Should I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The most common question I get from clients is what type of bankruptcy I think they should file.  In some cases there is a clear benefit from one type of case over the other.  In many cases both of them will be just fine.

It is possible that someone could want a chapter 7 bankruptcy and not be able to qualify for it.  Sometimes people make too much money or they cannot do a chapter 7 because they have a prior chapter 7 within the last 8 years. It is also possible that you could want a chapter 13 bankruptcy and not be able to qualify for it.  Sometimes there is no money available to make the minimal monthly payment needed to fund a case.

In most cases however a client will be able to file either type of case.  Each kind of bankruptcy has a very different effect on your life and the outcomes may be very different not just for each type of case but for each person.  Sometimes very small differences in the facts between one person and another will create a very different outcome.

Lawyers are a sensitive group of people despite our fearsome representations on television and in the movies.  We often worry about the advice we are giving and how it will come across to the people seeking us out.  Bankruptcy attorneys are no different from any other attorneys.  I spend an enormous amount of time going over the facts of individual cases and trying to determine the best course of action for my clients.

No matter what I think the best course of action is it is not up to me to decide for someone what type of case they should file if they qualify for both types of bankruptcy.  A bankruptcy attorney should go over your options and explain both of them and if you qualify for both you should decide which one to file.

There is no doubt I will give you my opinion.  I don’t have any problem telling you what I think and leading you in the direction I think is best for you.  But I will not substitute my opinion for your choice.

If you go to a bankruptcy attorney in Kansas you should find that they are covering both of your options for a consumer bankruptcy case.  Even if you call an attorney and you tell them what type of case you want to file they should still cover all your choices in chapter 7 and chapter 13.  In fact, when a case is filed one of the things your lawyer must sign off on is a statement to the bankruptcy court that they covered your bankruptcy options with you before the case was filed.  This is a mandatory part of the documents that are filed as part of the case.

Be careful of an attorney that only covers one option.  Yes, that might the best option for you, but it is still your choice and they are still required to cover both options.  If an attorney does not explain your options then in a way they are robbing you of your fundamental rights by making the decision for you.  This is a big deal because attorneys do not have the power to decide for you if you qualify for both options.

If you have any questions about what the bankruptcy process would be like for you please contact our office.  One of our bankruptcy attorneys will be happy to sit down with you and go over all of your options.

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