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When someone living in the Miami area makes the decision to address their financial difficulties via a bankruptcy filing, they are taking charge of their financial wellbeing. Choosing to move forward in their lives rather than continue to labor over difficulties is not the end of it however. The next step is to work with a bankruptcy lawyer to determine the best way to proceed.

There are generally two routes in consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which option is best depends on a variety of factors including the amount of debt and the amount of money regularly coming in.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies are appropriate for individuals who have little of no income. Certain assets of the debtor will be sold and the proceeds disbursed to creditors. This process is generally fairly quick and before long the consumer will be off to a fresh financial start.

Individuals who have some income may find that they qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under this type of bankruptcy a payment plan, that lasts between three and five years, is created. If during that period of time regular payments are made, once the time is up, the remaining qualifying debt will be discharged.

Many individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy are worried about losing their house or car in the process. Under either chapter it may be possible to keep both. Individuals who qualify for a Chapter 7 filing will be able to hold on to certain assets, if they are deemed to be exempt. Generally these exemptions cover vehicles. In either type of filing, if a filer can continue to make house payments they can usually keep their house as well.

Because there are many nuances to filing for bankruptcy working with a bankruptcy attorney one trusts is vital.

Source: WOOD TV, “Navigating debt relief and bankruptcy,” David Andersen, Feb. 19, 2013