Most people who file or are considering filing for bankruptcy hold erroneous ideas about how the whole process actually works. This is understandable since this is a very complex facet of the law. That is why if you are filing or thinking about filing, you need to hire a bankruptcy attorney. They will walk you through the whole process and tell you what property you will have to sell, what property you get to keep, and how much time it might take to rebuild your finances.

A lot of people erroneously believe that it will take a very long time to get back on solid financial ground after declaring. This is not the case. While, yes, your credit score may be affected for anywhere up to ten years, people who act reasonably and responsibly with their finances see their credit ratings go back down to a comparable level as someone who has never filed.

If you are married, both spouses do not need to declare. In fact, it is preferable, if only one party of the married couple had significant debt, that party should be the one to declare bankruptcy. Despite the fact that you will need an experienced bankruptcy attorney, filings of this nature generally takes little time. It is possible to go from declaration and filing to debt discharge within six months time.

Let’s look at a few different types of bankruptcy, chapter seven filings and chapter thirteen filings, both of which apply to individuals and not corporations.

Chapter seven filings are ideal for people who have few assets. Your things will be taken and sold to pay off your debtors, and if any balance of your debt remains the court will discharge it. This is also ideal for an individual with a lot of unsecured debt. Unsecured debt is things like medical bills, student loans, and credit card bills. Secured debt is debt that a creditor can repossess your property over, if you fail to pay.

The other filing, is a chapter thirteen filing. Chapter thirteen filings are ideal for individuals with a steady income and a lot of secured debt. In this scenario your debt will be reorganized and paid back over a period of three to five years. In these situations you will most likely be able to hold onto your most valuable assets like your house and your car.

Bankruptcy is a big decision and can be frightening. Get a seasoned bankruptcy attorney to work for you, and help lead you through this troubling time in your life.