Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Florida
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one option available to residents of Florida. This type of bankruptcy is for those who don’t think they can afford to pay any of their debts. An experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Florida can offer legal guidance and assistance to help you in taking the right steps. Bruner Wright P.A. will ensure that all documentation is properly filed. Your Florida bankruptcy lawyer can assist you if there are any issues with your filing.
For over 30 years, Bruner Wright P.A. has been helping residents of Jacksonville and Tallahassee Florida to file bankruptcy. We know that you may be overwhelmed by the bankruptcy process. That is why we are here to help! As a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, we are here to guide you through the entire process of filing your bankruptcy case, including the preparation and filing of schedules, exemptions, and all other paperwork.
Florida Chapter 7 Basics
In Florida, those with serious debt can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to have their eligible debt “discharged”. This means that they will lose most of their assets and be unable to pay off their debts.
The “discharged” debt does not erase or forgive the debtor, but it frees him from all legal obligations to repay the debt. In most cases, creditors of discharged debts have no legal right to pursue you for repayment. However, not all debts are eligible for discharge.
You can file Chapter 7 in Florida and give up the majority of your assets to create an estate or trust. To raise funds, a trustee appointed by the court will liquidate all this property. These funds are then divided proportionally among all eligible petitioning creditors.
After this process is completed, the bankruptcy court will consider your debt “discharged”.
Florida Debts That Are Not Dischargeable
Some debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Federal or federally backed student loans. Except in cases of “undue hardship”
- Child support payments and alimony
- Fraud-related debts
- Credit card purchases or loans of $1,150 and more within 60 days of filing
- Most tax debt
- Penalties and fines for criminal offenses
- Debt on a previous bankruptcy filing
- Debts owed after causing personal injury or death
Chapter 7 Means Test
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant to be used only by people who can’t afford to repay their debt. The U.S. bankruptcy code established income limits and financial assets limits in order to make Chapter 7 bankruptcy affordable. These limitations are intended to stop those who have the ability to repay their debt from filing for bankruptcy in Florida.
If your income is below the state’s median income, you don’t have to file the paperwork for the means testing. The means test is also exempted if your debts are not primarily consumer debt (e.g. mostly medical debt) and if you are a disabled veteran.
You will be required to take the means test to determine your monthly income and expenses.
Florida Chapter 7 Property Exemptions
Certain types of secured debt may be exempt from liquidation if they are first “reaffirmed” by the creditor. In return, a repayment agreement can be made to keep the debt. To reaffirm a loan, the debtor must pay all outstanding payments.
Florida has its own property that is eligible for exemption. If you haven’t lived in Florida in the last two years, you will need to use the exemption laws from the state where your residence was for most of the 180 days preceding the 730-day period.
Exemptions may be granted for certain pensions, annuities, public benefits, or insurance policy benefits.
Depending on your factors, you must meet certain requirements before you file for the case. Be aware that if you only do business in a state, you cannot file for bankruptcy there. You will have to hire a licensed bankruptcy attorney so that they can give you the right suggestion as to what option would work best for your situation. An experienced lawyer can provide assistance in helping you survive a financial setback. In addition, they can help keep creditors away while you get back on track. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Florida can help you understand your options regarding exempting certain assets or secured debts.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process can be complicated. There are many factors to consider. Most bankruptcy filings can be completed with the help of an attorney.
Bruner Wright P.A. provides personalized service, advice, legal representation, and assistance for filing Chapter 7 in Florida. To help you make the best decisions for your particular situation, we will consider your income and assets.
You can start by requesting a free case review to learn more about your options and next steps. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with a Florida Chapter 7 lawyer.