Broward County FL Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can eliminate most or all of your unsecured debts and give you a fresh start. Bankruptcy Attorney, Howard Butler, will evaluate your circumstances and counsel you as to whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is appropriate in your situation.
When considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are detailed eligibility requirements that must be examined. Generally, if your income is below the Florida median income for your household size, you will qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, in many cases, you may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy even if your income is greater than the Florida median income for your household size.
In addition to the eligibility requirements, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy so that you can be sure that any assets you intend to keep will be protected or “exempt” from creditor claims and ensure that Chapter 7 is appropriate for your individual situation.
Who is a Good Candidate for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Generally speaking, Chapter 7 works best for:
- People who have a lot of credit card debt and/or medical debt – Bankruptcy is designed to completely eliminate unsecured debts like credit card debt and medical bills. Chapter 7 works quickly. You don’t have to wait years for a clean slate and your fresh start.
- People who are being harassed – individuals receiving collection calls and notices. Let’s be realistic, bill collectors don’t just go away. As your debt becomes older, collectors ramp up their efforts typically at 3-months, 6-months and 9-months when the debt collection lawyers are typically assigned your case for legal collection. The power of Chapter 7 – Once you file Chapter 7, collectors are legally prohibited from contacting you in any way. Period. Collectors must deal directly with your attorney and the bankruptcy court. Some creditors don’t have the infrastructure and will often simply “write off” the debt right then and there. Seems impossible, we know, but those calls, letters and visits will stop!
- People who do not own much property – Chapter 7 property protections vary according to state laws, but, generally speaking, Chapter 7 offers less protection for your property than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, Chapter 7 exemptions may allow you to keep your home, car and other valuable items like work tools, furniture, clothes, appliances, photos and books.
- People who do not have enough income to pay off bills – In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test. A Broward County bankruptcy lawyer can help you with this test, which looks at your income and debts to determine true need.
- People who have less that platinum credit – While it’s true that bankruptcy often negatively affects your credit score, chances are you already have a low credit score, and that may not be a huge concern. Once you discharge your debt, not only can you work to improve your score, many creditors will be open to extending people credit once again for a variety of reasons. One reason is you cannot do another bankruptcy for some years and you are a better risk than many others. Yes! It is possible to get auto or home loans after a bankruptcy.
Requirements to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have become much more rigorous since 2005, so you must take this means test to prove that you do not possess enough disposable income to make the reduced payments that would happen in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Individuals and businesses can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 if they are suffering financial issues that prevent them from paying off debt.
Types of debt that can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Credit card bills
- Car repossession payments
- Personal loans
- Utility bills
- Medical bills
Types of debt that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Student loans
- Alimony payments
- Child support payments
- Tax debts to the Internal Revenue Service or state
The Right Bankruptcy Lawyer in Broward County Florida
Selecting the right lawyer to represent you in Broward County — including Plantation, Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Hollywood and surrounding communities — is essential during the bankruptcy process. Howard Butler, founder of The Butler Law Firm, P.A. can help you get the most out of your bankruptcy case and help you select the appropriate debt relief option for your unique circumstances.
Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions
Florida bankruptcy exemptions play a large role in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Before filing, you will need to identify your exempt assets, which are those assets that you can keep even though you file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code includes a list of federal bankruptcy exemptions, but the state of Florida does not allow residents to use these exemptions. Instead, the state of Florida has its own set of exemptions. In order to use the Florida bankruptcy exemptions, you must reside within the state for a minimum of 730 days before filing your petition for bankruptcy.
Contact The Butler Law Firm today for the expert legal assistance you need.
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We offer Free Consultations. Call (954) 797-5338 or send Howard an e-mail for a Free Consultation at The Butler Law Firm, P.A.