Bankruptcy Overview

Whether you are overwhelmed with debt from credit cards or medical bills, behind on your mortgage or car payments or have been sued or garnished, bankruptcy may be a solution to your problems. You may be able to immediately end the daily calls from your creditors, completely eliminate your credit card debt, halt lawsuits and garnishments, stop foreclosure on your home or prevent repossession of your vehicle.

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy gives debtors a fresh start by discharging or wiping out their unsecured debt entirely. Bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 is still available to honest debtors like yourself, despite what you may have heard. The great majority of cases that our firm files are Chapter 7 cases. There are income and asset restrictions, however. In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must have a household income below the state median income for a family of your size. If your income is greater than the state median, you will be subject to a "means test" to determine whether you have sufficient income to make payments to your creditors. If the application of your specific financial information to the means test indicates that you do not have sufficient disposable income to allow for payments to your creditors, you may proceed by filing under Chapter 7.

 

Income is not the only consideration, however. A Florida bankruptcy debtor can only protect a certain amount of assets from the bankruptcy trustee, whose job it is to recover any non-exempt assets for the creditors. In Florida, the bankruptcy exemptions are determined by State Law. Depending on the debtor's unique situation, some or all of the debtor's assets may be exempt for the trustee and creditors. In a nutshell, Chapter 7 is ideal for people with income either below the state median income or those with very little disposable income on the means test, and those who have no assets or assets that can be sufficiently protected under state exemptions.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is considered to be a reorganization of your finances, where a portion of your debt is repaid over a period of time, typically three to five years. The payments a debtor makes are administered by a Trustee and distributed to creditors over that time. At the end of the repayment plan, the debtor receives a discharge of most unsecured debts, with certain exceptions. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is ideal for those with higher incomes who cannot file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and for people who wish to protect assets that would be otherwise unprotected and potentially surrendered in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also useful for curing mortgage arrears and removing or stripping second mortgages in certain circumstances, which cannot be done in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

 

How Bankruptcy Could Help You

Bankruptcy may offer a solution to your debt problems. Using the protections that bankruptcy offers, you may be able to prevent foreclosure, stop your car from being repossessed and completely eliminate or reduce the amount of your credit card debt, medical bills, personal or payday loans. If you have already been sued, the lawsuit can be stopped immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition. If money is being garnished from your paycheck to satisfy an outstanding judgment, bankruptcy can stop that too. You may even have options for taxes and penalties owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Check out the menu on the right for a more in-depth explanation of specific bankruptcy topics. In short, bankruptcy can guide you toward a brighter future without the stress and misery of creditor calls and lawsuits. You owe it to yourself to explore your options. Please call Jacobs & Davis, P.A. to speak to one of our Bankruptcy Attorneys, Christopher J. Jacobs or Tiffany A. Davis, or fill out the online contact form. We look forward to helping you become free of your debts!

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