There are two distinct types of bankruptcy for individuals and married couples. With Chapter 7, you can discharge your unsecured debts and never have to repay them to your creditors. However, if you choose this type of bankruptcy, you may have to forfeit or sell your personal property and you may lose your home. If you are deep in debt but you want to keep your valuable belongings and your house, there is another option.

A Chapter 13 Lawyer in Oak Park IL can help you decide if this using this part of the bankruptcy code to reduce your debts is right for you and your family. Chapter 13 is very different from Chapter 7 and it isn’t a good choice for everyone. However, if you have a steady and stable income that is sufficient to pay at least your mortgage and some of your other bills, you may be a good candidate.

This is also a good choice for people who have mostly secured debts, family debts and student loans as opposed to credit card debt and outstanding medical bills. Secured debts, such as a mortgage, cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When a homeowner who is at risk of foreclosure files under Chapter 13, though, they can make up their missed payments over the three to five year repayment period and potentially keep their home. Your Chapter 13 Lawyer in Oak Park IL can help you understand how this works.

Family debts such as child support and alimony are also not discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, if you file for protection under Chapter 13, you may be able to make up arrears and keep yourself out of legal trouble by making current payments on time. Your former spouse and children will be happy and you will have less outstanding debt. Most student loans have to be repaid. While lenders often work with borrowers to develop feasible payment plans outside of bankruptcy, if you are going to file for debt relief, it makes sense to include your student loans in your repayment plan. By including them, you will not have to make a separate payment to the lender every month. Visit  for more information about how Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you.