Bankruptcy and other debt related issues create stress and uncertainty to those faced with them. Such stress can have an effect on family relationships, mental and physical health. Neaher Law Group will help you evaluate whether bankruptcy is the right decision for you.
We provide advice on:
- What is bankruptcy?
- What kind of bankruptcy should you file?
- What does it mean for my future?
If it is determined that bankruptcy would be in your best interest, all information will be gathered, paperwork filed and court proceedings handled with precision, professionalism and competency allowing you to move forward with peace of mind.
Chapter 7 – Liquidation
Chapter 7 is designed for debtors who are having financial difficulties and are not able to re-pay their debts.
If your current monthly income is above the State Median Income you will be required to perform a Means Test to determine if you are eligible for this type of bankruptcy relief. If you do not meet the requirements of the Means Test then you may be precluded from filing a Chapter 7 and have the option of converting to Chapter 13 or filing a Chapter 13.
Under Chapter 7 a Trustee takes possession of all your property. You may claim certain property as exempt under Florida law. A copy of the Florida Exemption Law is attached to this notice. You can only exempt the value of property that is not subject to the liens of your creditors. The Trustee then liquidates the non-exempt property and uses the proceeds to pay off your creditors according to priorities of the Bankruptcy Code.
The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, your discharge may be denied by the Court, and the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.
Even if you receive a discharge, there are some debts that are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for such debts as certain taxes and student loans, alimony and support payments, criminal restitution, and debts for death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
Under certain circumstances you may be able to keep property that you have purchased subject to a valid security interest. Some of these options include what is called redemption and the renewal or reaffirmation of an existing pre-bankruptcy debt. Your attorney can explain the options that are available to you.
Chapter 13 – Repayment of All or Part of the Debts of an Individual with Regular Income
Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with a regular and stable source of income who are temporarily unable to pay their debts but who desire to use their best efforts and good faith to pay them in installments over a period of time subject to the protections afforded by the Chapter 13 rules. You are only eligible for Chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
Under Chapter 13 you must file a plan with the Court to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings or by the disposition and/or abandonment of certain collateral such as land and motor vehicles. You are protected from your creditors in most case upon the filing of your case but your plan must be approved by the Court before it can take effect.
Under Chapter 13, unlike Chapter 7, you may keep all of your property, both exempt and non-exempt, as long as you continue to make payments under the plan.
After completion of payments under the plan, your debts are discharged except for any domestic support obligations, student loans, and certain taxes, among others.
Chapter 11 – Reorganization
Chapter 11 is designed primarily for the reorganization of businesses but is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any decision for an individual to file a Chapter 11 petition should be reviewed with an attorney. Most Chapter 11 cases are simply too expensive for the great majority of consumer debtors. Most individuals are aware of the high profile Chapter 11 cases that have been filed in recent years by many of the commercial airlines.
Chapter 12 – Family Farmer
Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is in many ways similar to a Chapter 13. The eligibility requirements are restrictive, limiting its use to those who whose income arises primarily from a family owned farms or fisheries.
To speak to an attorney about your legal matter, please contact Neaher Law today.
Attorney at Law offering Estate Planning, Probate, Family Law, Bankruptcy, HOA/Condo Law and Legal Services in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Lee County, Collier County, Port Charlotte County and all of Southwest Florida.