The most common personal bankruptcy in Illinois is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The court sells most of your assets and uses the proceeds to pay as much of your debt as possible. If you choose a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead, you’ll draft a plan to pay off secured debts and as much unsecured debt as possible over a specified length of time. Bankruptcy may be the solution to your debt problems, or it may not – it isn’t for everyone. You’ll want to discuss your situation with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer, and you’ll want to consider these advantages and disadvantages of personal bankruptcy. Some of the advantages of bankruptcy are:

– Most of your debts are wiped out, so you’ll get a fresh financial start.
– Bankruptcy allows you to keep specified, exempted property.
– Bankruptcy stops wage garnishments, foreclosures, repossessions, utility shutoffs, and harassment by collectors.
– Employers and governmental agencies may not discriminate or retaliate against you because you file for bankruptcy.
– If your driver’s license has been suspended for not paying a debt that is wiped out in bankruptcy, you can have your license restored.

Depending on your personal circumstances, your lawyer may recommend debt negotiation or some other alternative to bankruptcy. Some of the reasons you may not want to file for bankruptcy include:

– A bankruptcy remains on your credit report for seven to ten years.
– Obtaining credit after bankruptcy may be harder and costlier.
– You may have to return some property that hasn’t been entirely paid for.
– You may only file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once in an eight-year period.
– You may be able to protect yourself without having to file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can put you back on the road to financial freedom, and it can offer you some legal protections along the way, but again, it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering bankruptcy, don’t act before discussing all of your legal rights, options, and obligations with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re struggling right now with overwhelming debt in the Chicago area, make the call today.