Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Bankruptcy
Answers from knowledgeable Plantation debt relief attorneys
Even in desperate circumstances, many people and businesses are reluctant to seek the debt relief help they need. There is no reason to be intimidated by the prospect of bankruptcy. It is a longstanding legal tool specifically created to help struggling individuals, families and companies. At Miller, Hollander & Jeda in Plantation, we provide detailed advice throughout the bankruptcy process and explain how the relevant law applies to you. We will provide clear, authoritative answers to all your questions, including these:
- Is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 a better option for me?
- What is the difference between debt consolidation and debt settlement?
- What debts are dischargeable under Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Are student loans one of them?
- What happens after my debt is discharged?
- Can corporations and LLCs file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- What happens to my car and home in a bankruptcy?
- What is the difference between liens and levies?
Contact a knowledgeable Florida bankruptcy lawyer for a free initial consultation
Miller, Hollander & Jeda represents clients throughout the Fort Lauderdale area in a full range of bankruptcy and debt relief matters. To learn more about how we can help you, please call 954-919-2187 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our Plantation office.
Every case is unique and without a review of your circumstances, it is impossible to recommend a specific solution. However, in general terms, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a better option for clients who have no reasonable means of paying their debts, even if payments are reduced and extended over a longer period. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often more appropriate for clients who are earning income and can make payments over three to five years to catch up on what they owe.
Debt consolidation and debt settlement are designed to address the same problem, but they are very different processes. In debt consolidation, a company issues a loan in order to pay your various creditors. Depending on the amount, this loan can be secured by your vehicle or home. With your debts satisfied, you make one monthly payment, including interest, to the company that issued the loan. Debt settlement is a process in which someone attempts to cancel their obligations by settling on a compromise with each creditor. For either option, seek the advice of a qualified lawyer to make sure you understand the repayment terms and tax consequences.
Some items, such as taxes, child support and student loan debt, are specifically excluded from standard bankruptcy protection. However, in some instances, a debtor can petition for relief from student loan bills and other debts if they can demonstrate that special circumstances exist. There might also be exemptions for obligations that you have recently incurred.
A discharge typically occurs 60 days after the creditors’ meeting. Once the bankruptcy court issues its order in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, nonexempt debts are canceled. From there, you can start the process of re-establishing your credit.
Businesses, like individuals, are permitted to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Though many companies opt for filings that allow them to remain in operation, such Chapter 13, liquidation and debt discharge is available under Chapter 7. If an honest assessment shows that your business cannot survive, using this business bankruptcy process can protect your company’s troubles from affecting you personally.
The law recognizes the harm done by stripping bankruptcy applicants of their personal possessions. Taking someone’s home or car might make it impossible for them to get back on their feet again. Therefore, these items, along with personal possessions such as clothes, are usually not liquidated in a bankruptcy. However, if your mortgage is secured by your house, or a car loan is secured by the vehicle itself, those assets are subject to foreclosure or repossession.
Liens and levies are both used to secure a debt, but there is a distinct difference between the two legal actions. A levy is the taking of property in order to pay a tax debt, while a lien is just a claim made against a debtor’s property in order to secure payment. If the IRS, the Florida Department of Revenue, or some other entity is threatening you with a lien or levy, securing strong legal representation gives you the best chance to avoid losing your home or another valuable asset.