Bankruptcy in South Florida
Going from manageable to overwhelming debt can happen in an instant. One moment you can handle your bills and obligations, and the next, you find yourself choosing between feeding your family and paying your bills. The stress is getting to you, and you need to find a way out. If you cannot keep up with your financial obligations, you can get a fresh start by filing for bankruptcy.
Your South Florida bankruptcy lawyer can discuss Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy with you to determine which makes sense for your situation. Then, your attorney can help you through the process so you can finally get that fresh start you need. Once your bankruptcy goes through, you can begin to plan for the future without the stress of unmanageable debt.
Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy
South Florida residents will get numerous benefits from filing for bankruptcy. With bankruptcy, you can:
- Automatically stop communications from creditors
- Stop wage garnishments and foreclosures
- Discharge debt or get on an affordable payment plan
- Begin improving your credit score
However, you cannot discharge federal student loans, alimony, child support payments, and other types of debt.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Many South Florida residents choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is also referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy” and can wipe out unsecured debt, including credit card bills. You can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is below Florida’s median income or if you pass the means test.
If you qualify, the trustee will liquidate any property that isn’t exempt and use the proceeds to pay creditors. Then, the bankruptcy court will discharge all eligible debt. You will no longer be responsible for those bills, so you can get a fresh start.
A South Florida bankruptcy attorney can go over your income and debts to see if you qualify. If you do, the attorney can start the process for you.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
If you earn a regular income and want to hold on to your property, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the right choice. Instead of liquidating assets and discharging the debt, the court will restructure the debt. Then, you’ll make affordable monthly payments to pay off some or all of the debt. Once the plan ends, the bankruptcy court discharges the remaining eligible debt.
This type of bankruptcy is common for those behind in mortgage payments but want to keep their homes. Also, people who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 can use this to get back on track.
The court will separate your secured and unsecured debt and then prioritize payments. The bankruptcy trustee usually pays secured debts first with the payment plan. Then, your priority debts are paid, and finally, your unsecured debts. Non-priority unsecured debt includes credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans, and more. These are often discharged with Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Why Choose Santos Law offices
- Free Consultation – Go over your case during the free phone consultation.
- Highly Rated – The firm has received numerous rave reviews and recommendations on Google and Avvo.
- Bilingual – Dalyla Santos and the staff at The Santos Law Offices are fluent in English and Spanish, ensuring that each client receives proper representation.
- Multiple Practice Areas – The Santos Law Offices specializes in bankruptcy, civil litigation, insurance claims, and immigration.
- Personalized and Affordable Legal Services – Dalyla Santos truly cares about her clients. She provides personalized and affordable legal services to help individuals and citizens throughout South Florida.
- A Firm With Purpose – The Santos Law Offices gives back to the community through pro bono work, mentorships, and charitable donations. Also, employees are supported and recognized for the work they do.
Automatic Stay On Collections
After your South Florida bankruptcy lawyer files the paperwork, the court will put an automatic stay on all collection activities. This stay occurs before the bankruptcy is approved. The court will send a notice to the debt collectors to inform them of the filing. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the stay will be in effect until the bankruptcy is discharged. Then, collection activities can begin on debt that wasn’t eliminated. If you file for Chapter 13, the stay is in effect as long as the Chapter 13 plan is in place. However, some collectors still attempt to contact debtors. If that happens to you, speak to your attorney about the steps you can take to end communications.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions
Often, eligible debts are discharged within six months of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can expect the plan to last for three to five years, depending on the size of the debt and the payments. Your South Florida bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your case and determine how long you can expect to participate in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Then, you can move forward with filing for bankruptcy, so you can begin the process.