You can discharge most, if not all, your unsecured debts (e.g., medical debt and credit card balances). You can catch up on past due mortgage payments. You may be able to avoid second mortgages in some cases. You can cram down loans for cars and investment property under certain circumstances.
Your score will bottom out, but that may not be as big a drop as you think. We have even seen cases where a filing can actually improve ones score. Many of our clients work with a consultant while emerging from bankruptcy to bring the score up significantly in 2-3 years.
A Chapter 7 case usually lasts 4-5 months, but can extend to as much as a year if the estate is complex or difficult; A Chapter 11 case can take from approximately a year to several years; A Chapter 13 case typically extends 3-5 years.
If you have property that is largely exempt and your household income is at or below the median, you might benefit most by filing a Chapter 7 case.
A Chapter 7 case generally has the most economic benefit because most unsecured debt can be discharged in full. However, a Chapter 13 case can provide significant benefit in the form of avoided or reduced secured debts. A Chapter 11 case is generally the most expensive since it is utilized primarily by corporations or individuals with significant income and debt/assets.
No. Every debt must be reported in your bankruptcy case, along with all of your assets.
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