Chapter 7 is a section of the federal Bankruptcy Code that allows for the cancellation of most types of personal debts without a repayment plan and the possibility of the sale of some types of nonexempt property to pay such debts. Chapter 7 is the easiest form of bankruptcy to file for because it involves the liquidating of property and the proceeds being used to repay debts. When filing under Chapter 7, you are allowed to keep certain property, and whatever property remains is turned over to the court to be sold. If you have the minimum amount or nonexempt assets, more than likely your debts will be discharged without your having to pay anything on them.
The purpose of Chapter 13 is to enable financially distressed debtors, under the protection and supervision of the Court, to propose and carry out a repayment plan by which creditors are paid over an extended period of time. Under this chapter, debtors are permitted to repay creditors in full or in part, in installments over a three to five year period, during which time creditors are prohibited from starting or continuing collection efforts. In no case may a plan provide for payments over a period that is more than five years.
Any individual, even if self-employed or operating an unincorporated business, is eligible for Chapter 13 relief as long as the individual’s unsecured debts are less than $336,900.00 and secured debts are less than $1,010,650.00.