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Bankruptcy as a useful tool of debt relief

For many Americans, debt can be a daunting and sometimes insurmountable obstacle in day-to-day life. Experts here in Connecticut and elsewhere often attribute debt problems to poor planning, but it is equally likely that a family could benefit from debt relief if they have incurred medical debt or other unsecured debt that could not be helped. Thankfully, there are a variety of forms of bankruptcy filing that can remove the specter of debt from a family's financial purview. 

Chapter 7 is one of the most common types of bankruptcy, in which a trustee is appointed to oversee the process.  Once an evaluation of assets and debts is complete, the trustee will be charged with liquidating assets as necessary to pay back creditors. In most cases, unsecured debt like credit card and medical debt is completely discharged. Further, state and federal exemptions allow filers to keep some or even all of their property.

Another option is Chapter 13, which is more commonly used as a tool of debt reorganization. This option tends to be more geared toward individuals who have the ability to pay off debt gradually, typically over three to fiver years, rather than requiring a "clean slate" alternative. Chapter 13 allows the filer to propose a debt reorganization plan, which must be approved by the court before it can be put into effect. 

Seemingly insurmountable debt is not the end of the world. Many Connecticut residents have successfully found debt relief options that work best for them through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. By securing the support of a dedicated bankruptcy attorney, individuals and families can work together to build a more stable financial future. 

Source: nav.com, "What You Need to Know About Filing for Bankruptcy", John Tucker, Jan. 24, 2018

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