Should I File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case or a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case?

Law Office of Tony Turner, 4465 US 1 #101, St. Augustine, Fl 32086, United States (US) - Phone: 9046792020 Fax: Law Office of Tony Turner Email:
Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00


As a Bankruptcy Lawyer in St. Augustine and Orange Park Florida, I realize deciding whether to file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 case can be confusing to most clients.

First, you will want to schedule a conference with your bankruptcy lawyer to discuss in great detail you financial situation and the assets you own. This will help your attorney determine which chapter of bankruptcy will be the best for you. The goal is to discharge your debts in the most affordable and effective manner.

The Law Office of Tony Turner has offices in Orange Park, St. Augustine, Deland, Jacksonville, & Lake City, Florida to meet with clients and provide them with the appropriate legal advice and guidance. Most clients want a “bankruptcy lawyer near me”, hopefully one of these offices is conveniently located.

Your Bankruptcy Lawyer must be concerned, aware and take into consideration which Chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code protects your property from the United States Trustee the best. The Trustee is assigned by the Bankruptcy System to oversee and review your bankruptcy petition. The Bankruptcy Trustee is charged with the responsibility of determining if there are any assets to recover and sell. The proceeds will then be used to pay your creditors. An experienced Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer will know which Statutory exemptions to apply to protect your assets. This is a must. A mistake in applying the proper exemption could be devastating to a debtor financially.

A Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer should thoroughly review your financial records including: tax returns; bank statements; pay stubs; retirement accounts; automobiles and the loans attached; liens and any other assets whether liquid or not to determine which Chapter of Bankruptcy is right for you or whether you should even file for bankruptcy or can file.

The Law Office of Tony Turner offers free consultations so that you he can educate you about the Bankruptcy Law, the Exemptions available and advise you what to do and what not to do before you file for bankruptcy. Attorney Turners clients learn about the debt relief options available and whether they qualify for bankruptcy without worrying about how to pay attorney fees for the consultation. It’s free.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is a reorganization. You can reorganize your debts into an affordable bankruptcy plan.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is a liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 7 takes less time and costs less than a Chapter 13.

But Chapter 7 is not the best choice for every person. In addition, you must meet income requirements to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7

Let’s look at each bankruptcy chapter closely to weigh the pros and cons of each debt relief option.
What is Involved in Filing Chapter 13 in Florida?
As discussed above, a Chapter 13 case is a reorganization of your debt through a repayment plan. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you can get rid of unsecured debts for a small fraction of what you owe. Instead of paying the full balance owed to each unsecured creditor, you pay a percentage of the debt. In some cases, debtors may pay pennies on the dollar, depending on their financial situation.
Some benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case include:
* Allows you to get rid of unsecured debt for a fraction of what is owed to the creditor.
* Can stop foreclosures and repossessions so that you can keep your home and vehicles.
* In some cases, a debtor may be able to get rid of a second mortgage for a fraction of what you owe the lender.
* You may be able to lower your car payments by modifying the term of the loan and the interest rate through a Chapter 13 plan.
* You have up to 60 months to pay back due taxes in a Chapter 13 case.
* If you owe alimony or child support, you can stop a contempt action and pay the past due support through your Chapter 13 plan. However, you must pay all future support payments on time.
* If you have equity in an asset that exceeds the allowed bankruptcy exemptions, you can protect that asset by filing a Chapter 13 case.
* Some disadvantages of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case include:
* A typical Chapter 13 plan is a 60-month repayment plan. Therefore, you are in Chapter 13 for over five years.
* During your Chapter 13 case, you cannot transfer substantial assets, refinance loans, or incur new debt without court approval.
* The percentage you must pay toward unsecured debts is based on several factors, including your income, assets, and certain recent financial transactions.
* A Chapter 13 case can help you save your home, car, and other assets. It can also help you get out of debt for less than you owe right now.

Your Florida Bankruptcy attorney also checks to see if you are eligible to file under Chapter 7.

