Faced with all the issues in considering bankruptcy, it can be hard to get your arms around the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
|Lower initial cost- generally more expensive than 7 over the life of the plan
|Generally less expensive than 13 depending on issues and locality
|Case can be filed quicker because fees can be paid through plan.
|Case can’t be filed until all fees are paid.
|7 years from the date of filing in major credit reporting agencies
|10 years from the date of filing.
|Trustee generally supportive of your bankruptcy choice.
|More scrutiny. UST charged with finding “abusers”.
|You keep all your assets
|You keep all exempt assets; trustee may liquidate non-exempt assets.
|You have absolute right to dismiss the case; can convert to Chapter 7
|Dismissal unavailable; trustee directs case. Conversion to 13 possible
|Broader discharge in 13
|More debts survive 7
|Voluntary Secured debts
|Cure payable over life of plan-strip down may be possible
|Liens survive discharge
|Filing fee $281
|Filing fee $306
|Repayment excluded from allowable expenses for means test
There are lots of other differences that an experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain.