Is Bankruptcy the Best Choice for You?

Updated January 15, 2024
9 min read
Is Bankruptcy the Best Choice for You?


Are you struggling with rapidly increasing debts and don't see a way out? One of the best tools that we can suggest is bankruptcy. It is often regarded as a last resort, but is filing for bankruptcy bad? Often, it may become your best option when you can't afford to pay what you owe.

To determine your financial standing, take inventory of all your liquid assets. This should include college savings accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, vehicles, and retirement funds. If you find that your asset value is less than the amount of debt you owe, declaring bankruptcy may be the way out of a difficult financial situation. In this article, we will discuss the obligations and qualifications required to file for bankruptcy.

Requirements for Bankruptcy

While bankruptcy is one tool that may give you relief from your unpaid loans, it is still a problem to solve. There are certain criteria that must be met before opting for it:

  1. No previous records: As per the law, if you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should have a clean record for the past eight years, which means you have not filed for bankruptcy within that time frame.

  2. Ample income for approval: In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the person filing will be required to prove that they have a regular source of income and may need to meet further parameters regarding annual salary.

  3. Wait if rejected: For Chapters 7 and 13, getting denied means you'll have to wait for another 181 days to refile.

Most Common Kinds of Personal Bankruptcy

The requirements and regulations for Chapters 7 and 13 are the same across the board, globally. Chapters 7 and 13 are explained in detail below:

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 of bankruptcy is most commonly known as "liquidation," and it is the most immediate form of bankruptcy. If you are wondering, "Should I file for bankruptcy?" it's crucial to understand the consequences of each type. Liquidation is preferable for those who owe unsecured amounts, such as credit card bills, personal loans, and medical expenses. In terms of the dilemma of when to file bankrupcy, Chapter 7 can be an option when the debt is overwhelming and there is no reasonable expectation to pay it off.

Get yourself a template of a ready-made liquidation agreement, a document that ensures a smooth settlement between two or more business partners, usually when dissolving a business.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13, which is another form of bankruptcy, also has a second name called "wage earners." Compared to Chapter 7, it is sometimes considered a more stable and reliable option as it converts your debt into a monthly payment plan for three to five years.

Chapter 13 is for those who want to attain secured debts. If you're questioning, "Should I file for bankruptcy?" you might consider Chapter 13. It will allow you to avoid foreclosure and repossession. Besides, it may be helpful if you have debts that are not dischargeable under Chapter 7. The decision of when to file bankruptcy under Chapter 13 generally depends on the urgency of your situation and your ability to meet the requirements.

Importance of an Attorney for Bankruptcy Cases

"Is filing for bankruptcy a good idea?" is the most common question people ask. In short, it always depends on your situation. In any case, hiring an attorney for bankruptcy cases is a must, and doing it without one can be complicated and arduous. Because filing for bankruptcy is such a lengthy process, it requires proper guidance and expert involvement. Give us a call to speak with a professional.

Consequences and Outcome of Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy often gives debtors the feeling of a fresh start. You might be asking yourself, "Is bankruptcy right for me?" If so, keep in mind that while Chapter 7 (liquidation) wipes away your debt, Chapter 13 (the wage earners plan) gives you the ability to develop a three to five-year plan to repay all your debt.

It is a well-known consequence that bankruptcy is not going to leave a healthy mark on your credit report. However, is filing bankruptcy bad? While it can have negative impacts, if you're already considering bankruptcy, it's likely that your credit score is already damaged. Your credit report may not endure that much more damage, especially if you remain consistent with paying your bills after declaring bankruptcy.

Is bankruptcy a good idea? Depending on your case, bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven to ten years. A Chapter 7 case stays on your report for ten years, and a Chapter 13 case — for seven years. You will likely suffer the loss of many of your assets, and it may add some temporary stress to your life. However, the trade-off is erasing most or all of your debt. One factor that you should always keep in mind is that once you file for bankruptcy, you cannot do so again for the next eight years.


So, is filing bankruptcy a good idea? Dealing with overwhelming debt can be a daunting experience, but options like bankruptcy can provide an avenue toward financial recovery. It's essential to understand the specific requirements, consequences, and potential outcomes of filing for bankruptcy, whether it's Chapter 7's liquidation or Chapter 13's payment plan.

While it's true that declaring bankruptcy can impact your credit report, it can also offer a fresh start and provide a structured way to clear outstanding debts. Remember that it's highly recommended to seek legal guidance on when to file for bankruptcies. Professional attorneys can help provide clarity and support and assist in navigating the inherent complexities of bankruptcy proceedings.

Article by
Benson T. Pitts

Benson T. Pitts is a board-certified specialist in consumer bankruptcy law. He is a National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the North Carolina Bar Association member. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2003 and his J.D. in 2008 from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and son and playing golf when he can.