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Bankruptcy involves the filing of a petition in order to get protection from creditors. This relief may be available in the form of either a Chapter 7 liquidation, where the debtor makes little or no payment to his or her creditors, or a Chapter 13 reorganization, where a debtor repays all or a portion of his or her debts through a court-appointed trustee. A Chapter 13 reorganization is mormally chosen when a debtor has too many assets (that is, assets that are worth more than certain exempt amounts) to qualify for a Chapter 7 case. The Chapter 13 case involves paying the debtor's disposable income to the trustee for anywhere from 24 to 60 months, assuming payment of this income is sufficient to cover the value of non-exempt assets.

Most people who file bankruptcy are able to keep their home and vehicles, provided they are able to continue paying any loans associated with these assets.

I subscribe to two online services which connect me to the bankruptcy clerk's office.

Amendments to the bankruptcy laws in 2005 now require that you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your annual gross income does not exceed the state median income. If it exceeds the state median income for your family size, then you may have to file a Chapter 13 case and repay a portion of your debt. The new law also requires that you engage in some basic debt counseling (available over the phone with outside sources) before you file your case and some additional counseling while the case is progressing.

Feel free to call or email me with any questions you might have.