Bankruptcy laws give debtors a way to resolve debt by dividing their assets among their various creditors and in some cases will allow debtors to be freed of outstanding debts that cannot be paid, even after the division of assets. For individuals who find themselves unable to pay their debts, bankruptcy can be a viable option. As a debtor, you are entitled to file for bankruptcy. There have been recent changes to bankruptcy laws that may affect your ability to discharge your debts without credit counseling, but individuals who have found themselves unable to pay their debts can still file bankruptcy and be freed of outstanding debts.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is normally used by individuals wanting to rid themselves of all accumulated debt, and is the most frequently used method of filing bankruptcy. Businesses who wish to completely liquidate assets and close permanently can also file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, individuals are allowed to keep certain property such as their home and perhaps their vehicle, but may still lose some property in the proceedings. During the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, the debtor's assets are controlled by a trustee and will be divided among the various creditors as the trustee sees fit. After the bankruptcy has been discharged, control of any remaining property is placed back in the hands of the debtor and all outstanding debts will have been removed.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies are for individuals who wish to pay their debts but are unable to do so. Chapter 13 allows individuals to reorganize their debts and restructure payment arrangements so that debts may be repaid over time. Chapter 11 bankruptcies are used predominantly by businesses that wish to reorganize the repayment of outstanding debts and continue operating in a regular manner.
Filing bankruptcy can be a way out of debt for many people and businesses. You should consult with a debt relief organization and/or an attorney to find out if bankruptcy is an option in your particular situation.