Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Attorney
Many people struggle with the idea of filing for bankruptcy but truthfully, it can be a great option that can give you a fresh financial start. The process of filing bankruptcy involves much more than simply filling out some forms and it can become very complex. A Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney can advise on the type of bankruptcy that is right for you and guide you through the process so no mistakes are made.
How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge, or eliminate, all or most of your unsecured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most common types filed in Fort Lauderdale. The process has become much harder, though, and there are many steps involved.
First and foremost, you must determine if you are eligible to file. Only those who pass the means test to prove they do not have the income to pay their debt can file Chapter 7. Then you must file the petition with the bankruptcy court after which, a judge will issue an automatic stay. This prohibits creditors and debt collectors from contacting you to recover the debt until your bankruptcy is finalized. A bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case and they will attend the meeting of the creditors. During this meeting, creditors can contest the fact that certain debt is eligible for discharge.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy may also result in certain assets being sold to cover the debt. Fortunately, Florida has some of the most generous exemptions in the country and many people file without losing anything.
How to File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
People sometimes choose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy when they do not qualify for Chapter 7, or when they want to be guaranteed that they will not lose property. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge your debt. Instead, it will reorganize your debt into a repayment plan. Chapter 13 is also known as a wage-earner’s bankruptcy because it is suitable for those who earn an income to repay debt.
Chapter 13 repayment plans typically extend between three and five years. You must submit the plan to the bankruptcy court within 14 days of filing. While you do not have to pass a means test, you must earn a regular income. If you are filing with your spouse, only one of you is required to earn a regular income.
Just as in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, immediately after you file a judge will issue an automatic stay. Chapter 13 will also only deal with a certain amount of debt and if you are carrying more than that limit, you may have to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Our Bankruptcy Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale Can Help You Through the Process
Bankruptcy can provide you with a fresh start, but it is important to work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney. At Ronald Cutler, P.A., our seasoned attorneys can advise on your case, make sure no mistakes are made, and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at 386-490-9949 for a free consultation.