West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
Many Florida families are facing bankruptcy, and a West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer can help. Bankruptcy is administered by the Federal courts so you’ll want an experienced Florida bankruptcy attorney representing your interests.
Bankruptcy is a legal status that you can obtain to free you of all or a portion of your debts while retaining some of your assets, including your home. Two types of bankruptcy filings are common to individual people (not corporations or other business entities): Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy, often used to get out of credit card and personal debts, such as medical bills. This is appropriate for people who have lower and/or irregular incomes. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor (the person filing bankruptcy) would keep their personal belongings that are “exempt.” These exempt assets are described (for Florida residents) in Chapter 222 of the Florida Statutes.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically for those with a steady income, and assets he/she wants to keep, who need more time to pay off their debts and mortgage. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor proposes a “Plan” of repaying a percentage of his/her debt over a period of time – usually 5 years.
As a Florida resident, your home is a protected “exempt” asset – you cannot be forced to sell it to cover an unsecured debt. If you have a mortgage on your homestead property, the mortgage will still be in effect, but you may have worked out a better repayment plan in order to stop a foreclosure process. Many local and federal requirements cover bankruptcy filings so you’ll want a licensed Florida attorney representing you.
Bankruptcy can offer amazing remedies for those in severe financial problems. In addition, filing bankruptcy will immediately stop (for a period of time) any other legal proceedings a debtor is facing – such as a foreclosure or a collection lawsuit.
Bankruptcy Basics is a publication of the Bankruptcy Judges Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. It provides basic information to debtors, creditors, court personnel, the media, and the general public on different aspects of federal bankruptcy laws. It also provides individuals who may be considering bankruptcy with a basic explanation of the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy Basics is not a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel or a financial expert, nor is it a step-by-step guide for filing for bankruptcy. Neither the Bankruptcy Judges Division nor the Administrative Office of the United States Courts can provide legal or financial advice. Such advice may be obtained from a competent attorney, accountant, or financial adviser.