Bankruptcy does enable debtors to discharge their debt in a Chapter 7, and enter into a repayment plan in a Chapter 13. The bankruptcy will discharge most debt with some exception such as student loans, and most IRS tax liens. One thing the bankruptcy does do is give you a clean slate, and within about a year, your credit score goes up to about 720. It will remain as a notice on your credit report for 10 years, but you will be able to get credit again after you are discharged. The interest rates you receive will be higher than a person who didn't file bankruptcy but you will still be able to start rebuilding your credit file again.
The laws changed in 2005 and now you must meet a means test in order to file a Chapter 7, this is an income test which if you meet it most of your debt would be discharged in 4-6 months. There is a $299.00 filing fee and you must take two credit counseling classes (can be done online). It is highly suggested that you retain an attorney for this filing as it is not an easy process. Those fees vary by region but are usually 750.00 to 1700.00 for a Chapter 7.
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