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Tag Archives: chapter 7
Blick Law Firm will be hosting a free informational bankruptcy seminar on Wednesday, April 9th from 3 to 5 pm. The seminar will be held at Blick Law Firm’s previous office at 4351 Gunn Highway in Tampa. Bankruptcy paralegal Jill Starr, and attorney Alex A. Serrano will be providing in depth information in regards to what bankruptcy is, how it can be useful, and the distinctions between chapter 7 and 13. Information concerning what not to do preceding and during your bankruptcy case will also be discussed, along with a “life after bankruptcy” session, and more important and useful information.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal degree of a person or business that is unable to pay their debt to creditors. Bankruptcy is appointed by a court order that is generally proposed by the debtor. Filling for Bankruptcy is common in the state of Florida, and can safeguard and provide comfort for those overwhelmed with debt. What Bankruptcy laws do is liquidate assets, so that debts can be paid. Repayment plans are also made in order for those in debt to have a new financial beginning.
Bankruptcy cases are generally filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 7 or Straight Bankruptcy, eradicates all debts excluding the following:
- Child support
- Most student loans
- Most recent back taxes
- Recent large purchases of more than $550 for luxury goods bought within 90 days of filing
- Fraudulent debts
- Cash advances of $825 within 70 days of filing
- Fines or penalties of government agencies
Chapter 13 or Wage Earner Bankruptcy creates a repayment plan that allows you to pay back your debts over several years’ time.
It is very important that the information and paperwork are filed correctly to ensure that your bankruptcy claim is successful. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Blick Law Firm can assist with your bankruptcy claim, and help to make sure that the proper steps and precautions are being made when filing.
If you or a loved one is thinking about filing for bankruptcy, Blick Law Firm can help you secure the full benefits to which you are entitled, and help to maximize your recovery.
When considering Bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 filing is a useful way to discharge of most debt and can relieve the burden of creditor collection attempts. However, many times a debtor has equity in a home or property and would like to file for Bankruptcy but not surrender their home. In these cases, a debtor can reaffirm the debt for the particular property they would like to maintain and keep making the payments, or file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy which allows the debtor to reorganize the debt into a consolidated and more manageable payment.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy gives the debtor an opportunity to manage their debt over a period of 3 to 5 years and still maintain the rights to both exempt and non-exempt property. This is particularly useful when the debtor has a large amount of equity in the home or property. Chapter 13 also helps by reducing payments on debts that cannot be discharged by Chapter 7, such as Student Loans; additionally, Chapter 13 helps avoid wage garnishment, delays the foreclosure process on the home, protects co-signers, and allows for an overall extension on the repayment term of most debts.
However, the decision to declare Bankruptcy also comes with consequences. The disadvantages of filing Chapter 13 include:
- Credit reports will show a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing for 7 years
- The debtor will receive high interest rates on future credit
- The debtor will have a strict budget in place in order to ensure the reorganized debt payments
- Legal representation fees tend to be higher, plus added court costs
Often times, people considering filing Bankruptcy are unsure of what documentation is required, how long the process takes, and what the Bankruptcy process entails. When a debtor seeks to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, they must first satisfy the requirements of the means test to determine their eligibility for a Chapter 7 filing. After determining eligibility, the debtor will then be required to provide a number of documents to the Bankruptcy Court for the Trustee’s review. This required information includes recent bank statements, pay stubs, creditor information, and specific information regarding the debtor’s assets and finances.
Upon compiling all of the necessary information, a voluntary petition for Bankruptcy is completed and filed for the debtor, whereby the Bankruptcy Court then schedules the Meeting of Creditors, or 341 Hearing as commonly referred to. The Meeting of Creditors is an informal questioning under oath of the debtor for the purpose of ensuring that the debtor fairly and honestly represented their assets, income, and debts in the filed bankruptcy petition. The Trustee appointed to the debtor’s case asks a series of questions under oath concerning the debtor’s property and financial situation. Upon completion of the Meeting of Creditors and Bankruptcy Filing Course Requirements, a debtor will have successfully completed the Bankruptcy process.
The entire process is usually completed within four months, and the debtor then receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts. This dischargeable debt includes credit card debt, old medical bills, utilities bills, unsecured loans, pay day loans, and most other types of unsecured debt. The advantage to filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that your unsecured debt is completely eliminated, the process is fairly quick, and the automatic stay that takes place after filing prohibits creditors from making collection efforts.
It is important to be aware that while Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may ultimately relieve a debtor of the burden of insurmountable unsecured debt, it is a process that requires the production of several documents and tedious preparation. The more prepared the debtor is, the more seamless the process becomes.
No matter what your situation is, obtaining quality legal consultation from an experienced bankruptcy attorney is beneficial. Contact Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer to assess what option is best for you. Think quick, call Blick!