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Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 13 In Florida

How Do I Get A Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

Sunrise, FL Attorney Explains Chapter 13 Bankruptcy | Fort Lauderdale 33305

After you have secured a Chapter 13 resolution, you must abide by the terms of this resolution to the letter, especially when it comes to making your required repayments. If you miss any payments or fail to abide by any terms of your Chapter 13 resolution, the court may remove the automatic stay that prohibits creditors from pursuing further collection actions against you. However, the bankruptcy laws of the United States acknowledge the fact that some life events can cause unexpected financial hardship beyond an individuals control.

If you are unable to meet your Chapter 13 resolution obligations due to forces beyond your control, such as the appearance of a medical condition or a serious injury that prevents you from working, your bankruptcy attorney can assist you in petitioning the bankruptcy court for a hardship discharge of your outstanding debt. You should understand the requirements for hardship discharge:

  • The reason or reasons for your inability to pay your debt must be completely beyond your control.
  • Your creditors must have already received as much compensation as they would have received through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy resolution.
  • Modification of your current Chapter 13 repayment plan is unfeasible given your new circumstances.

How Do I Qualify For Chapter 13 In Florida

An individual qualifies for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida as long as the individual’s unsecured debts are below $419,175 and the individual’s secured debts are less than $1,257,850 according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. This is for cases filed on or after April 1, 2019. Chapter 13 eligibility is quite a bit different, so many individuals are eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida who may not be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Florida Legal Aid Organizations

Florida legal aid organizations provide free or low-cost representation and legal advice to low-income families. Some programs, like Community Legal Services of Mid Florida, are large and funded by Congress through the Legal Services Corporation. Other programs may be smaller and more local.

Overall, legal aid in Florida is robust for low-income Florida residents. Check with organizations near you to see if you may be eligible for legal help, especially if you donât feel comfortable handling the bankruptcy process on your own. These programs usually provide help in multiple areas of Florida law, including helping you obtain your bankruptcy discharge.

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Who Can File For Bankruptcy In Florida

To file for bankruptcy in Florida the Debtor must have lived, had its principal place of business, or have its principal assets within a Florida district longer than in any other district over the last 180 days before filing the bankruptcy petition or must have another reason under 28 U.S.C section 1408.

You may file a bankruptcy case as an individual where you are referred to as the Debtor or you may file the case jointly with your spouse.

How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Small Business In Florida

How To File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Florida

There are more than 2.4 million small businesses in Florida, employing more than 3.2 million people. If you are one of them, you might be wondering if bankruptcy is an option to reduce your debt.

Depending on how your business is legally categorized, youll be able to file a Chapter 7, 11, or 13 case.

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Jacksonville can help you determine if bankruptcy is your best alternative. Because Florida is a homestead exemption state, there may be some other things to keep in mind, as well. Each of these can have different effects on your business.

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Benefits Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Although many people view bankruptcy as a process that financially irresponsible people must go through, this is not the case at all. Sometimes events occur in life leaving people in a position of financial distress, and bankruptcy can be seen as the opportunity to move forward and get a fresh start. There are a number of benefits of filing for bankruptcy and, with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can do some of the things that Chapter 7 will not allow. For example, Chapter 13 can allow individuals to strip off second or third mortgages and / or incorporate them into the original mortgage.

Chapter 13 can protect your car from repossession with a similar strategy regarding your car payments. Filing can also reduce monthly payments on student loans or government debts. You can include these costs in your payment plan and can avoid accruing arrears and penalties. Additionally, Chapter 13 does not have as big of an impact on the individual’s credit report as other choices. Creditors know that you are meeting your obligations and have the cash flow to slowly pay them back.

How Does A Chapter 13 Work In Florida

When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, the court assigns a case number and notifies your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy relief. Your creditors must then work within the bankruptcy court to resolve the debt you owe to them. Creditors may not continue collection efforts or begin new collection actions without court approval. Therefore, filing a Chapter 13 petition stops repossessions, foreclosures, wage garnishments, collection lawsuits, and other forms of debt collection immediately.

As part of your bankruptcy filing, you must file a proposed Chapter 13 plan. Your bankruptcy plan provides the court and your creditors the details of how you intend to reorganize your debt. In most cases, your Chapter 13 plan payment will cover the payment for car loans, taxes, back child support, past due alimony, credit cards, medical debts, and other unsecured debts.

Mortgages on your home or other real estate are typically paid directly to the creditor outside of the bankruptcy plan. However, you may be able to eliminate the lien of a second mortgage if you meet the requirements for lien stripping, which we will discuss in further detail below.

