly for three to five years, depending on the case. At the end of that period, any balances will be discharged, so you won't owe them as long as you made all the required payments.
Filing for this type of bankruptcy means that you might lose some assets. All assets are categorized as either exempt or nonexempt. The exempt ones are those that the court won't take. Nonexempt ones are liquidated to help you pay off more of your debts. Learn about what assets fall under which category before you file.
As soon as you file your case, the court will issue an automatic stay, so you won't have to worry about collection attempts. Remember, there are some debts that aren't covered in this type of bankruptcy. These include child support arrears and student loans.
The decision to file bankruptcy is a big one. Be sure that you understand what responsibilities you have so that you can determine whether you meet those or not. Failing to meet them could mean that your debts aren't discharged, so you'd still be responsible for paying the creditors.