Bankruptcy can be a confusing topic, and it can be hard to know what questions to ask your bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcies vary by Chapter and each of the chapters in the bankruptcy code has specifically required information. This article will help you with some of the common questions that you should ask your bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville Florida.
No matter how well you may know the bankruptcy process, it’s still a smart idea to consult a Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer who can answer any questions. It is a great way to avoid making mistakes that could lead to your bankruptcy case being thrown out.
Do You Have Any Non-exempt Assets?
Like every state, Florida has a list that exempts assets from creditors being taken or attacked. A Jacksonville attorney who specializes in bankruptcy can help you identify which belongings are exempt from bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville Florida will be able to help you decide which strategies to use to manage these assets. This could include liquidating them prior to filing.
What Fees Will You Have to Pay?
An experienced Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer can tell you how much you’ll have to pay. There might also be administrative fees and filing fees. Understanding the fees that you might face will help you prepare for your case.
How Long Will Your Case Last?
A bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you when your case will be filed. They can also explain the steps involved in filing for bankruptcy in Jacksonville and the time frame you should expect. You can plan ahead to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy discharge.
The majority of Chapter 7 cases can be closed in four months or less. Depending on your particular case, the length of your Chapter 7 case will vary.
Here are some things you can expect.
1. Filing Your Paperwork
You file the bankruptcy paperwork to the court. These documents include information about your income, assets, financial transactions, and property that you are allowed to exempt.
2. Attend the 341 Meeting With Creditors Hearing
Once you file, the court will inform your creditors that any collection activity against you must cease. The court will schedule a time for you to appear in court, the 341 meeting with creditors hearing. This is between 20 and 40 business days after your file. The bankruptcy trustee will take you under oath at the hearing and ask you questions. Although creditors have the right of asking questions, this is very rare. It is likely that your time with the Chapter 7 trustee assigned to your case will take less than ten mins.
3. Additional Information
The trustee may request additional information or remind you to bring identification documents (such as your driver’s license and social security card) to the 341 meetings. After receiving all information, the trustee will close the hearing. After the hearing ends, creditors have 30 days to object to the discharge of any particular debt or the entire case.
4. Filling the Financial Management Certificate
After you have received notice of your 341 meeting, you can start your financial management class – the second of two required classes for a discharge. It must be completed within 60 days from the date of the 341 meeting.
5. Receiving Your Discharge
If everything goes according to plan, your bankruptcy discharge (the court order that eliminates your debts) should be received within 60 days of your meeting with creditors. There may also be a few days for mailing. Your case will not be closed officially until the court has resolved all outstanding issues, issued the “final decree” and dismissed your case.
Should You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13?
A Jacksonville FL bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine if your case qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To qualify for Chapter 7, you must pass the means test. This compares your income to other residents of the state.
You might be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if you are not qualified for Chapter 7. There are a few factors that can influence whether someone can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These include whether they are protecting their home from foreclosure or saving their vehicle from repossession.
It is also helpful to know how much your monthly plan payments will be if you decide to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Although it is difficult to calculate an exact amount on the spot, a bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville Florida can give you a range of repayment amounts. An attorney can help you predict the length of your repayment process if you’re considering Chapter 13.
Talk to an Experienced Jacksonville Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are struggling with credit card debt and are considering the option of filing for bankruptcy, then we want you to know that you aren’t alone. Deciding to take this step to solve your financial problems is a brave move and one that is sure to pay off in the long run. At Bruner Wright P.A., our experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Jacksonville FL are here to talk you through this complicated and stressful process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!