What are the different bankruptcy chapters under which an individual can file?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

There are three different bankruptcy chapters under the Bankruptcy Code through which an individual can file, and they are called Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 case is sometimes called a “straight” bankruptcy, or a “liquidation.” In Chapter 7, a court-appointed trustee sells your non-exempt assets and distributes the proceeds amongst your creditors.

In Chapter 13, you file a plan that obligates you to pay some or all of your debts over a multiyear period. Under the new bankruptcy law, many consumer debtors will be required to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and commit to a 5-year repayment schedule.

Chapter 11 is primarily used by businesses that need to reorganize in order to get out from under debt, but is also theoretically available to consumer debtors. (K-Mart and WorldCom are examples of two “big” names who have filed under Chapter 11.) In chapter 11, the debtor proposes a plan for paying some or all of his debts, and his creditors get a chance to vote on whether to accept or reject that plan. In some cases, it may be possible to “cram down” a plan against a dissenting class of creditors. Chapter 11 may be the only recourse for a consumer debtor with an extremely large mortgage that causes his secured debt to exceed the limit for Chapter 13.

A special chapter – Chapter 12 – is available to family farmers and under the new bankruptcy law now covers family fishermen. It was very similar to chapter 13, but without limits on the amount of debts. The new bankruptcy law made significant changes in Chapter 12.

Case Studies: Utilizing Different Types of Insurance

Case Study 1: Homeowners Insurance

Keywords Inc. is a manufacturing company that operates a large warehouse facility to store its products. One day, a severe storm hits the area, causing significant damage to the warehouse roof, resulting in water leaks and damage to valuable inventory. Fortunately, Keywords Inc. had comprehensive homeowners insurance that covered the property damage and loss of inventory.

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Case Study 2: Liability Insurance

Bright Ideas Consulting is a consulting firm that provides professional services to various clients. During a client engagement, an employee of Bright Ideas Consulting accidentally spills coffee on a client’s expensive computer equipment, causing damage. The client demands compensation for the damage caused. Thankfully, Bright Ideas Consulting had liability insurance, which covered the cost of replacing the damaged equipment and any associated legal expenses resulting from the incident.

The liability insurance protected the consulting firm from potential financial strain and helped maintain a positive relationship with the client.

Case Study 3: Business Interruption Insurance

Tech Solutions Ltd. is a software development company that heavily relies on its servers and IT infrastructure to deliver services to clients. Unfortunately, a major power outage in the area leads to an extended period of downtime, rendering their systems inaccessible and impacting their ability to serve clients. However, Tech Solutions Ltd. had business interruption insurance, which provided coverage for the loss of income during the downtime.

The insurance policy compensated the company for the revenue lost during the interruption period, helping them cover ongoing expenses and maintain their financial stability despite the unforeseen event.

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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