Bankruptcy in Vermont: What You Need to Know

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Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief to individuals and businesses who are unable to pay their debts. In Vermont, bankruptcy is governed by federal law and can have serious consequences for both the debtor and the creditors. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the bankruptcy process in Vermont, the types of bankruptcy, its consequences, and how to avoid it. We’ll also provide helpful government links to assist you in the process.

Bankruptcy Process in Vermont

The bankruptcy process in Vermont typically involves the following steps:

  • Credit counseling: Before filing for bankruptcy, debtors must complete a credit counseling course from an approved provider.
  • Filing: Debtors file for bankruptcy in federal court and must provide information about their income, assets, debts, and expenses.
  • Automatic stay: Upon filing, an automatic stay goes into effect, which stops creditors from taking collection actions against the debtor.
  • Meeting of creditors: Debtors must attend a meeting of creditors, where they are questioned by the trustee and creditors.
  • Discharge: If the bankruptcy is successful, the debtor receives a discharge, which eliminates their obligation to pay most debts.

Types of Bankruptcy

In Vermont, there are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals:

  • Chapter 7: Also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 involves the sale of non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. Most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills, can be discharged through Chapter 7.
  • Chapter 13: Chapter 13 involves a repayment plan that allows debtors to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. Chapter 13 is often used by debtors who have a regular income and want to keep their assets.

Consequences of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can have serious consequences, including:

  • Damage to credit score: Bankruptcy can significantly damage your credit score and make it difficult to obtain credit in the future.
  • Loss of property: Bankruptcy may result in the loss of your assets, including your home, car, and other valuable possessions.
  • Legal problems: Bankruptcy can result in legal problems if there are issues associated with the bankruptcy process or the debtor’s conduct.

How to Avoid Bankruptcy

While bankruptcy can provide relief to individuals and businesses struggling with debt, there are steps you can take to avoid it:

  • Budget: Create a budget and stick to it to avoid overspending and accumulating debt.
  • Communicate with creditors: If you’re having trouble making payments, communicate with your creditors to see if you can work out a payment plan.
  • Seek assistance: Seek assistance from a credit counselor, financial planner, or attorney to explore your options.

Helpful Government Links

If you’re considering bankruptcy in Vermont, there are several government links that you may find helpful:

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