Orlando Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are struggling with high levels of debt that have become unmanageable, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the right choice for you. Chapter 7 does not forgive or eliminate the debt. Instead, a discharge will mean you are not legally responsible for paying it. The debt will still remain on your credit score, even though creditors cannot try to recover the debt. Chapter 7 is one of the most common types of bankruptcies, but that does not mean the process is always straightforward. Below, our Orlando Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney outlines the steps in the process.
Eligibility Requirements for Chapter 7
The bankruptcy system went through great reform in 2005. Part of the changes made required borrowers to pass a means test in order to qualify for Chapter 7. The means test compares your average income to the state average for a household of a similar size. If you do not qualify under the means test, you can still file bankruptcy, you just cannot file Chapter 7. Most people who do not qualify file Chapter 13 instead.
The Bankruptcy Petition
All bankruptcy cases begin when the petition is filed with the court. The petition is essentially a request asking the court to discharge the debt. The court will also assign a bankruptcy trustee to your case. The trustee will oversee your bankruptcy case including the 341 meeting, the sale of property, distribution of the proceeds to your creditors, and any objections regarding the exemptions you have claimed.
The Automatic Stay
As soon as you filed the petition with the court, an automatic stay is issued. As long as the automatic stay is in effect, which is until your case is finalized, creditors cannot contact you in an attempt to recover the debt. They are also prohibited from taking legal action against you.
Exemptions in Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy because during the process, some of a borrower’s property may be sold. The proceeds are distributed among the creditors to cover a portion of the debt. State law outlines many different exemptions that can protect this property. Many borrowers who file Chapter 7 are able to retain all of their assets.
The 341 Meeting
Also known as the meeting of creditors, you are required to attend the 341 meeting. The bankruptcy trustee will also attend and creditors are given the opportunity to attend, although few do. You will need to answer questions about your financial situation, so it is best to have an attorney present who will protect your best interests.
Call Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Orlando for a Free Case Review
Chapter 7 can provide great relief from your debt, but you should obtain sound legal representation before starting the process. At Ronald Cutler, our Orlando Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can guide you through it so you have the best chance of a positive outcome. Call or text us now at 386-490-9949 or chat with us online to book a free review of your case with our experienced attorney.