Generally speaking, consumers will file one of two different types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, according to an FAQ sheet from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy as a small business, you likely will need to learn more about either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy and how these types of bankruptcy can help you.
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy? In brief, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what is known as a “no-asset bankruptcy.” If you have any non-exempt assets, they can be sold by the bankruptcy trustee. Most debtors have few or no assets that are not exempt from the process. You can read more about exemptions here. After discharge, the debtor will get a fresh start and will, in effect, get to start over financially without owing creditors. While it can be difficult to obtain credit in the period immediately following Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor who files can immediately begin rebuilding his or her credit once the bankruptcy discharge has gone through.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different from Chapter 7 in that it allows a debtor to repay any past due payments on a home or a car. The debtor will develop a repayment plan. This plan will clarify how much each creditor will be repaid and over what amount of time. The repayment plan will have to be approved by the bankruptcy court. Once the debtor has satisfied the terms of the repayment plan, the rest of the dischargeable debt will be discharged and he or she will have a fresh start.