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How to Keep Property in Bankruptcy

Many people who choose to file Chapter 7 do so because they can no longer afford to stay in their home, and/or want to be relieved of their car loan. In Chapter 7, you have three options when it comes to your secured debt, and you must file a statement of intention as to those secured debts within 30 days of filing your bankruptcy petition. See bankruptcy law  11 U.S.C. § 521. It is highly recommended to consult with a bankruptcy attorney prior to completing you statement of intentions. Without competent advice you may accidentally limit the amount of relief bankruptcy can provide. For information on how to treat debt in a specific case contact a bankruptcy law firm in your area.

Debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy

If a debt is discharged in bankruptcy the borrower (debtor) will be released from all personal liability on the debt. Further, the bankruptcy discharge prohibits a creditor from taking any collection action against the borrower. In most cases, obtaining a discharge will be the primary reason why a borrower files for bankruptcy. However, there are many nuances of bankruptcy law which can prevent a discharge of certain debts. Therefore, it is important to seek the advice and counsel of a bankruptcy attorney when pursuing relief from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  For instance, debts are treated differently under bankruptcy law depending on the type of debt.

Debt is categorized into two types: secured and unsecured. First, think of secured debt as something tangible (i.e., a home or a car).

Costs to File Chapter 7

If you are overwhelmed with debt, filing for bankruptcy may help bring some much needed relief. However, bankruptcy is not right for everyone and you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney before taking action. If you decide to move forward with bankruptcy there will be some requirements you have to satisfy prior to the bankruptcy court accepting your petition. For more information on the process for filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy contact a bankruptcy law firm in your area.

Whether you want to file chapter 7 or chapter 13, you must complete a “credit counseling course” within 180 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. Bankruptcy judges are very strict with this requirement. If you take the course more than 180 days prior to filing, the court will make you take the course again.

enforce child support in Florida

Each parent of a child has a duty to provide for the basic needs of his or her own child. That duty exists regardless of the existence of a marriage between the parents of the child. Upon a couple separating who has children together a court will grant a child custody order that may contain a child support order. A child support order issued in Florida (or any other state) is a legally-enforceable court order requiring one parent to make a periodic payment of support to the other parent for purposes of supporting the child or children. The amount and duration of the child support payments will be based on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines. For assistance with the Guidelines contact a family law attorney in your area.

What Happens to Assets When Filing Bankruptcy

When you file bankruptcy, you will hear the phrase “property of the estate” a lot.  This means that everything you have a legal or equitable interest in as of the date you file your petition will belong to the bankruptcy estate, which is administered by your assigned trustee.  See U.S. v. Whiting Pools.   Even if you do not physically possess a piece of property that you own at the time you file your petition (For example, your sister uses a vehicle that you own outright and you never drive it), that property may still be property of the estate, even though you do not physically have it any longer.  Another example of something you may have a legal or equitable interest in as of the date you file your petition is if you work pre-petition (meaning before you file bankruptcy), and you earn that income post-petition (after you file your petition), that income is property of the estate and belongs to the trustee because you had legal and equitable rights to that income prior to filing your petition.

Chapter 7 process

Chapter 7 is the shortest termed bankruptcy that you can file.  It typically lasts anywhere from one-to-three months, depending on how many assets and creditors you have.  If you have several assets, your case may take longer because the bankruptcy trustee will need to investigate them more closely and decide whether it is worth liquidating any of your assets that are not protected by exemptions. A bankruptcy attorney can provide you with more information about the type of investigation the bankruptcy trustee will conduct. To speak with a bankruptcy attorney now click here.

The first step in chapter 7 is to complete a credit counseling course.  This course must be completed 180 days prior to you filing your petition for Chapter 7 with the court.  There are numerous pre-approved agencies that offer this course. You can find a list of approved agencies in in Florida by going here: https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111. A bankruptcy attorney in Tampa can also provide advice on which local agencies offer the course.

Durational alimony in Florida

The amount and duration of any award of alimony is determined on a case by case basis. For information about a particular case or set of circumstances contact a divorce lawyer for legal advice. The court will first determine if there is a need for alimony by one party and if the other party is able to pay alimony. Once that is determined then the Florida family law judge must weigh the factors listed in Florida divorce law 61.08, but there is no indication of the weight that each factor should possess. The statute also states that all other relevant factors can be considered when determining the amount and duration of the alimony award, as the list of factors in the statute is not exclusive. Further, there are many different forms of alimony which are available under Florida divorce law. The types of alimony will vary in amount, duration, and purpose.

One of the types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida is durational alimony.

Bridge the Gap Alimony in Florida

One of the four types of alimony that can be awarded to either party in a divorce is bridge-the-gap alimony. Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to assist a party after a divorce by providing support until the party makes a transition from being married to being single. Generally having two salaries in a house-hold is much easier than having one salary, living alone or with minor children. Bridge-the-gap alimony is a short term payment from one spouse to another for a set amount of time. To see if you qualify to receive or may be compelled to pay alimony consult with a divorce attorney in your area. Alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis depending on the facts surrounding each divorce. An experienced divorce attorney can help you predict what may be required in your specific divorce case.

How to pass the means test

In its simplest form, the means-test is a way to separate out those who “need” bankruptcy from those who don’t.  It was developed to keep people from abusing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings when they rack up consumer debts, but make a good salary or otherwise should not be eligible for the discharge proceedings from a public policy perspective.  The means test is only required for Chapter 7, borrowers seeking relief under Chapter 13 will not be required to satisfy the means test. Additionally, the means test may not be applied in your case if you are a disabled veteran or if your debt is primarily business-related debts as opposed to consumer debts.  As such, it is important to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before deciding that the Means Test will or will not disqualify you from filing a successful bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy attorney may be willing to offer a free consultation to help determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

how to stop car repossession

A common question in bankruptcy consultations is- what happens to my car during bankruptcy? Can I keep it? The simple answer is “yes” because bankruptcy law immediately stops any form of repossession of vehicles no matter how far behind the car payment may be or how high the outstanding balance is. In addition, the bankruptcy chapter you file can make a large impact on what options are available for keeping your car, including paying less on the loan & interest rate, or simply getting rid of the car payment obligation all together. To learn more about the different chapters for bankruptcy contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area.