Money and Debt

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding for people who face overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy stops creditors from continuing to collect debts from you.

Send this page to:

Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.

Bankruptcy stops creditors from collecting debts from you until a federal court decides what to do. If the court decides in your favor, you may be able to get rid of some or all of your debts. Or, it can help make a plan to repay your debts.

Before deciding to go this route, there are some things you need to know. It’s not for everyone. For instance, there are some debts that cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy, like student loans, back taxes or child support.

Talk to a lawyer

There are lawyers who specialize in bankruptcy law and you should speak with an attorney to see what your options are. Bankruptcy is complicated and difficult to handle without a lawyer’s help. Non-profit credit counselors can also be helpful.

Other options

Bankruptcy stays on your financial record for ten years. It is worth considering other options that may be better. For instance, you can contact nonprofit credit counselors, or negotiate new payment plans. 

Forms and Letters

Find forms and letters that you can fill out yourself.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.