What is Involved in Filing Chapter 7 in Florida?
You may have heard stories about people losing everything they own when they file for debt relief under Chapter 7. This bankruptcy myth is not true. Most debtors do not lose any of their property when they file a Chapter 7 case. Let’s look at the pros and cons of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to help you understand what is involved in filing under this chapter of bankruptcy.
Some benefits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case include:
* Most Chapter 7 cases are completed within four to six months after the filing of the bankruptcy petition.
* You are not required to repay any portion of unsecured debts that are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge.
* Bankruptcy exemptions typically protect all your property, so that you do not lose any property if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
* You can surrender collateral in full satisfaction of a lien without worrying about the lender obtaining a deficiency judgment for any remaining balance owed after the collateral is liquidated.
* Some disadvantages of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case include:
You could lose an asset if the bankruptcy exemptions do not cover the equity in the asset and you cannot afford to “buy back” the asset from the Chapter 7 trustee. Again, most Chapter 7 cases filed in Florida do not result in the loss of property to the Chapter 7 trustee.
You must remain current on your mortgage and car loan payments to keep the assets. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case stops foreclosures and repossessions for a short time. You must catch up the payments and remain current to keep the collateral.
Likewise, you do not have 60 months to pay back taxes or unpaid support payments when you file a Chapter 7 case.
You must meet strict income requirements to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7. If you “fail” the Means Test, you are not eligible for a bankruptcy discharge in Chapter 7.
Before you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you need to consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney. Once you file a Chapter 7 case, you are not entitled to dismiss the bankruptcy case voluntarily without court approval.
You can also find more information about filing for bankruptcy relief on the FAQ section of our website.
Seek Advice From an Experienced Florida Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are struggling with debts that you cannot pay each month, you may benefit from filing for bankruptcy relief. However, filing a bankruptcy case is a complex matter. You should only file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case after consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy case gets rid of debt; however, you need to consider all debt relief options before choosing bankruptcy as your path to eliminate debt.
Tony Turner represents clients throughout Orange Park, Jacksonville, Lake City, Deland, Augustine, and the surrounding areas. If you need an affordable solution to your debt problems, call now for a free case review.
Contact The Law Office of Tony Turner for a free consultation. An experienced Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer is a must. Call (904) 679-2020 or use the online form

Definition of bankruptcy


The definition of bankruptcy is the legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay it’s debts and files a bankruptcy petition with the appropriate Court requesting the debt be discharged. In Florida, thousands of debtors file for bankruptcy every month. For most it is a measure of last resort. Many debtors try for years to pay their debt before succumbing to the realization that it virtually impossible.

A recent trend is that older debtors are beginning to file bankruptcy with more frequency. The rate is more than double what it was in the early 1990’s. The rate of debtors over the age of 65 filing for bankruptcy increased over 200% from 1991 to present. This increase is caused in part by the medical bills as well as the lower incomes they receive and the nationwide decline in pension, retirement pay and interest rate earned on money saved or the death of a spouse. Many resort to living with their children or doing without necessities to pay their bills.
Medicare does pay some health care costs, but it does not cover extensive care, hearing aids, dental procedures, eye exams, foot care and some other treatment. Sometimes there are co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles. The skyrocketing medical costs are just too much. Sometimes Churches, friends or family will help. However, once they get behind on their bills, the constant calls from bill collectors are just too stressful and they contact a bankruptcy attorney for help.

Most debtor’s over 60 are reluctant to file for bankruptcy. They have a stronger sense of a moral obligation to pay. Some have parents that grew up during the Great Depression or were part of the “Greatest Generation”. The decision to file for bankruptcy takes place over time.

Most debtors struggle for years in what’s know as the “sweat box”. Most deplete all their assets when it wasn’t necessary. The assets could have been protected and kept under the bankruptcy laws. It’s a very difficult and painful decision, but one that ultimately leaves them in a better financial position for their Golden Years. The over 60 year old clients are some of the most appreciative clients I have. They are respectful, compliant and will bake you a cake from scratch for your birthday. At least one I’ve represented does.

New Bankruptcy Filings Fell 2.2 Percent


According to a report published on website on October 31, 2018, Bankruptcies fell by 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2018, compared with the year ending September 30, 2017, continuing a series of slight annual declines in new cases.

The September 2018 annual bankruptcy filings totaled 773,375, compared with 790,830 cases in the previous year, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The number of bankruptcy cases filed was the lowest for any 12-month period since the year ending June 2007.

A national wave of bankruptcies that began in 2008 reached a peak in the year ending September 2010, when nearly 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed.

Business and Non-Business Filings,
Year Business Non-Business Total
2018 22,103 751,272 773,375
2017 23,109 767,721 790,830
2016 24,457 781,123 805,580
2015 24,985 835,197 860,182
2014 28,319 935,420 963,739

Total Bankruptcy Filings By Chapter

Year Chapter
7 11 12 13
2018 477,248 7,014 468 288,550
2017 486,542 7,052 508 296,599
2016 498,367 7,450 458 299,150
2015 550,036 7,040 383 302,642
2014 642,366 7,658 372 313,262

According to an article on the BESTCASE website – Supreme Court Approves Amendments to Bankruptcy Rules

Amendments to Bankruptcy Rules

AUTHOR – George Basharis, JD
DATE – 27 September 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure that are expected to become effective on December 1, 2018. Many of the amendments are technical and are intended to conform the Bankruptcy Rules to recently amended rules of appellate and civil procedure. Bankruptcy Rules affected by the amendments include Rules 3002.1, 5005, 7004, 7062, 8002, 8006, 8007, 8010, 8011, 8013, 8015, 8016, 8017, 8021, 8022, 9025, and new Rule 8018.1 and Part VIII Appendix.

