Chapter 7, Chapter 13

What Takes Longer: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

If you are filing for bankruptcy, the length of the process is dependent on the chapter. Individuals typically file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. There are qualifying criteria for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and the length of the process is dictated by your financial circumstances and bankruptcy laws. Which Chapter works best for you depends on your individual circumstances and various factors, such as your income and the types and amounts of your assets and debts.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors must satisfy the conditions of a means test. If your income is higher than the state median income for a family of your size in the state, you may not pass a Chapter 7 means test. The means test is designed to determine whether debtors have enough disposable income to pay creditors. However, you can deduct certain expenses, which may result in passing the means test.

Debtors who earn lower than the median income for the state may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, based on the fact that low income debtors do not have the disposable income to pay unsecured creditors. However, other factors also are considered in determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process typically takes between four to six months. Each case is different and the complexities of your finances may result in the process taking longer. Even if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 may be a better option for you. You should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your options.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The length of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is dictated by how much income you possess. If you earn less than the median for a family of your size in the state, you may have a payment plan of three years. Debtors who earn more than the median income for the state are required to pay off debts over a five year period. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who have a regular income and can commit to repaying creditors over a period of time. However, even if you could propose a three-year plan, you may still pay for up to five years, depending on the amount of debts you must pay in your plan.

What you pay in a Chapter 13 plan depends on the types of debts you have. Every case is very individual, and your plan will be based on your unique circumstances. Once the term of the Chapter 13 is complete, most unsecured debts are discharged. It is important to use the period of time during a Chapter 13 to reorganize your debts and regain financial stability.

Bankruptcy Consultation

If you are having financial difficulties and need to consider filing for bankruptcy, it may help to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer. H. Lehman Franklin P.C. is a reputable bankruptcy firm in Georgia. We can provide expert guidance and representation throughout the process of filing. Each individual’s financial circumstances are unique and filing for bankruptcy is an important step towards getting your debt under control. Our team is here to help ensure you make the right choices in your Georgia bankruptcy case. For further information on the qualification criteria for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia, you can reach out to the offices of H. Lehman Franklin P.C. Call today so we can help take some of the stress of your shoulders when you file for bankruptcy. Reach out at 912-764-9616 or you can email our offices at