Florida bankruptcy laws allow consumers to discharge their debts or restructure and repay them under the protection of the bankruptcy court. There are two types of bankruptcy in Florida: liquidation (Chapter 7) and reorganization (Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13). Bankruptcy prevents creditors from collecting debts. Contact our law office to discuss which bankruptcy option is best for you. Read on to learn more about Florida bankruptcy laws and how our Sarasota Florida bankruptcy lawyers can help you.
Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
Before filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you must attend a credit counseling course from an approved agency. You must attend this course within six months before filing for bankruptcy. You will also have to take a debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy. Contact us for more information about approved Florida credit counseling and debtor education agencies.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Overview
Liquidation bankruptcy allows a person to wipe out his/her debts. Such debts include medical bills, credit card debt, and small personal loans. Non-dischargeable debts include alimony, child support, income tax liabilities, and student loans. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must pass the means test. The test compares the debtor’s average monthly income earned over six months to his/her expenses. The difference is referred to as disposable income. If the debtor’s disposable income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may be in his/her best interest to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact us for more information about whether or not you pass the means test and are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Upon filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee collects a person’s assets and sells them. Proceeds collected from the sale are distributed to creditors. The trustee also receives a commission. All assets that are not exempt from bankruptcy are sold. Debt discharge typically occurs four months from the initial case filing date. A debtor can usually keep their home and car upon filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy under Florida’s exemptions. The debtor must be current on the mortgage note and car loan.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Overview
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows consumers to repay their debts over a 3 to 5 year period. Any unpaid debts are discharged at the end of the plan. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help prevent foreclosure, pay outstanding car payments and back taxes, and allow the debtor to keep valuable non-exempt property. To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must have a regular source of income and enough disposable income to apply towards the repayment plan. Under the repayment plan, the Bankruptcy trustee distributes payments to creditors.
Contact our Sarasota Florida bankruptcy lawyers for a consultation regarding your debt option reliefs. Filing for bankruptcy will stop creditor harassment. The threat of foreclosure and repossession will also cease upon filing for bankruptcy. We can help you discharge debts and keep your home. If you are struggling with debt, contact us today for more information about how you can obtain debt relief by filing for bankruptcy.
Sarasota County Florida Attorney Meg Lyons proudly serves the greater Orlando, Miami and Sarasota metropolitan areas. This includes Orlando, Clermont, DeLand, St. Cloud, Buenaventura Lakes, Sanford, Oviedo, Lakeland, Longwood, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Apopka, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Daytona Beach, South Daytona, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, Bartow, Kissimmee, Titusville, Tavares, Volusia, Sarasota, North Port, Venice, Miami, South Beach, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens and North Miami, Florida.