Tampa Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 7 is one of the most common types of bankruptcy filed in Tampa. It is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy, as a debtor’s property is sometimes sold, or liquidated, to repay the creditors that are owed debt. There are exemptions that sometimes apply that can protect property such as your home or your vehicle. If you are being constantly contacted by creditors and debt collectors, or you cannot pay your credit card or medical bills, Chapter 7 may be right for you. Our Tampa Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney explains the eligibility requirements and more below.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?
Individuals and businesses alike can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once the petition is filed with the court, an automatic stay is issued. The automatic stay prevents creditors and debt collectors from taking measures to collect the debt. These include contacting you and taking legal action against you.
A bankruptcy estate is also created after you file your petition with the court. Non-exempt property is placed into the estate so it can be sold. The sale of the property and the distribution of the proceeds among creditors is overseen by a bankruptcy trustee, who will be assigned to your case early in the process. The trustee, as well as your creditors, will also attend a mandatory 341 meeting during which they will ask you questions about your financial situation.
From the start of your case to the time it is finalized, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes about four months to complete.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is one of the most common types of bankruptcy filed, but it is also one of the most difficult to qualify for. Nearly two decades ago, the bankruptcy system in the United States went under significant reform in an attempt to reduce abuse of the system. Part of the changes included implementing the means test, which is used to determine if you have sufficient income to repay your debt.
The means test compares your income with the state’s average according to the size of your household. If your income is below the state’s mean average, you are exempt from the means test. There are two parts to the means test and if you do not qualify under one, you may still qualify under the other. Even if you do not pass either part of the means test, you can still file bankruptcy. Most people who do not qualify for Chapter 7 file Chapter 13.
You must also obtain certification for completing a credit counseling case with an approved agency. After completing the course, you must file the certificate with the court.
Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Tampa Can Help with Your Discharge
At Ronald Cutler, our Tampa Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help you through the process so you can get as much debt discharged as possible. Call or text us now at 386-490-9949 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.