Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer
Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area
- A federal legal process for debtors seeking to eliminate or repay their debts. There are two types of bankruptcies for consumers: Chapter 7, which allows debtors to wipe out many debts in exchange for giving up nonexempt property to be sold to repay creditors, and Chapter 13, which allows debtors to keep all of their property and repay all or a portion of their debts over three to five years. Businesses can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 lets companies reorganize their debt load to stay in business.