The court must approve your plan therefore, amendments may be necessary. Our Daytona bankruptcy attorney has extensive experience calculating bankruptcy plan payments. We propose the lowest plan payment allowable by law to help ensure you do not pay more than is required based on your financial situation.

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What Property Can I Keep In Bankruptcy

The property you can keep when filing for bankruptcy in Fl will depend on the exemptions applied to the property and which Chapter of Bankruptcy you file. Luckily, Florida has some of the best exemptions or protections in the country.

Florida bankruptcy exemptions only apply when you have lived in Florida for at least 730 days immediately before filing bankruptcy. Florida exemptions must be properly claimed and are not automatic. Click here to learn more about Florida Exemptions.

In Chapter 7, the Trustee assigned to your case will seek to liquidate or sell any non-exempt property. As an example, if you own a car that is worth $7500 and is paid in full at the time of filing bankruptcy, by applying the Florida Motor Vehicle Exemption you can only protect $1000 of the cars value. Unless you can apply for another exemption, the Trustee can force you to turn over the vehicle so that it can be liquidated to pay your creditors. If you want to keep the vehicle, you will have to pay the Trustee $6500 within a timeframe agreeable to the Trustee.

In chapter 13 you can keep the vehicle as long as you pay the Chapter 7 liquidation value over the life of your Chapter 13 plan.

A Florida bankruptcy attorney can advise you in detail as to what property you can keep, what exemptions to apply, and which bankruptcy chapter is best suited for your situation.

What Does It Mean To File For Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida: Understand Costs, Process, and Pros and Cons

When a person files for bankruptcy, they are asking the court to declare that they are unable to pay their debts.

This usually happens when someone is dealing with a lot of debt and cant seem to make any progress in getting rid of it.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a way to get a fresh start and wipe the slate clean, so to speak. In 1934, in Local Loan Co. v. Hunt, 292 U.S. 234, 244 , the United States Supreme Court, referring to bankruptcy, noted:

It gives to the honest but unfortunate debtora new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt.

The Debtor accomplishes a fresh start through an Order of Discharge from the bankruptcy judge. The Order of Discharge explains that Creditors cannot collect discharged debts, as well as the consequences of violating the Order. Creditors who violate an Order of Discharge can be required to pay the debtors damages and attorneys fees.

Note: The Order of Discharge informs the Debtor that they are not prevented from choosing to repay any debt voluntarily after the entry of the Order.

However, its important to understand that bankruptcy is not a magic solution and it may have some serious consequences.

You will also have a hard time getting credit in the future.

Note: Some clients start rebuilding their credit and begin getting decent credit offers within 6 months of receiving their bankruptcy discharge.

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Advantages Of Chapter 13

Chapter 13 offers individuals a number of advantages over liquidation under chapter 7. Perhaps most significantly, chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing under this chapter, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time. Nevertheless, they must still make all mortgage payments that come due during the chapter 13 plan on time. Another advantage of chapter 13 is that it allows individuals to reschedule secured debts and extend them over the life of the chapter 13 plan. Doing this may lower the payments. Chapter 13 also has a special provision that protects third parties who are liable with the debtor on consumer debts. This provision may protect co-signers. Finally, chapter 13 acts like a consolidation loan under which the individual makes the plan payments to a chapter 13 trustee who then distributes payments to creditors. Individuals will have no direct contact with creditors while under chapter 13 protection.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Florida

There are certain attributes about a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida that may be helpful to understand. See 8 attributes that are useful to know.

The goal of this article is to provide information that will help ease the burden felt and inform you about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida along with other options to help you achieve debt freedom.

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File A Bankruptcy Petition

A bankruptcy petition is a document that you give to the court to say that you want to go bankrupt. It must contain information about your assets, debts, income, expenses, and other financial details. Click here for more information on the official bankruptcy forms necessary to file.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be required to file Local Forms as well.

It is important to work closely with an experienced bankruptcy attorney throughout the process to help ensure a smooth and successful bankruptcy filing.

In addition, you will need to provide supporting documents such as credit card statements and tax returns.

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Types of Bankruptcy Info

Your 341 meeting is sometimes called the creditorsâ meeting or meeting of creditors. It will take place about a month or two after your bankruptcy filing. Even though itâs called a creditorsâ meeting, donât expect to see your creditors. They rarely show up for these meetings.

Most Chapter 7 filers have simple cases and all their personal property is protected by an exemption. When this is the case, these meetings usually take less than 10 minutes. As long as youâre honest on your bankruptcy forms, you have nothing to worry about. We have a video to help you prepare for your 341 meeting. It runs through the general questions that the bankruptcy trustee will ask. Once your meeting is complete, you should receive your discharge within 60-90 days.

