Determining the Difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

For more resources on filing bankruptcy please check out The United States Courts.

  • What If...

    I am behind on my mortgage payments?
    I am behind on my car payments?
    I owe back taxes to the IRS?
    My income is above the Oklahoma median income for a family my size?
    I filed for bankruptcy a few years ago?
    I owe mostly medical and credit card (unsecured) bills?
    I am behind on my child support payments?
    I own property that is not "exempt" (luxury goods, second homes, interests in businesses or investments)?
    I owe money on student loans?
    I owe criminal fines or restitution?
  • Chapter 7

    You can discharge your mortgage debt, but the mortgage company can foreclose on your home.
    You can discharge your car loan debt, but the lender can repossess your car.
    Certain types of older taxes can be discharged. Recent taxes and trust fund taxes (such as payroll taxes) cannot be discharged.
    You may not be eligible for Chapter 7 relief unless unusual circumstances exist.
    You are not eligible for Chapter 7 if you received a bankruptcy discharge within the past 8 years.
    You can discharge these debts (subject to your eligibility for Chapter 7).
    Chapter 7 does not prevent collection of past due child support, including contempt proceedings.
    Non-exempt property will be sold and the proceeds paid to your creditors.
    Student loans cannot be discharged except in cases of "undue hardship".
    Chapter 7 will not protect you from collection of criminal fines or restitution.
  • Chapter 13

    You can propose a repayment plan that allows you to keep your home.
    You can propose a repayment plan that allows you to keep your car.
    Certain tax debts must be paid in full in your repayment plan. Some taxes can still be discharged.
    Your repayment plan will be based on your ability to repay your debts.
    You can repay your debts through a repayment plan. However, if you received a Chapter 7 discharge within the past 4 years or a Chapter 13 discharge within the past 2 years, you can not receive another discharge.
    These debts can either be paid through a repayment plan or discharged.
    You can repay your past due support debts in your repayment plan. You are required to remain current on continuing support payments.
    You can keep your non-exempt property by repaying your debts in Chapter 13.
    Student loans cannot be discharged except in cases of "undue hardship." Student loans are treated like other unsecured debts; you can repay them partially or in full depending on your ability to pay.
    Chapter 13 will not protect you from collection of criminal fines or restitution.