Q. Can student loan debt be discharged in a bankruptcy?
A. Usually it can't, you need to prove a hardship to a judge to get rid of student loans, and that is a very high standard.
Q. What is a chapter 7?
A. A chapter 7 is called a liquidation, it discharges most debts without you having to make any payments toward them.
Q. How do I qualify for a chapter 7?
A. You qualify based on income, and the income requirements are fairly generous. Consult a lawyer to apply "the means test" to your situation to see if you qualify, most online means tests are not accurate.
Q.Will I lose my home or car in a bankruptcy?
A. Probably not. Most bankruptcies are considered "no asset", where your assets are protected. But there are some bankruptcies where someone might lose an asset, or have to buy it back from the bankruptcy trustee. You need to consult with a lawyer to determine if your assets are protected in a bankruptcy.
Q. How long does a bankruptcy affect my credit?
A. A chapter 7 is visible for 10 years, a chapter 13 is visible for 7 years. However, your credit score is usually repaired within 2 years of filing a bankruptcy. Getting rid of debt and getting a fresh start is often the fastest and cheapest way to repair credit.