If you’re contemplating bankruptcy, contact me for a free consultation to review your financial situation and help you decide the right course of action for you.

Rachel Vogeltanz
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Bankruptcy Specialist | Rachel Vogeltanz

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

I assist clients with two types of bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are significant differences between the two.

If you’d like information on which type of case is right for your circumstances, contact me for a free consultation.

service areas

I practice bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Louisiana. If you live in any of the following parishes, I can assist you with filing a bankruptcy:

Initial consultation

What should you bring to your initial consultation?


six months proof of income

I’ll need to see proof of income for you (and your spouse if you’re married). This is important for determining which type of bankruptcy you’ll qualify for. Even if your spouse isn’t filing, I’ll need to know about their income.


last years tax returns

I’ll need to see your federal and state income tax returns for the previous two years. If you are not current on filing your returns, we can discuss resolving that problem.


copies of legal paperwork

Have you been served with a lawsuit? Foreclosure proceedings? I’ll need to see copies of any documents you’ve received.

Frequently asked questions

Most bankruptcy cases are filed under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. I handle primarily Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Each type of bankruptcy has different requirements and benefits, and depending on the situation, one might be more helpful than the other.

Not necessarily. Some of your property may be subject to seizure in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Whether property can be seized depends on its value, whether the property is exempt from seizure by creditors, or whether the property is subject to a valid security interest. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the amount of your plan payments might be determined, in part, by the value of assets that would have been subject to seizure in a Chapter 7. These are all issues that we will discuss at your consultation.

You can still continue or start a loan modification application after filing for bankruptcy. If you applied for a loan modification and were not approved, and your mortgage company is now seeking to foreclose on your property, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may stop the foreclosure process.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also called a “liquidation” bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7, the debtor seeks a release from all of his dischargeable debts. If the debtor receives a discharge, then the discharged creditors may not send bills or seek to collect on the discharged debt in any way. Some debts are not dischargeable, such as most newer taxes, domestic support obligations, and debts obtained through fraud or malicious acts.

Individuals or businesses can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, but a person can only receive a discharge about every eight (8) years. In addition, because of changes to the bankruptcy laws in 2005, there are now income limitations that may determine whether you can file a Chapter 7. This will depend on the median income in your state for your family size, the kinds of debt you have, and your expenses. When you meet me for a consultation, you should bring in your proof of income from the last six months so that I can determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.

Not necessarily! Sometimes you might qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, but would benefit from a Chapter 13 repayment plan. This might be the case if you’re behind on mortgage payments and want to prevent foreclosure by catching up on the missed payments through a Chapter 13 plan. Chapter 13 could also be appropriate if you have valuable assets that you want to keep, or need to repay non-dischargeable debt such as taxes or child support. These are issues we can discuss at your consultation.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan bankruptcy. The debtor makes payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee, and the Trustee distributes the funds to creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor usually pays according to his ability. Therefore a debtor in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might repay some or all of his debts. I can help you determine whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is appropriate for you, and what your payment plan will probably look like.

Only individuals, not businesses, can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. There are also certain limitations on the amount of secured and unsecured debt that Chapter 13 debtors can have. (The debt limits are updated from time to time, and I can provide you with the current figures.)