Understanding Bankruptcy In Florida
Most Florida residents have heard all about bankruptcy filings for years, but don’t really have a firm grasp of what it really entails. This process is designed to help individuals get rid of debt or in some cases restructure their debt to make it easier to pay. With the protection of the Bankruptcy Court, individuals are allowed to get out from underneath a pile of debt and the stress this causes them. There are two main types of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to liquidate the debt a person has in their name. When a person is trying to reorganize their debt, the will file a bankruptcy under Chapters 11, 12 or 13.
Each of these types of bankruptcy filings has a number of different rules and regulations attached to them. The only way to find out which of these bankruptcy filings is right for you is by consulting with the team at the Badgley Law Group. We will take the time to find out the details of your current debt situation and let you know what your next logical move should be.
Getting to Know More About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
For most people who are swimming in a sea of debt, finding out about the different types of bankruptcy is important. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to get the majority of your debts discharged. In order for you to get your debts eliminated, you will need to agree to liquidate some of the assets you have. A trustee will be assigned to you by the bankruptcy court to figure out which of your assets are exempt from liquidation. When coming in for a consultation with the Badgley Law Group, you will be able to find out what exemption laws apply to your particular case.
While a number of your debts will be discharged when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are some you will not be able to get rid of such as:
- Property you want to keep that has a lien on it (i.e. cars or homes)
- Tax debts
- Child support or alimony payments
- Student loans
- Attorney or court fees
Finding out whether or not you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is easy when consulting with the team at Badgley Law Group. There are a number of criteria you will have to meet for this type of filing, which is why scheduling a consultation with our firm is important.
A Breakdown of Chapter 11 and 13 Bankruptcy
When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be offered a 3 to 5 year repayment plan for the debts you have. If you make too much money to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is the next logical option. One of the most advantageous aspects of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that fact it allows you to remove an unsecured second mortgage loan. Our team of experienced lawyers will be able to go over the options you have regarding the filing of bankruptcy during your consultation. There are some reasons you may not qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy like:
- Your debt it too high
- Your income is too low
- Being behind on your mortgage
Some people file for Chapter 13 in an attempt to keep certain assets they would otherwise lose if they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Finding out what type of bankruptcy filing is right for you can be easy when consulting with the team at the Badgley Law Group.
For the most part, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is usually used by business, but can also be used by individuals with a substantial amount of debt. This type of bankruptcy is designed to provide a person or business with relief from their pre-bankruptcy debts and offer them a structured payment plan as well. The secured debts a person has, like a home or car, can be reduced down to the value of collateral when filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
How the Process of Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works
After meeting with the Badgley Law Group, you will be able to find out whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you do qualify for this type of bankruptcy, we will help you start the filing process. The first step in this process is to file an official petition with the bankruptcy court. This petition will layout things like payment schedules and a statement to show the courts what your financial situation is. Generally, the filing of the petition is the most time-consuming part of the bankruptcy process.
The schedules in this petition is where you will file out information regarding the assets and debts you have. It is very important you list all of the creditors and debts you have with accurate mailing addresses for each. Even if the debt is considered non dischargeable, you will need to put in on the schedules of your bankruptcy petition.
The assets portion of this document will also need to be filled out completely. Things like real estate, vehicles and bank accounts will need to be recorded in this section. Once you have all of these assets listed, you will be able to find out which ones are exempt. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure you understand what is going on.
Once you have filed this petition with the bankruptcy court, you will be able to take advantage of what is referred to as an “automatic stay”. This means your creditors will have to stop pursuing the collection of the debts you owe them. The court will appoint a trustee to your case. The job of this trustee is to notify all of your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy.
The Section 341 Meeting
The next step in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing process is the Section 341 meeting, otherwise known as the first meeting of all of your creditors. During this meeting, you will be asked a number of questions regarding your debts and assets. Both the trustee appointed to your case and the debtors will be able to ask you questions during this meeting. Generally, these meetings will only last about ten to fifteen minutes.
Once the Section 341 meeting is over, the creditors will have 60 days to challenge your right to discharge the debt you owe them. Usually, a creditor will only file a challenge if they feel some sort of fraud has been perpetrated.
In Florida, you are required to take a financial management class after you file for bankruptcy. If you fail to take this class and get a certificate of completion, then the court may charge a new filing fee or reopen your bankruptcy case.
The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Process
If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, our team will help you get your Chapter 13 bankruptcy started. You need to be aware that there are debt limitations when it comes to this type of bankruptcy filing. For the most part, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is like a court-enforced payment plan for the debts you have. When filing for this type of bankruptcy, you will have protection from collection action while your repayment plan is in place. The team at the Badgley Law Group will help you get your Chapter 13 filed and the payment plan instituted.
The Means Test
Before filing for either a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you will be subjected to what is referred to as the “Means Test.” This formula is designed to find out whether or not you make too much money to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some people think they have to be penniless in order to pass the Means Test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but this is not the case. You can make a fair amount of money and still qualify for this type of bankruptcy. The best way to figure out what you are eligible for is by contacting the Badgley Law Group and coming in for a consultation.
CONTACT OUR ORLANDO BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY TODAY!
Our main goal is to help you get out from underneath the mountain of debt you have. we can help you during this difficult time in your life.