Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “fresh start bankruptcy,” can be used if you have debt stemming from unpaid credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, old tax obligations, or personal loans.
In as little as four months (120 days), you can discharge your debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will be immediately protected from collection efforts, including wage garnishment. When your bankruptcy is complete creditors are forever barred from collecting from you by any means.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually best for people with unmanageable amounts of unsecured debt. This debt will be discharged, or eliminated, in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You cannot discharge certain debts in bankruptcy, such as domestic support obligations, tax debts and government fines, student loans, and debts arising out of intentional conduct such as drunk driving, assault, or fraud.
Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy will immediately stop all collection efforts by your creditors. Once you file, your creditors are prohibited from contacting you in any way to attempt to enforce a debt. All debt collection efforts, including legal proceedings, are stopped. This includes foreclosure lawsuits, collection judgments, and wage garnishments.
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection you will be required to liquidate most of your assets to repay creditors as much as possible. However, there are many exceptions to this requirement. A skilled and experienced Florida bankruptcy attorney will help you to protect certain assets, including your home, from creditors.
Not everyone qualifies for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, and your eligibility is largely determined by your income and assets. The Florida bankruptcy law firm of Elrod & Elrod can help determine whether you qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, and represent you throughout your Florida bankruptcy proceedings.
The means test is used to determine whether your income qualifies you for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Even if you are a high wage earner you may still qualify for chapter 7 protection if you have high monthly expenses from mortgage and car payments, taxes, and other expenses like student loan payments.
The means test is designed to limit chapter 7 bankruptcy to people who truly cannot afford to pay their debts. The means test starts with your current average monthly income (the average of your monthly income for the six months before you file for bankruptcy), and deducts certain monthly expenses to arrive at your disposable income. If your income is less than the median income for a household your size in Florida, you pass.
But if your income is greater than the median Florida income form a household your size, you may still qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Depending on where you live, you may be able to deduct certain expenses like basic necessities, housing, and transportation from your monthly income.
If you have questions about whether chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, consult the experienced Jacksonville bankruptcy law firm of Elrod & Elrod for an evaluation of your case and individual situation.
Elrod & Elrod proudly represents people and families in and around Jacksonville and throughout northeast Florida in Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St.Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union counties.
Contact an experienced northeast Florida bankruptcy lawyer at Elrod & Elrod today. Call 904-356-1282, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our online form today.
Our work includes acting as a debt relief agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.