Bankruptcy is one of those complex legal issues that is often deeply personal. In fact, a recent report published by ProPublica examines how different people groups participate in bankruptcy, suggesting that some aspects of the process may vary depending on the racial or socioeconomic background of an individual who files.
According to the report, a significant number of African American debtors choose to file for Chapter 13 debt reorganization over Chapter 7 liquidation. Interestingly, significantly higher numbers of these debtors do not complete the repayment plan, compared to other populations.
While the report does not offer very precise conclusions about the results of its study, the broad strokes illustrate an important issue in bankruptcy — proper guidance through the process. While it is not clear why the populations studied in the report tend to choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7 in significant numbers, the results may indicate that these individuals may not have all the information necessary to properly execute a Chapter 13 repayment. In this instance, professional guidance is invaluable.
Regardless of your socioeconomic or racial background, you deserve every opportunity afforded any other debtor to discharge your debt. Unfortunately, without proper guidance from an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you may choose a bankruptcy that seems ideal without fully considering the scope of the bankruptcy process or the consequences of failing to complete the process properly. With professional guidance, you can rest assured that an attorney will walk with you through your bankruptcy and keep your rights protected as you discharge debt and rebuild your life in a new season.