Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida will help borrowers get rid of debt and provide a fresh start. It is also the fastest type of bankruptcy you can file. Depending on the assets and creditors, a Chapter 7 case takes approximately 90 days. Chapter 7 has many benefits, but you may face unintended consequences if you don’t get solid legal advice. For a consultation on Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact Bruner Wright P.A.
The Chapter 7 Process: Step 1
A credit counseling course is the first step in the Chapter 7 process. This must be completed within 180 days of filing the petition. Many pre-approved agencies offer this course. Bruner Wright P.A. can help you determine which agencies are offering the course.
The Chapter 7 Petition
The second step is to file the voluntary petition for Chapter 7 with accompanying schedules. The schedules will be organized and include a compilation of income, assets, and expenses. It is important to ensure that the petition and schedules are completed correctly. For advice on how to properly complete the documents, consult us today.
The Meeting of Creditors
Next, you must attend a 341 Meeting of Creditors. Your trustee will arrange this meeting and it is mandatory that the borrower attends. These meetings allow the trustee to ask questions and inquire about your creditors. The trustee will take the borrower under oath, and he must answer all questions honestly.
Although creditors have the right to attend, they rarely attend the 341 Meeting. Clients don’t have to worry about having a lot of attorneys or bank representatives attending. If creditors do turn up, it is usually a family member or friend who you owe money to and wants their voice heard. Your bankruptcy lawyer can also be present at the 341 Meeting.
Evidence of Claims
Creditors must file proof of claim within 90 days after you have attended your 341 Meeting. To receive money from the borrower, unsecured creditors must file and complete their claims with the court. They will lose their claim if they fail to file a proof of claim in a timely manner.
Liquidation by Trustee
Next, the trustee will initiate liquidation. The trustee will search for non-exempt assets and auction them off, before distributing the proceeds to creditors. The property you are not required to give up when filing bankruptcy is exempt. Exempt property will not be available for the trustee to take or auction. It is important to understand which exemptions you are eligible for before you file for bankruptcy. You may be able to make a decision about whether or not you want to file for bankruptcy.
All of your property could be exempt depending on your situation. If you file Chapter 7, you might have to liquidate your most valuable assets. For assistance in determining which property may be eligible for exemption, consult a bankruptcy attorney. It is possible that you will not be able to make any changes to your filings, so it is important to do it right the first and last time.
The Final Step in a Florida Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case
The debt will be canceled once it is completed. Creditors cannot make any changes. All phone calls, emails, and lawsuits after the discharge are forbidden. You can either choose to repay any debt you owe voluntarily or you will be subject to a court order. The court may penalize creditors who resume collection activities and subject them to sanctions.
The bankruptcy discharge will release the borrower from any personal responsibility for the debt. The discharge is a permanent court order that releases the borrower from any responsibility to repay the debt. The discharge also prohibits creditors from taking any collection action against the borrower.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Proceedings?
The bankruptcy law does not require that Chapter 7 bankruptcy borrowers hire an attorney. However, we strongly recommend that you hire an attorney to help with your case. You may run into significant legal pitfalls if you don’t have a good understanding of the law.
The borrower cannot dismiss a Chapter 7 case. You cannot dismiss a Chapter 7 case if you are facing consequences. For example, the trustee may liquidate (or seize) assets despite your request for dismissal.
An experienced Florida Chapter 7 attorney should be familiar with the law and have a good working relationship with your trustee. Although it is not necessary, an attorney can ease your burden and help you get a fresh start. Contact Bruner Wright P.A., if you’re considering bankruptcy.
Consult the Best Florida Bankruptcy Law Firm
Bruner Wright P.A. understands that Chapter 7 can be confusing and overwhelming. We strive to make it as simple as possible for our clients. We know that these are difficult times, and we are here for you. Bruner Wright P.A. will provide you with an experienced Florida bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the entire case. Contact us today!