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.

How to win a child relocation case in Florida

How When a couple with children get divorced and they have a time-sharing agreement or order from a Florida family law court court determining child custody proper steps must be taken before relocating with the child. Under Florida child custody law, a change in location means that the party is requesting to relocate with the children at least 50 miles away from their current residence. See Florida child custody law 61.13001. If both parents agree to the relocation it will make the process a lot easier.

How to Get an Annulment in Florida

A divorce is known as a dissolution of marriage in Florida and a dissolution of marriage is granted when something went wrong in a valid marriage and the couple has developed irreconcilable differences. See Florida divorce law 61.052. An annulment, however, is granted if a judge determines that there was never a valid marriage in the first place. For a marriage to be invalid it must be either void or voidable. A void marriage is one that should never have been permitted to form under the existing law. An example of a void marriage is one based on bigamy, with one or both spouses already married to another when attempting to marry each other.

how soon can I file Chapter 7 again

Have you filed bankruptcy in the past and find yourself in a situation where you need to file again?  You can usually do so, but Bankruptcy law provides various waiting periods for someone who has filed bankruptcy in the past, depending on which chapter that individual previously filed. For more information on Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 eligibility contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area. Many bankruptcy law firms in Tampa will offer a free initial consultation.

If you previously filed Chapter 7 (or Chapter 11/12) and now want to file Chapter 13, you must wait 4 years from the date you received your Chapter 7 discharge before you can file Chapter 13.  See Bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. § 1328.  If you previously filed Chapter 13 and now want to file another Chapter 13 case, you must wait 2 years from the date you received your Chapter 13 discharge before you can file Chapter 13 again.

How Chapter 13 payments are calculated

Your creditors in a Chapter 13 do not get paid more than they would if you were to file Chapter 7.  This is a common misconception amongst people deciding which bankruptcy to file.  Chapter 13 is truly for the benefit of the debtor to be able to keep his or her assets instead of having them liquidated like they would in a Chapter 7.  This bankruptcy is for those who can afford to keep their secured debt and continue to make their payments in full and on time. For more information on Chapter 7 bankruptcy click here.

The Chapter 13 repayment plan can last anywhere from three-to-five years.  The Bankruptcy Code provides that if your income is less than the state average income, then you will be in a three-year repayment plan; however,