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Bankruptcies down but continue to provide options

The latest statistics from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court show that the number of bankruptcy filings in New York has continued to fall. In western New York's Buffalo/Rochester region, the number fell 8.7 percent last year, to 4,423. As of this writing, final figures for the Long Island area had not yet been tallied.

Although bankruptcy filings may have fallen in parts of New York, many individuals continue to live with the stress and strain of financial uncertainty and debt which can result from unanticipated circumstances such as a job loss.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered a liquidation bankruptcy which provides for the liquidation of assets to repay creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is considered a reorganization bankruptcy that allows the filing party to reorganize debts to repay them over a 60-month period of time according to a repayment plan developed through the bankruptcy process. Because of the unique situations individuals seeking to file bankruptcy may find themselves in, different personal bankruptcy options are available.

To qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, the filing party generally must earn equal to or less than the median income in the state where they reside to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another alternative that is usually utilized by parties filing for bankruptcy that have a reliable source of income to make repayment plan payments according to the bankruptcy process reorganization of their debts.

Either option for personal bankruptcy can provide relief from debt and fresh financial start for individuals burdened with worries of overwhelming debt. Because there are requirements to file for certain types of bankruptcy, and the process can sometimes be complex, it is important to be knowledgeable concerning the different options available when considering filing for bankruptcy.

Source: The Buffalo News, "Western New York bankruptcy filings fall 8.7 percent," Jan. 5, 2016

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