Rule 3002.1. Bankruptcy Rule 3002.1 requires creditors with claims secured by a debtor’s personal residence to provide notice of all post-petition payment changes, fees, expenses, and charges incurred. The proposed amendments to the rule would create flexibility regarding notice of payment changes for home equity loans, include a procedure for objecting to payment changes, and expand the category of parties who can seek a determination of fees, expenses, and charges that are owed at the end of a bankruptcy case.

Rules 5005 and 8011. Rules 5005(a)(2) and 8011 authorize individual courts to mandate electronic filing or to make it optional. Most courts require attorneys to file electronically, subject to reasonable exceptions. The proposed amendments would make electronic filing mandatory in all districts for all parties represented by an attorney. Paper filing would be allowed for good cause, and individual courts by local rule could permit paper filings for other reasons.

The proposal would permit pro se debtors to file electronically only if authorized by individual court order or local rule. Individual courts that mandates electronic filing for all pro se debtors must provide reasonable exceptions.

Rule 7004. The technical amendment to Rule 7004 would update a cross-reference to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.

Rules 7062, 8007, 8010, 8021, and 9025. These rules address the entry, enforcement, and appeal of judgments entered in adversary proceedings. Rule 7062 incorporates the whole of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62, which provides an automatic stay for the enforcement of judgments entered by a district court. The current stay is 14 days, but a proposed amendment to Civil Rule 62 would increase the stay to 30 days to coincide with the 28-day deadline for filing post-judgment motions in district court. The proposed amendment to Bankruptcy Rule 7062 would still incorporate Civil Rule 62 but would retain the 14-day duration for the automatic stay of judgments since the deadline for post-judgment motions in bankruptcy cases is only 14 days.

The proposed amendments to Rules 8007, 8010, 8021, and 9025 would allow a party to stay the enforcement of a judgment in an adversary proceeding by posting a “bond or other security.” This is not a substantive amendment; it is intended only to “broaden and modernize” the terms “supersedeas bond” and “surety” that are used currently in the rules.

Rule 8002; Official Form 417A and New Director’s Form 4170. Rule 8002 addresses the timeliness of appeals. Rule 8002(a) provides that a notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days after the entry of a judgment. The proposed amendment to Rule 8002(a) would add a new subparagraph (5) that defines the term “entry of judgment” for purposes of calculating the time for filing the notice of appeal.

Rule 8002(b) lists the types of post-judgment motions that toll the deadline for filing appeals. The proposed amendment to Rule 8002(b) would require the filing of post-judgment motions within the times specified by the rules under which the motions are authorized. A similar amendment concerning the timeliness of tolling motions was made to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(4) in 2016.

Rule 8002(c) establishes filing and service requirements for inmate appeals. Under the proposed amendments to Rule 8002(c), an inmate’s notice of appeal is timely if deposited in the institution’s mail system on or before the last day for filing. The notice must include a declaration or notarized statement by the inmate stating the mailing date of the notice and attesting to the prepayment of first-class postage. A new Director’s Form, Form 4170 (Declaration of Inmate Filing), sets out a suggested form for the declaration. An amendment to Official Form 417A would direct inmate filers to the Director’s Form.

Rule 8006. Rule 8006(c) establishes the manner by which litigants can file a joint certification for direct appellate review. The amendment would add a new subsection that would allow the bankruptcy court to file a supplemental statement about the merits of the parties’ joint certification. The new subsection is intended to be the counterpart to existing subsection (e)(2), which authorizes the parties to file a similar statement when the court certifies direct review on its own motion.

Rules 8013, 8015, 8016, 8022, and New Part VIII Appendix; Official Form 417C. Rules 8013 (motions), 8015 (briefs), 8016 (cross-appeals), and 8022 (rehearing) establish length limits for motions, briefs, and other pleadings filed in bankruptcy appeals. The proposed amendments convert current page limits to word-count limits for documents prepared using a computer. Similar length limits were made to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure in 2016. A new appendix to Part VIII of the Bankruptcy Rules lists all of the length limits in one chart. A conforming amendment is made to the certificate of compliance in Official Form 417C.

Rule 8017. Rule 8017 addresses the filing of amicus curiae briefs. The proposed amendments would permit a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel to prohibit or strike an amicus brief if the filing would result in the disqualification of a judge. The amendments address the scenario in which an amicus brief is filed before a judge or appellate panel is assigned to a case and amicus curiae could not predict whether the filing of its brief would result in a recusal. A similar amendment has been proposed for Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 29.

Rule 8018.1. New Rule 8018.1 is the latest installment of rule amendments intended to address the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. 462 (2011) on bankruptcy court jurisdiction to enter final judgments. The proposed rule would authorize a district court to treat a bankruptcy court’s judgment as proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law if the lower court did not have the constitutional authority to enter a final judgment.

