St. Petersburg Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy Florida allows a list of exemptions that differ from other states. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essentially the process of discharging unsecured debt, but the process is still similar to Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is a reorganization of debt that is scheduled to be repaid over an extended period of time.
There are also certain unsecured debts that cannot be discharged with a bankruptcy petition, such as educational loans, alimony payments and child support. Generally, any money owed by an established court order is normally exempt from discharging, such as fines or restitution. Certain medical bills are also exempt from being discharged. When filing any chapter of bankruptcy Florida may or not be the best option.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida?
THE ST. PETERSBURG MEANS TEST
Everyone is eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have qualified unsecured debt. The means test impact for a Chapter 7 filing also evaluates the earning capacity of the bankruptcy petitioner, just like Chapter 13, and is measured against the median annual income in the state of Florida. However, it qualifies individuals for Chapter 7 if their annual income is below the median income in the state.
Individual filers who have recently moved to Florida may find it beneficial to file in the former state of residency in some cases. The proper state of filing is determined by the state of residency for the past 180 days, or the largest portion of that time. When moving is also a part of the need for bankruptcy Florida residents may want to wait at least 91 days to file.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing still requires the individual to submit a complete list of all debt, both secured and unsecured, along with a complete list of personal assets that will be evaluated for exemption. Non-exempt assets can then be designated as eligible for sale to the benefit of any creditors.
Exempt personal property of any value is excluded from being liquidated. Any personal property that is used as collateral on a loan can also be kept as long as the payments are current, allowing the person filing bankruptcy to keep a vehicle above the value cap in some cases. The value cap of a vehicle with a clear title is usually $4000 if the homestead exemption is not used in the petition. It is also possible to keep a qualified home in some situations. The exemption list can get complicated, and this is a primary reason for retaining an experienced and effective bankruptcy attorney like the BerkMyer Law.
It is important to remember that property kept outside of the bankruptcy filing can still be repossessed if the payments fall behind, just as in a Chapter 13 filing. All creditors are notified when an individual files bankruptcy and any maintained loan agreements must be reaffirmed. Reaffirmation means the creditor may be more likely to receive a full repayment because of restrictions on subsequent bankruptcy filings.It is clear that filing bankruptcy is a serious financial decision that should be made with the legal advice of a solid bankruptcy attorney who can craft a bankruptcy petition offering the highest amount of discharged debt while keeping the most personal property.
Chapter 7 is not like Chapter 13 in that it is a debt liquidation and not a debt restructuring. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Florida law wipes the petitioner’s debt record clean of unsecured debts and that can impact the ability to keep certain assets that can be protected by having additional cash to pay for those items.
Contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney like the Berkowitz & Myer by calling us at (727) 344-0123 or by completing the form on this page. Your call can make a big difference in any successful Chapter 7 Florida bankruptcy filing.