Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 do different things, and offer different benefits.
Chapter 7 writes off certain kinds of
debts, but you might have to give up some of your property - although many people can keep all/most of their property. If
you are behind on a house or car, you are not going to get time to catch up those missed payments. Getting a discharge in
Chapter 7 is faster than in Chapter 13. An uncomplicated 7 is usually completed in about 4-6 months from filing.
Chapter 13 is a repayment plan of 3-5
years that can write off the same debts a Chapter 7 can and some additional kinds of debts. It can give people time to catch
up on house, car, and other payments and stop creditors from foreclosing or repossessing collateral for loans. It may protect
property that might not be protected in a Chapter 7.
A simple Chapter 13 is normally more expensive than a simple Chapter 7. Chapter 7 fees have to be paid
before your case is filed because if you owe your attorney money when you file, it will be written off in your Chapter 7 case
like any other debt. An attorney may agree to allow you to pay a Chapter 13 fee in the plan payments,
but you may pay much less if you file a Chapter 7. Don't pick Chapter 13 just because an attorney tells you that you
can make payments over time. Be sure that it is the right bankruptcy choice for you. I typically work out a payment
plan with my clients that works very well for them, and go over options to help them while they do.