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In the old days, a bankruptcy was thought of as a failure. You would be marked with the metaphorical scarlet letter, refused credit and shunned by the system. Those were the old days. Now the stigma associated with bankruptcy has all but disappeared, and it’s considered just another financial move; a way to get a fresh financial start.

That’s because people understand that sometimes you end up in a situation you never could have foreseen. Maybe you are dealing with a sudden job loss and having trouble making ends meet. Perhaps you suffered an injury that’s made it impossible to make a living. Or you’ve had a string of bad luck that’s made it hard to stay up to date on the bills. Whatever the reason, bankruptcy may be an option for you.

There are two common types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Both come with their own set of pros and cons. For instance, Chapter 7 will wipe out your debts but creditors may be able to take some property as payment. Chapter 13 lets you keep all your property but will put you on a payment plan.

No two cases are exactly the same. What works for one person may not work for you. In addition, the ins and outs of filing for bankruptcy can be overly complicated. That’s why it may be in your best interests to speak with an attorney. He or she can find the right option for you and help you down the road to financial freedom.