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While filing for bankruptcy can provide relief from certain kinds of debts, that relief isn't always available to everyone. There are different types of bankruptcy filings available to individuals and each has its own requirements that need to be met first.

For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as "liquidation" or "straight bankruptcy" may allow you to get rid of most of your debts and start over with a clean slate, but first you must qualify for Chapter 7 by meeting certain criteria. Here are the debt and eligibility requirements for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you're going to hear the word "creditor" thrown around a lot. Generally, a creditor is anyone to whom you owe money, and this can include banks that hold your mortgage or car loans, credit card companies, and even your landlord if you're behind on the rent.

In a bankruptcy filing, your creditors will be split into three groups, depending on the type of debt -- priority, secured, and unsecured creditors -- and their claims for repayment will be handled differently depending on the type of creditor and type of bankruptcy you're filing. Here's a look at unsecured creditors.

Between credit cards, mortgages, and medical bills, many Americans face a seemingly insurmountable amount of debt. And while most of us don't like to think about bailing on that responsibility, sometimes bankruptcy can be our last and only option.

There are different options when it comes to filing for bankruptcy, and one of the most often used in personal bankruptcy is known as Chapter 7. And if you're considering whether Chapter 7 is right for you, a big part of that answer will come down to how much it costs to file. So here's a look:

For many people, handling money is a breeze. They work, earn money, live within their means, and die a humble death. For others, money is the eternal, literally existential, problem. When people go so far into debt that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a freight train barreling towards them, threatening financial ruin, bankruptcy might be a viable alternative to financial destitution.

Bankruptcy is the process by which a person throws up their hands and says: “Court, please save me from these creditors.” Depending on the type of assets a person holds and their level of income, there are different forms of bankruptcy that may be available.

It is not uncommon for individuals, or couples, going through a legal separation, or divorce, to be struggling with finances as well. Legal separation can wreak havoc on an individual's already distressed financial situation such that filing for bankruptcy can be a compelling option. However, there may be some legal issues with filing for bankruptcy before a divorce is finalized or while separated from a spouse.

As an initial matter, filing for bankruptcy can be done individually, even while still married. However, it may be to both your, and your (soon-to-be-former) spouse's, benefit to file jointly. It may not be. How any given bankruptcy will work out is highly dependent on the facts of any given case. Generally, the main considerations are whether the debts you are trying to escape are joint marital debts or individual debts, and whether the marriage owns property a bankruptcy trustee can sell off.

Not only are more and more college students graduating with student loan debt, they are owing more and more each year. Rising tuition costs coupled with graduate school means you could be entering the workforce with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in school loan debt. And unless you're making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, paying down that debt may seem unlikely or even impossible.

Never fear -- although the repayment process can be complicated, especially if you're behind or can't afford your payments, we've got answers to your most common student loan debt questions. Here they are, from our archives:

Nobody really wants to file for bankruptcy -- we'd all rather have the financial means to pay our debts. But for those who've suffered unemployment, a medical emergency, or other financial hardship, bankruptcy can keep your debt from spiraling out of control.

Bankruptcy is not a Get Out of Debt Free Card, and it's not exactly a bailout, either. So what is bankruptcy, how does it work, and should you file? Here are seven things to know first:

Sallie Mae, a company that has faced numerous lawsuits for predatory and discriminatory lending practices to students, has found a new target for school loan debt: students' parents. It's a smart ploy from the lender/debt-collector -- why saddle young, unproven, and possibly unemployed kids with debt when you can put it on older and employed versions that are more likely to pay it back?

So if you just got done paying off your student loans, and are feeling that empty nest melancholy double whammy of no kids in the house and no loans on the books, fear not. Sallie Mae has a way for you to continue paying off student debt for maybe your whole life.

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On Avoiding Bankruptcy: 5 Financial Tips

When times get tough, the tough sometimes want to indulge in a little shopping. But retail therapy and reactive spending can be big contributors to a personal credit crunch.

There are things you can do to remain financially healthy if you're not now in trouble and to avoid bankruptcy if you're on the brink. If you start thinking carefully about expenses, you can bring yourself back from the edge of financial disaster without too much pain and a lot of gain.