Bankruptcy gets a bad name, but in reality there are more benefits than negatives.

On paper, bankruptcy is a very reasonable option. It does take some work to get it to work, it does require the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, but you need not be a lawyer to see the big benefits.

Where do you start? You hire an attorney to help you with your case. After that, the benefits are more than can be listed in one blog post, but here are some big ones.

1-Save Your Home
Saving your home from foreclosure by getting an automatic stay from the court is perhaps the biggest benefit of Chapter 13 in today’s economy. After all, thousands of homes go into foreclosures almost weekly in the U.S. Some states are worse than others, but all states are feeling it, and all citizens are losing their dreams.

It need not be this way. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can first delay a foreclosure from ever occurring and then restructure the payments so you can afford them.

2-Freedom from Creditors

Once you file bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you can immediately see the benefit every time your phone does not ring with a creditor explaining you owe money. In either case, your attorney will handle the creditors or they will have no point in calling you — it just won’t matter anymore once the bankruptcy is successful.

3-Keep Car and Other Assets

Technically, under Chapter 7 certain assets of a certain value can be sold by the trustee in order to pay back debts. Under Chapter 13, you lose nothing if you can keep up with payments. The big result is saving your home, but coming in at #2 for many families is the car. Under a restructured payment plan, you can afford to own vehicles again and not worry about the repo-man.

4-No Wage Garnishment
When you owe major debts, it can be a struggle. Once the government starts taking money out of your paycheck, even more so. Wage garnishment is another problem prior to bankruptcy which can be stalled, especially with Chapter 13.

5-Keep Income Taxes
If you owe a lot of taxes, these can never be discharged but they can be paid back. If you fear the government will take your income tax, which can happen in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can file under Chapter 13 and include it as part of the deal.

6-A Fresh Start Free of Debts
Perhaps it seems different to think about your mental health when your home is almost in foreclosure or creditors are asking for payment, but it should be a part of the thought process.

If you’re on the fence about filing for bankruptcy, or if you’re considering between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, clearly one big benefit is to be free of the anxiety. Free of losing your home, car, getting wage garnishments, losing all your income tax, even having no way to feed your family. Peace of mind is all these benefits combined to result in a big bonus.