According to the US Courts Bankruptcy Statistics Web site, more than 801,000 bankruptcies were filed with U.S. courts in 2007, with almost 97 percent of those being personal, non-business filings. The volume of those who face the stress that coincides with bankruptcy filing continues to grow and it can be hard to discern between the six different forms of common bankruptcy and how each might affect you or your business. This book was written with the goal of providing a complete handbook to understanding the complex bankruptcy laws of the United States in an easy-to-read format, either through the bankruptcy process or through viable financial alternatives that help you to avoid filing. You will learn how to decide when bankruptcy is the best or only option left at your disposal, including what a bankruptcy actually entails, from the first piece of paperwork you sign to the lasting effect it has on your credit. Specifically, detailed instructions for liquidating debt with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and using a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to rebuild your life are given as well in their own chapters. You will learn what it takes to find and utilize a qualified consumer bankruptcy attorney and exactly what to expect throughout the process. For businesses that are navigating the complex corridor of bankruptcy filing, information is provided about the specific processes you must follow for your specific kind of business. Finally, a special section is included to guide you through the harrowing post-bankruptcy process, helping you to rebuild your credit after the process with a timeline of how long you can expect to wait before you start to regain the standing you originally had. For anyone at the point in their life where they are considering a bankruptcy to solve their financial problems, this guide is a must have tool, providing an easy to read, comprehensive overview of the entire process.