If you are going to be filing for bankruptcy, you might be, or be forced to be, filing under Chapter 7. If you are a business, this means that the business is going to be ceasing operations and having a Chapter 7 Trustee appointed right away, who will sell all of the assets and distribute the money to the creditors. It might or might not mean that the people who work for you will lose their jobs. Sometimes, when a company is sold off, it is kept intact or partially intact, and business might proceed as usual, simply with a different person in charge.
Chapter 7 can also be filed by an individual. This is going to mean that you can keep certain property that is exempt. However, some liens, such as real estate mortgages, are going to be kept intact. Any assets that are not exempt are going to be sold off by the trustee in order to pay back the creditors. This is going to mean that the other types of unsecured debts that you have will be canceled. Even though most other types of unsecured debt are canceled, there are some that you are still going to have to be responsible for. This includes child support, most taxes, most student loans and any fines or restitutions that you are responsible for regarding any crime you might have committed.
If you file for bankruptcy, you are going to be able to start again because most of your debts will have been canceled. Of course, anything that you have of any value will have been sold, so you are going to have to start over when it comes to that as well. Another disadvantage is that you are going to have a record of the bankruptcy on your credit report for 10 years. It might mean that you aren’t able to get loans or other types of credit, but this effect could happen just as easily with high debts.
There are some things that you should consider before filing for Chapter 7. There are some cases in which you can avoid being forced to file on the grounds that it is abusive. You might be able to opt for Chapter 13 instead, which means you can pay off all or some of your debts if you have more time, and if this happens you won’t have to have your property and assets sold off.