There were more than 500,000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings from June 2015 to June 2016 in the United States. While many people may benefit from a Chapter 7 case, the process often remains a mystery to many and they may not realize how bankruptcy can help. The following are some frequently asked questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida.
Who Can File Under Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is fairly flexible when it comes to permissible petitioners. Any of the following can file for this type of bankruptcy:
- Married couples filing jointly
If you are married, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine whether it would be most beneficial to file as an individual or jointly with your spouse.
Will I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, you must pass something called the “means test.” This test examines your financial situation and is intended to determine whether or not you have enough money to pay toward your debts. If your income is too high, you may not qualify but there are other options in this situation, such as Chapter 13.
Will the Court Take My Property?
While the court can take certain property in a Chapter 7 case, most petitioners can protect much of their property by applying exemptions available under Florida law. Florida has fairly liberal exemptions and you can protect your home and much of your personal property. A skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you decide how to best apply exemptions to keep most of your property.
What Debts Can be Discharged in a Chapter 7 Case?
A successful Chapter 7 case will end with a discharge of many debts, which can include the following (among others):
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Some back taxes
- Legal judgments
- Medical bills
- Past due rent and utilities
Consult With a St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
If you have any questions about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process or how it can help you, please do not hesitate to call the St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorneys at the law firm of Berkowitz & Myer. Call 727-344-0123 to discuss your options for debt relief.