Fort Lauderdale Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a great option for people who are struggling with a high amount of debt that they want to discharge, or eliminate. While Chapter 7 bankruptcies are very common, the process is complex and not everyone qualifies. Below, our Fort Lauderdale Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney outlines everything you need to know.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Nearly two decades ago, there was significant reform to the bankruptcy system in the United States. Part of the changes required those filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy to pass a means test to prove they do not have sufficient income to repay the debt. Those who do not pass the means test must look into other options, such as filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Filing the Petition
Every bankruptcy case starts with filing the petition with the appropriate court. The petition essentially asks the court to eliminate your debt. After you have filed the petition, a bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case. The trustee oversees every aspect of your bankruptcy case. Trustees attend the meeting of the creditors, address any objections to exemptions you have claimed, sell assets, and distribute the proceeds among your creditors.
The Automatic Stay
Immediately after you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay is issued by a judge. The automatic stay prohibits creditors and debt collectors from contacting you in an attempt to recover the debt. The automatic stay remains in place until your bankruptcy case is finalized.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy sometimes requires some of your assets to be sold. The proceeds are then distributed among the creditors and debt collectors to repay the debt. All states have exemptions that protect the property of borrowers. Florida has some of the most generous exemptions in the country. Many people who file Chapter 7 in Fort Lauderdale do not lose any property at all. For example, you can exempt 100 percent of the equity in your home.
Meeting of the Creditors
The meeting of the creditors is an important part of the bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy trustee will attend, and you are also required to attend. Creditors do not have to attend and they usually do not, but they have the option to attend. During the meeting, both the trustee and any creditors in attendance can ask you questions about your financial situation.
You can have a Fort Lauderdale Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney represent you during this meeting, but you must still be there in person. A attorney can ensure that your best interests are protected during the meeting and can make it less intimidating.
Call Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Fort Lauderdale for a Free Consultation
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a great option for borrowers, but you should not go through the process alone. At Ronald Cutler, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can ensure your case proceeds as smoothly and easily as possible. Call us now at 386-490-9949 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.