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The first job of any bankruptcy attorney is to help consumers choose the right form of bankruptcy to deal with their situation. The consequences of making the wrong choice can be heartbreaking. In general, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be used to discharge debt where the debtor cannot pay creditors, and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be used when a debtor wants to protect property that would be lost in a Chapter 7, or the debtor has the ability to pay something to creditors.

Filing the wrong kind of bankruptcy may jeopardize your property.

If you are behind on mortgage or car payments, for example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may temporarily delay a foreclosure or repossession. Chapter 7 does not avoid foreclosures or repossession if you can’t get caught up on payments fairly quickly. A Chapter 13, on the other hand, may stop a foreclosure and provide a way to get caught up on payments through a repayment plan. In some cases, a Chapter 13 plan may pay just what a car or truck is worth if that is less than the full amount of the loan.