Bankruptcy is a legal process to discharge or repay some, or all, of your debt under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy code and bankruptcy laws are intended for the honest but unfortunate debtor. 

Filing for bankruptcy prevents continued efforts by creditors to collect debts and can eliminate repayment obligations or provide for a restructuring of the obligations, enabling the debtor to obtain a fresh start. When a debtor files for bankruptcy, all their property becomes property of the bankruptcy estate. A debtor may prevent the taking and selling of their property by claiming them as exempt under Florida Statues. The date of bankruptcy filing determines the property in the bankruptcy estate and the exemptions allowed.

The Law Office of Tony Turner is a debt relief agency. Section 101(12A) of the Bankruptcy Code defines a “debt relief agency” as “Any person who provides any bankruptcy assistance for the payment of money or other valuable consideration”. Bankruptcy lawyers are “debt relief agencies” as defined by the bankruptcy code. The Bankruptcy code details which debtors can file for bankruptcy and when they can receive a bankruptcy discharge. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you if you are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge and what chapter under the Federal Bankruptcy Code you should file under.

Debt, Blue sign, attorney, lawyer, briefcase, grey suit, fresh startDebtors typically file bankruptcy using Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, depending on the debtor’s financial situation. If your monthly income is less than or equal to the median income in your state, you’re eligible to file a Chapter 7 and receive a discharge assuming you meet the other Chapter 7 eligibility requirements, such as the rule limiting how often you can file a Chapter 7 and receive a bankruptcy discharge order. If your income is over the state median, then you must determine how much disposable income remains after deducting your expenses from your earnings. If you “fail” the means test, you might not be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

There are two ways to avoid the “means test” related to military service: 1) Is the disabled veteran, and 2) the active duty/homeland defense exemptions. A “disabled veteran,” means you are entitled to veteran disability compensation by being at least 30% disabled or you have been discharged from service or released from active duty, because of “a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty” and your “indebtedness occurred primarily during a period” in which you were either on “active duty,” meaning “full-time duty in the active military service of the United States” or “performing a homeland defense activity.”

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy starts with the filing of a “bankruptcy petition” which is about a 60-page document. Contained on your bankruptcy petition will be: 1) “Schedules” listing your assets, their value, and your debt; 2) Your current total monthly household income and expenses (CMI); 3) A statement of financial affairs called a (SOFA); 4) A schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases; 5) Individual debtors with primarily consumer debts must file a certificate of credit counseling.

About 30 days after the bankruptcy petition is filed, the trustee will hold a “meeting of the creditors,” where you will be placed under oath, and asked questions about why you filed bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is where a trustee examines your assets and determines if any property is available to be sold or recovered for the benefit of your creditors.

 Most likely all your property will be “exempt” under Florida Statute, meaning you keep it. If there are no assets to liquidate, you are considered a “no-asset case”  and you will receive a discharge order from the bankruptcy judge about 90 days after filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy order discharges your debts and gives you a much-needed fresh start. About 90 days after filing your bankruptcy petition the judge should enter an order discharging your debt.

The creditors listed on the matrix section of your bankruptcy petition will be notified via mail when you file for bankruptcy and when your debt has been discharged. The bankruptcy court will charge you a $338.00 filing fee due when your bankruptcy petition is filed.

 A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is  titled “Adjustments of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income,” and is often referred to as “reorganization.” In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you submit to the bankruptcy court a plan to repay creditors over a three to five-year period. The bankruptcy judge must approve the Chapter 13 plan.  If the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan meets the requirements set out in the Bankruptcy Code and is confirmed by the bankruptcy court, your payments under the plan are distributed to creditors by the Chapter 13 trustee. The Chapter 13 Trustee is a lawyer that oversees your case. They have a fiduciary duty to the creditors to maximize the amount you must pay into your plan and make sure your plan complies with the bankruptcy laws. Any party in interest may object to confirmation of the plan. If the trustee and creditors don’t object to the plan, the Chapter 13 confirmation hearing should be a mere formality. While in Chapter 13 you may not incur new debt without consulting the trustee and you must complete all plan payments before a bankruptcy discharge can be received. While in bankruptcy, you are protected from lawsuits, garnishments, and other creditor actions. Creditors provided for in full or in part under the bankruptcy plan may no longer initiate or continue any legal or other action against you to collect the discharged obligations.

Some debts are not discharged in bankruptcy which includes debts for alimony or child support, certain taxes, debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, and debts for restitution or a criminal fine included in a sentence on your conviction of a crime.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan may modify the rights of holders of secured claims, other than a claim secured only by a security interest in real property that is the debtor’s principal residence. The Debtors may propose to strip the lien of the HELOC, paying the lienholder as an unsecured creditor through Chapter 13. Once discharged, the lien will be deemed satisfied/extinguished by a combination of the confirmation order, discharge order, and order from any adversary filed to evaluate the priority or status of the lien.

Your case can be dismissed for not making timely payments. If you cannot make your payments, consider converting to Chapter 7. To convert and receive a discharge order, debtors must have been eligible for Chapter 7 discharge on the date of the filing of the original case.  The filing fee for Chapter 13 is $310.00 due when the case is filed.

Consultations are available with the Law Office of Tony Turner and Attorney Tony Turner in Orange Park, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Deland, Daytona, and Lake City.  Call now at 904-679-2020. The Law Office of Tony Turner wishes you the best and hopes you found this website informative and helpful.

make an appoinment