Bad Credit? Get help today
Given the current economic times, many Californians are in debt. Many of them have been building debt throughout their lives, and because of our current economy, many Californians are finding it difficult to pay their bills – which is only making the amount of debt owed larger. There are counselors available to help you find the best way for you to get out of debt – from consolidation to filing for bankruptcy.
To find an approved credit counseling service in your area visit the U.S. Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_ approved.htm. This site also provides information in languages other than English.
When You File Bankruptcy
There are times when filing for bankruptcy is the best option to get in control of your debt. You can choose the kind of bankruptcy that best meets your needs (provided you meet certain qualifications):
Chapter 7 – A trustee is appointed to take over your property. Any property of value will be sold or turned into money to pay your creditors. You may be able to keep some personal items and possibly real estate depending on the law of the State where you live and applicable federal laws.
Chapter 13 – You can usually keep your property, but you must earn wages or have some other source of regular income and you must agree to pay part of your income to your creditors. The court must approve your repayment plan and your budget. A trustee is appointed and will collect the payments from you, pay your creditors, and make sure you live up to the terms of your repayment plan.
Chapter 12 – Like chapter 13, but it is only for family farmers and family fishermen.
Chapter 11 – This is used mostly by businesses. In chapter 11, you may continue to operate your business, but your creditors and the court must approve a plan to repay your debts. There is no trustee unless the judge decides that one is necessary; if a trustee is appointed, the trustee takes control of your business and property.
If you have already filed bankruptcy under chapter 7, you may be able to change your case to another chapter. Your bankruptcy may be reported on your credit record for as long as ten years. It can affect your ability to receive credit in the future. Information from the United States Department of Justice and can be found online at www.justice.gov