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Filing for Bankruptcy in Illinois -- the Illinois State Bar Offers Some Information

Question: If I decide to file for bankruptcy, which type of case should I file for? Answer: There are four types of bankruptcy cases provided under the law. Chapter 7, known as "straight" bankruptcy or "liquidation," requires a debtor to give up property which exceeds certain limits called "exemptions," so the property can be sold to pay creditors. Chapter 11, known as "reorganization," is used by businesses and a few individual debtors whose debts are very large. Chapter 12 is reserved for family farmers. Chapter 13, called "debt adjustment," requires a debtor to file a plan to pay debts (or parts of debts) from current income. Most people filing bankruptcy will want to file under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Either type of case may be filed individually or by a married couple filing jointly. Your lawyer can help you decide which case is right for your situation. For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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