Official Forms 411A and 411B. The use of Official Forms is mandatory. The Bankruptcy Rules do not require the use of Director’s Forms; their use is optional unless local court rule or general order mandates their use. At its September meeting, the Judicial Conference approved reissuing the bankruptcy general and special power of attorney forms, currently Director’s Forms 4011A and 4011B, as Official Forms 411A and 411B to conform to Bankruptcy Rule 9010(c), which requires execution of a power of attorney on an Official Form. Bankruptcy cases commenced after December 1, 2018, must use the new forms. Cases pending on December 1 must use the new forms “insofar as just and practicable.”

Effective date. The Judicial Conference approved the rule amendments last fall at its annual meeting. The Supreme Court adopted the proposed amendments and transmitted them to Congress in April 2018. If Congress takes no action, the amendments will become effective on December 1, 2018.

According to an article published on website on August 27, 2018


Consumers filing for bankruptcy in 2017 reported aggregated assets of $80 billion and aggregated total liabilities of $105 billion, according to an annual report filed by the Judiciary with Congress.
The report, required by Congress under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, describes the activities of individuals with predominantly consumer debt. Other highlights of the report are:

Sixty-two percent of assets were real property, and the remaining assets were personal property.
Debtors in the Northern District of California and in the Southern District of Florida reported the highest average assets per petition, at $583,000 and $338,000, respectively. Filers in the Western District of Tennessee reported the lowest average assets, $44,000.
The median average income reported by debtors was $2,741 a month, and the median average monthly expenses were $2,645.
A total of 742,323 consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in 2017, 1 percent fewer than in 2016.
About 61 percent of the petitions were filed under Chapter 7, in which a debtor’s assets are liquidated and proceeds are distributed to creditors, except for exempt assets. About 38 percent were filed under Chapter 13, in which debtors make installment payments to creditors under court-ordered plans. Debtors were able to successfully pay their debts in 48 percent of the Chapter 13 cases closed in 2017 – slightly less than the 52 percent reported in 2016.
Less than 1 percent of petitions by individuals with consumer debts were filed under Chapter 11, which allows businesses and individuals to continue operating while they make plans to reorganize and repay creditors.
The data for the report is provided by the debtors either at the time they file bankruptcy petitions or within two weeks of filing, which is required by federal bankruptcy rules.

Bankruptcy can provide “Debt Relief”


The keywords are – Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bankruptcy Attorney, Bankruptcy Law Firm, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Law Firm, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Orange Park Bankruptcy Lawyer, Orange Park Bankruptcy Law Firm, Orange Park Bankruptcy Attorney, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Lawyer, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Attorney, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Law Firm.

Here’s some information you may need:

I practice law only in the area of “Bankruptcy” for debtors.
There are basically two types of Bankruptcy – “Chapter 7 & Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy can stop homes from being “Foreclosed” and sold.
Bankruptcy can stop “Harassing Phone Calls”.
Bankruptcy can provide “Debt Relief”.
Bankruptcy can discharge some taxes.
Bankruptcy can discharge card debt.
Bankruptcy can stop repossession of cars.
Bankruptcy can stop lawsuits.
A homeowner can “Modify Mortgages” in Bankruptcy.
I have payment plans for my clients.
I have practice law since 1991.

Bankruptcy can stop lawsuits

America's most honored professionals

Here’s some information you may need: I practice law only in the area of “Bankruptcy” for debtors.

There are basically two types of Bankruptcy – “Chapter 7 & Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy can stop homes from being “Foreclosed” and sold.
Bankruptcy can stop “Harassing Phone Calls”.
Bankruptcy can provide “Debt Relief”.
Bankruptcy can discharge some taxes.
Bankruptcy can discharge card debt.
Bankruptcy can stop repossession of cars.
Bankruptcy can stop lawsuits.
A homeowner can “Modify Mortgages” in Bankruptcy.
I have payment plans for my clients.
I have practice law since 1991.

The keywords are – Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bankruptcy Attorney, Bankruptcy Law Firm, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Law Firm, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, Orange Park Bankruptcy Lawyer, Orange Park Bankruptcy Law Firm, Orange Park Bankruptcy Attorney, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Lawyer, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Attorney, St. Augustine Bankruptcy Law Firm

A homeowner can “Modify Mortgages” in Bankruptcy


I practice law only in the area of “Bankruptcy” for debtors.
There are basically two types of Bankruptcy – “Chapter 7 & Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy can stop homes from being “Foreclosed” and sold.
It can stop “Harassing Phone Calls”.
This can provide “Debt Relief”.
It can discharge some taxes.
Bankruptcy can discharge card debt.
It can stop repossession of cars.
This can stop lawsuits.
A homeowner can “Modify Mortgages” in Bankruptcy.
I have payment plans for my clients.
I have practice law since 1991.