The first, and by far, most common type of bankruptcy is liquidation under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, also referred to as a straight bankruptcy. In this type of bankruptcy all of the debtor’s (or, the person filing the bankruptcy) assets which are nonexempt are sold and the proceeds of the sales are distributed amongst creditors (everyone who is owed money by the debtor.) After doing so, the remaining debt is wiped out giving the debtor what is known as a “fresh start.”
The second commonly used type of bankruptcy is known as a reorganization under Chapter 11 or 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 is most commonly used by companies and Chapter 13 is most commonly used by individuals. In this reorganization, the debtor still pays some or all of his or her debt under a 3-5 year agreed-upon plan.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, creditors have the right to vote on or approve of the companies proposed reorganization.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the companies or individuals you owe money to don’t vote on or approve your proposed plan for paying back some of what you owe. And unlike Chapter 11, only you propose the plan for some or all of your debts. In Chapter 11, your creditors can also propose plans.
If you consider that Chapter 11 is most often used by large companies, it makes sense that creditors have the right to propose or vote on the plan to repay debt. Because very large sums of money that impact multiple companies are usually involved, creditors have a much larger stake in what happens in the bankruptcy.
Just as in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, at the end of payment plan period under Chapter 13 you will receive a discharge.