We Can Answer Your Questions About Bankruptcy In Florida
At The Day Law Office, our attorneys understand that the idea of filing for bankruptcy can feel incredibly overwhelming. Everyone who talks to us about bankruptcy or alternative options for managing debt always has a long list of questions.
On this page, we address some of our prospective clients’ most common questions. We hope this information helps answer some of the questions you might have.
What are my options for filing bankruptcy?
There are two common choices if you want to file for bankruptcy. They are:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals can liquidate certain assets to repay their creditors; then, the court will discharge their remaining unsecured debt.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Chapter 13 allows debtors to create a repayment plan that lasts three to five years. At the end of this period, the court will discharge their remaining unsecured debt.
Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can sit down with you to discuss whether you are eligible to file bankruptcy and, if so, which option is the right choice for you.
What is the process like?
Here is a very general overview of the bankruptcy process in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.
- Prepare and file a petition with the appropriate U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
- The court issues an automatic stay that halts collections.
- Attend a hearing with a bankruptcy trustee and your creditors.
- Liquidate certain assets or create a repayment plan, depending on which chapter you file.
- Attend credit counseling.
- The court discharges your remaining unsecured debt.
Of course, every case is unique, and the steps may be slightly different for every petitioner.
Do I have to go to court?
Yes, but it is probably not how you imagine it. You do not have to stand in a courtroom before a judge. You will have a private meeting with a bankruptcy trustee who oversees your bankruptcy petition.
How is Florida different from other states when it comes to bankruptcy?
Florida does not allow petitioners to use the federal exemptions for bankruptcy. Instead, you must use the Florida exemptions. For example, Florida does not place a limit on how much equity you can have in your home. Generally, you get to keep your homestead even if you file bankruptcy.
Will I lose everything in bankruptcy?
No. This is a common misconception that we hear very often. In addition to your homestead, you can keep personal property that has a value of up to $1,000. Vehicles in which you have up to $1,000 of equity are also exempt from liquidation.
Should I hire a bankruptcy attorney?
You have the right to handle the bankruptcy process on your own. Be aware, though, that this is not always wise. The paperwork, administrative hearings, regulations and other issues involved are very complicated. You could end up wasting money if you make a mistake and have to hire an attorney to correct it. Instead, you would be wise to work with a bankruptcy lawyer from the very beginning.
Ask Us More Questions In Person Or Over The Phone
Do you have more questions about bankruptcy that are specific to your situation? Our bankruptcy attorneys can sit down with you in person, virtually or over the phone to talk in depth about your goals and circumstances.
To set up an initial consultation, contact our office in Spring Hill toll-free at 352-200-2382 or locally at 352-200-2382. You can also send us a message online. We are ready to help you get the fresh start you need.