Bankruptcy Specifics and the Different Chapters
Bankruptcy is a legal way to help people solve their bill problems. It’s designed for people and businesses that can’t pay their debts and need help.
Bankruptcy laws have been around since Biblical times; for a more detailed discussion, see the article “Bankruptcy and the Bible.” And though the rules have changed over the past few thousand years (for example, we don’t put people in jail when they can’t pay their bills) the goal is the same – to level the playing field between people who owe money and the people to whom that money is owed.
When a person is discharged in bankruptcy, they no longer can be held personally responsible for most pre-bankruptcy debts.
There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. (The other two chapters, Chapter 11 and Chapter 12, apply to corporations and people who don’t qualify for a Chapter 13, and to family farmers.
For more information about Chapter 7, please take a few minutes to read the rest of this page.
File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Palm Beach area
Chapter 7 is what most people think of when they think of bankruptcy. One of the primary purposes of Chapter 7 is to discharge certain debts to give an honest individual debtor a “fresh start.” A debtor has no liability for discharged debts. In a Chapter 7 case, only individuals are eligible for a discharge; partnerships and corporations can’t get one. Although an individual Chapter 7 case usually results in a discharge of debts, the right to a discharge is not absolute, and some types of debts are not discharged (domestic support obligations, newer taxes, and student loans are the major ones.
To be eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you must first complete a process known as “means testing.” You are also required to obtain a pre-filing credit counseling certification from an approved credit counselor. If you decide to file for Chapter 7, we can discuss these requirements before we move ahead with your case.
A Chapter 7 starts when your petition is filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Documents relating to income and expenses, debts, property (real property as well as personal property-your “stuff”), and other financial disclosures must be prepared and filed.
Sure, you CAN file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer. You can also perform your own brain surgery, build your own house, and fly your own airplane. But should you?
Though some people opt to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, I think that’s a mistake. I’ve been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for over twenty years and have seen even experienced attorneys who don’t regularly practice bankruptcy law mess up their client’s cases…badly.
Bankruptcy, particularly under the new law, is not for even the casual attorney. It needs someone who regularly appears before the Bankruptcy Court, is familiar with both the written law and the unwritten law and local practice.
Filing a Chapter 7 case stops most collection actions, but not everything (such as some child support actions). In addition, under some circumstances the Automatic Stay may exist for only a short period of time.
About six weeks after the petition is filed, the case trustee will hold a meeting of creditors. You will need to attend that meeting, but don’t worry-either I or another lawyer who works with me will be there with you, and you will be completely prepared to avoid any surprises. It isn’t a test, and only rarely do creditors show up. Most of the time, the meeting of creditors lasts less than five minutes, and we even send you a list of the questions that are asked beforehand!
Your discharge, which will typically be handed down about four months after the case is filed, will release you from personal liability for most debts and prevent the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against you. But the discharge is filled with exceptions, so it’s important for us to talk so I can help you learn what will, and what will not, be covered by your Chapter 7 discharge.
RLC P.A. has your go-to lawyers and consultants in the Boca Raton, Palm Beach area.
Located in Boca Raton or within Palm Beach, South Florida and need debt relief?
File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Today!
7999 North Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33487