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Bankruptcy

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Why Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that is designed to help you when you owe more money than you can afford to pay back. Bankruptcy is for single people, married couples, landlords, and even small businesses. Bankruptcy gives you immediate relief from debt collectors, bank foreclosures, wage garnishment, and car repossession.

Corporate propaganda tells you that bankruptcy is bad and only for people that don't want to pay their bills. The truth is that almost everybody that files bankruptcy files due to reasons beyond their control, such as severe health problems and the medical bills that come with it, losing your job, and economic downturns beyond your control.

Bankruptcy is Good Business

Have you ever wondered why major corporations file bankruptcy all the time to save money and generate revenues but when a consumer considers bankruptcy they are told not to do it? That is because powerful corporations don't want to let you in on the secret, that bankruptcy is good business. There are a number of ways that bankruptcy can be good business for you. They are:

  • Bankruptcy eliminates debt.
  • Bankruptcy stops negative reporting on credit.

  • Bankruptcy can save your home.

  • Bankruptcy can keep you in your home longer even if you don't want to save it. The money you will save in not paying rent will be substantial.

  • Bankruptcy can stop debt collection harassment.

  • Bankruptcy creates a protection zone for you from creditors.

  • Bankruptcy allows you to collect damages from debt collectors and corporations that are pursuing bad claims against you.

  • Bankruptcy allows you to sue zombie debt collectors who keep calling even after you have wiped out the debt;

  • Bankruptcy is the first step back to great credit. Bankruptcy gets you out of the bad credit quicksand and reboots your credit report. Not only do you set the floor with bankruptcy, you also now have the chance to get your score to A+ territory.

  • Bankruptcy can make you a homeowner again. Many major lenders are qualifying homebuyers 1-2 years after bankruptcy for low interest home loans.

Bankruptcy in 30 Days

From start to finish our bankruptcy process is fast, efficient, and straightforward. Once you've paid your bankruptcy fees our office will be prepared to file your bankruptcy within 30 days. Most importantly, you will deal directly with our bankruptcy lawyers and not waste precious time dealing with legal staff.

Here's how the process works:

1. Initial Consultation

Discuss your financial situation directly with a lawyer either over the phone or in the office. Discuss your situation, get questions answered, determine if bankruptcy is right for you, and map a plan to move forward with filing your bankruptcy.

2. Initial Review

Typically an in-office meeting directly with your bankruptcy lawyer. We will review your completed bankruptcy questionnaire packet and documents and answer any questions you have.

3. Final Review

Your follow-up, in-office meeting with your bankruptcy lawyer usually within 7-14 days of your initial review. You will review the final bankruptcy petition with your lawyer and have the opportunity to get your questions answered. Once the final review is complete, you sign your bankruptcy petition, pay the filing fee, and we will file your bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 what's the difference?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a liquidation. A consumer would prefer a chapter 7 bankruptcy when they want to wipe out all their debts. When you are discharged from chapter 7 you should be debt free.

What is the difference between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The primary function of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to eliminate your debt. The main function of a chapter 13 bankruptcy is to reorganize your debt payments in an attempt to save a home.

Do I qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

To qualify for Chapter 7 we must determine whether your average monthly income is above or below the median income for a family of your size in Florida. If we determine that you are below the median income then you qualify. This can be complicated since we look at certain monthly expenses when determining your average monthly income.

Will Chapter 7 stop the foreclosure?

Yes, filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy immediately stops any foreclosure process, including all court dates, trial dates, and sale dates.

Can I keep my car?

Yes, as long as you are current and continue making on-time monthly payments.

Will Chapter 7 stop wage garnishment?

Yes, filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy immediately stops court ordered wage garnishments and you will once again receive a full paycheck.

Will I lose my house in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

No, if you're current on your mortgage payments. As long as you continue making your on-time monthly payments then you can keep your house. However, if you are behind on your mortgage then chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out your mortgage debt. If you are filing bankruptcy to save your home then you will want to read about chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Can I get a loan modification after I file Chapter 7?

Yes. Nothing prevents you from applying for a loan modification even after you wipe out your mortgage debt in chapter 7. Wiping out your debt may actually make you a better candidate for loan modification.

I want to file Chapter 7 but my spouse doesn't. Is this possible?

Yes. Both spouses do not have to file for bankruptcy. If all of the debt is in one spouse's name then there is no reason for the other spouse to be involved. This is an issue we will look and advise you of during your initial and final review.

Does Chapter 7 wipe out IRS debt?

Maybe. In theory you can wipe out unpaid income tax debt in a chapter 7. In practice determining whether you qualify to wipe out this debt can be complicated. We will help you figure it out during the initial and final review.

Does Chapter 7 ruin my credit?

No. The reality is that almost all people considering bankruptcy already have significant credit issues from past due bills, debt collections, missed payments, and discharged debts. Contrary to corporate propaganda, a chapter 7 bankruptcy is the first step to fixing your credit for the vast majority of people. Once discharged, you will be able to rebuild your credit to A+ levels.

How long does Chapter 7 take?

We will file your chapter 7 within 30 days retaining our firm. Once filed, most clients receive their final discharge within 5-7 months.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a reorganization. People that want to save their home are interested in chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How does Chapter 13 work?

Simply stated, the first step is to determine how much disposable income you have each month. Disposable income is the amount of money left over after you pay your bills. Next, we divide your debt into two categories, secured and unsecured. Secured debt is your home and car. Unsecured are credit cards and medical bills. When you receive your paycheck you pay your bills, including your mortgage and car payments. The money left over, your residual income is used to pay past due balances on your mortgage or car. If there is any money left over after that it goes to pay your unsecured debt. Once your bankruptcy term is complete you should be caught up on your mortgage or car and any leftover unsecured debt is wiped out.

Can I keep my home in Chapter 13?

Yes. If you're current on your mortgage then keep paying. If you're behind on payments then chapter 13 can create a plan to get you current during the life of the bankruptcy.

Can I modify my mortgage in Chapter 13?

Yes. You can seek a loan modification during your chapter 13. You may even be able to request mortgage modification mediation through the bankruptcy court depending on the specifics of your case.

Can I keep my car in Chapter 13?

Yes. If you're current on car payments just keep paying. If you're behind on payments then chapter 13 can create a plan to get you current during the life of the bankruptcy.

Can I lower my monthly car payment in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Maybe. If you have had your car for more than 910 days you may be able to eliminate any negative equity on your car. For example, if you have had your car for more than 910 days and your car is worth $10,000 but you owe $15,000, then when you successfully complete your bankruptcy you will only owe what the car is worth.

Can I keep my home but wipe out the equity line or second mortgage in Chapter 13?

Yes. This result is possible if the current value of your home is less than the full payoff of your first mortgage. If this is the case then you can “strip” away the second mortgage or equity line lien on your home.

I want to file Chapter 13 but my spouse doesn't. Is this possible?

Yes. Both spouses do not have to file for bankruptcy. If all of the debt is in one spouse's name then there is no reason for the other spouse to be involved. This is an issue we will look and advise you of during your initial and final review.

CONTACT US

If you'd like to figure out if bankruptcy is right for you please complete our free case review form.

Florida Consumer Lawyers will review your claim and discuss the matter with you for free.

FREE CASE REVIEW FORM

FLORIDA CONSUMER LAWYERS

Our law firm only represents consumers and we have built our entire practice around that fact.

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