Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a great decision if you’re finding yourself in serious financial trouble. Bankruptcy frees you from much of your debt, grants you the opportunity to pay off the remainder of your debt, and gives you a chance to start over fresh. However, when the time comes to hire experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Rancho Bernardo, CA, you’re faced with a choice between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Should I file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

There are numerous differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so it can be very difficult to actually choose the best type for your particular situation. That’s why it’s best to get as much information about both of these forms of bankruptcy before you make the decision regarding your future.

To make it easier for yourself to choose, it’s best to explore the basic characteristics of both these forms of bankruptcy across different categories and perform an in-depth analysis and comparison before choosing. Here are the most important features of these two distinct types of bankruptcy:

Characteristics of Chapter 7

Some of the most important characteristics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy are:


To become eligible for this form of bankruptcy, you first need to successfully complete and pass your means test. Another conditioning for filing Chapter 7 is to have not filed the same bankruptcy during the past eight years. Finally, you have to wait at least 180 days of your last bankruptcy petition before you can attempt to file this chapter again.


This type of bankruptcy serves to discharge the majority of unsecured debt. The trustee has the ability to sell your nonexempt assets, pay off a significant portion of your debt, and grant you a clean slate for the future.


On average, this bankruptcy process takes anywhere from three to four months to successfully finalize.


Chapter 7 is complex to file, as you have to assemble a comprehensive documentation and many legal forms, as well as navigate through demanding legal issues.

Characteristics of Chapter 13

The most important features Chapter 13 bankruptcy consists of are:


If you’re looking to file Chapter 12 bankruptcy, your secured debt cannot be over $1,257,859, while your secured debt cannot go over $419,275. You also have to show proof of regular income and be current on all your tax filings.

What’s more, this form of bankruptcy requires you to wait at least two years after the least Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and four years after the last Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Finally, you have to wait 180 days after making an unsuccessful claim before you can try filing for this form of bankruptcy again.


This type of bankruptcy involves the formulation of a repayment plan that lasts from three to five years, depending on current situation and regular income. This way, you receive a manageable monthly payment that allows you to live normally while dealing with your remaining debt.


The duration of filing for this type of bankruptcy is similar to that of Chapter 7. However, it takes a lot longer to pay off all your debt through manageable monthly installments, so the entire process can become final in as many as five years.


In general, the filing process, this chapter is easier than Chapter 7. However, it does involve submission of a detailed repayment plan and schedule that you should closely follow in the coming years.

Which bankruptcy attorneys in Rancho Bernardo, CA can help me choose my bankruptcy?

If you’ve started the process of deciding between the two different types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, it means you’ve recognized all the signs it’s time to file for bankruptcy and you’ve started preparing for the process. Just don’t forget to explore the different types of debt in a bankruptcy, and get familiar with the common mistakes individuals make on their means test, as this is essential for a successful Chapter 7 procedure.

Or you can take the easier and better route and enlist assistance from your reputable local bankruptcy lawyers in Rancho Bernardo – Chang & Diamond. We’re here to help you choose the most appropriate type of bankruptcy for you and safely bring you into your favorable financial future. Reach out to us today and we’ll do everything in our power to quickly resolve your troubles and allow you to visit San Dieguito River Park with a clean mind again!