Coral Springs Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help in Coral Springs and Orlando
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans avail themselves of the nation’s bankruptcy laws and are able to make a fresh start with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Far from being a social stigma or sign of failure, bankruptcy is a legal tool to help people out of financial trouble and save them from ruin. If you’ve lost your job or had to take care of an ill family member, or if you’ve been faced with a sudden expense or found yourself overextended on credit and drowning in interest and penalties, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way to wipe that slate clean and take back control of your life and your finances. In Coral Springs and Orlando, the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg guides you through that process with the help of an experienced Coral Springs Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney dedicated to helping you succeed. Learn more about Chapter 7 below, and call the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg to get started with a free consultation.
How Chapter 7 works
As soon as you file your Chapter 7 petition, your creditors are notified of your bankruptcy and become subject to the automatic stay, telling them to stop their debt collection during your bankruptcy. This includes foreclosures, repossessions, wage garnishments, lawsuits and other bill collection practices. Your attorney will work with you to compile a complete list of your assets and debts, and the bankruptcy trustee will decide whether you should sell any assets to pay off your creditors or whether your case is a “no asset case” where you won’t be required to sell any property. Typically after a brief, five-minute interview with the bankruptcy trustee, your unsecured debt will be discharged by the bankruptcy court, freeing you from the obligation to repay those debts. Unsecured debts are debts that are not secured by real or personal property (collateral) and typically include debts such as credit cards, doctor bills, personal loans, lawsuits, certain tax debt and even student loans.
Eligibility for Chapter 7 is dependent on the size of one’s household income. If your household income is below the median income for your family size, then you should qualify to file Chapter 7. The median income for the state of Florida is currently around $48,000 for a single-person household and $76,953 for a family of four. If your household income is above the state median, you will need to take the bankruptcy means test to determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7. The means test is a complicated procedure that your attorney can help you with.
Benefit from the generous Florida bankruptcy exemptions
Many Floridians obtain a discharge of debt without having to sell any property because they do not have any non-exempt property that the bankruptcy trustee deems worth selling as part of the Chapter 7 process. Florida bankruptcy law contains a number of generous exemptions from liquidation under Chapter 7. These exemptions include:
- Homestead – You are permitted to exempt the complete value of your permanent residence, subject to certain size limitations.
- Personal Property – You can exempt up to $1,000 in personal property, including money in your bank account as well as personal items. If you didn’t take the homestead exemption, you can exempt up to $4,000 in personal property, or $8,000 if married.
- Vehicle – You can exempt up to $1,000 of the equity in your car, or $2,000 if filing for bankruptcy together with your spouse.
- Wages – The Florida bankruptcy exemptions permit the head of household to exempt as much as $750 in weekly wages, with lesser amounts available to other filers.
- Pensions – Many employees can exempt their pensions, and others can exempt ERISA benefit plans such as an IRA or Roth.
- Insurance – Insurance proceeds, including disability and life insurance policies and their cash surrender value, can be exempted from liquidation.
- Public Benefits – Some public assistance is exempt. Social security is also exempt, as are unemployment compensation, crime victim compensation and veteran’s benefits.
- Alimony & Child Support – These amounts are exempt to the extent they are necessary for support.
- Injury Compensation – Workers who were injured in a hazardous occupation can exempt money damages they received.
- Certain Other Assets – Florida bankruptcy law allows you to exempt the full value of health aids, prepaid medical savings account deposits, prepaid hurricane savings accounts, prepaid college trust deposits, pre-need funeral deposits, and federal income tax refunds or credits.
At the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, we’ll work with you to make the most of the Florida bankruptcy exemptions and obtain a no-asset bankruptcy wherever possible.
Find the Bankruptcy Solution that’s Right for You
Remember that Chapter 7 bankruptcy only discharges unsecured debt. If you have a large amount of secured debt, or if you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 due to income, you may benefit from filing Chapter 13 instead. Alternatively, a Chapter 7 discharge could free up enough disposable income to enable you to keep making your mortgage payments or child support payments or meet other necessary and important financial obligations. The first step is talking to an experienced and dedicated Florida bankruptcy attorney who will advise you on your options and guide you through the solution that is best for you. In Coral Springs and Orlando, call the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg to get started with a free consultation.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.