Take note that all 341 meetings are currently being held remotely as a COVID-19 measure. However, this hasnât been adopted as a standard practice.

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How Common Is Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is more common than you may think. In 2018, there were 755,185 bankruptcies filed in the United States. Studies show the average American now has approximately $38,000 in debt. For June 2019, there were 852 new bankruptcy cases filed in Tampa alone. Medical bills are a significant factor in the number of cases filed. A study by the American Journal of Medicine found that 62.1% of all bankruptcy cases are attributable to medical reasons. Further, the study found that 92% of the people filing bankruptcy for medical reasons had over $5,000 in medical debt.

What Is Bankruptcy Protection In Florida

Bankruptcy protection is the process where a bankruptcy court prevents the collection of a debtor’s property or asset by a creditor. The process is also known as Automatic Stay. Filing a bankruptcy petition applies an automatic stay that protects a debtor’s assets and properties through the period of the bankruptcy.

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Success Rate For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Consumers should be aware that there is less than 50-50 chance filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be successful, according to a study done by the American Bankruptcy Institute .

The ABI study for 2019, found that of the 283,313 cases filed under Chapter 13, only 114,624 were discharged , and 168,689 were dismissed . Thats a success rate of just 40.4%. People who tried representing themselves call Pro Se filing succeeded just 1.4% of the time.

Is It Really Worth It To File For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The Steps to Filing a Bankruptcy in Florida

The word bankruptcy tends to carry negative connotations for many Americans, as the term signifies severe financial hardship. The reality is that bankruptcy filing can provide valuable relief from debt collection and allow some debtors to avoid foreclosure and asset seizure from creditors. If you are thinking about how to overcome your current financial difficulties, the right Orange County bankruptcy lawyer can be a tremendous asset in your situation. A seasoned attorney can help you determine what type of bankruptcy filing is most suitable for your situation. In many cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers the most flexibility.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer several substantial benefits compared to the other types of bankruptcy options available in the US. However, navigating the filing process can be incredibly difficult, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not for everyone. If you are unsure whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy would be worth pursuing in your situation, read the following information before contacting an Orange County bankruptcy lawyer for specific advice about your situation.

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What Bankruptcy Can And Cannot Do

Bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:

  • Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all debts. This provision is called a discharge, which is designed to give the debtor a fresh financial start.
  • Stop foreclosure on a home and allow you an opportunity to cure a default.
  • Prevent repossession of an automobile or other personal property.
  • Stop wage garnishment, debt collection harassment and other similar collection activities.
  • Prevent termination of utility service or restore service if it has already been terminated.
  • Lower monthly payments on some debts, including some secured debts such as mortgages or car loans.

Bankruptcy, however, cannot cure every financial problem. In bankruptcy, it usually is not possible to:

  • Modify certain rights of secured creditors. Although you can force secured creditors to take payments over time in the bankruptcy process to cure a default, some secured creditors are afforded protection from other modifications of the loan terms.
  • Discharge certain types of debts singled out by the Bankruptcy Code for special treatment, such as child support, alimony, most student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines and most taxes.
  • Protect all co-signers on their debts. When a relative or friend has co-signed a loan and the debtor discharges the loan in bankruptcy, the co-signor may still have an obligation to repay all or part of the loan.
  • Discharge debts that are incurred after bankruptcy has been filed.

Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation ~ Se Habla Espaol

From offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach, our lawyers serve clients throughout South Florida. To arrange a consultation at any one of our offices, please call or send us an email. Let an experienced lawyer answer your bankruptcy questions today.

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Blockfi Files For Bankruptcy Latest Crypto Company To Fail

Michelle Chapman

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Signage for the FTX Arena, where the Miami Heat basketball team plays, is illuminated Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Miami. Collapsed cryptocurrency trading firm FTX confirmed there was unauthorized access to its accounts, hours after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, Nov. 11.

Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, the latest casualty of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

New Jersey-based BlockFi had been struggling for much of this year but was given a lifeline this summer in the form of an FTX line of credit. FTX’s own bankruptcy, however, all but sealed BlockFi’s financial fate. BlockFi suspended withdrawals after FTX’s failure, and it had hired bankruptcy specialists in recent days.

BlockFi was one of several crypto currency lenders to pop up in recent years. The company gave loans to customers using their crypto assets as collateral. The severe drop in the value of bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies made the collateral that BlockFi had secured often worth less than the loans it had outstanding.

In addition, this summer’s line of credit from FTX ended up being an albatross around the company’s neck. FTX’s financial rescue package was no longer available to BlockFi once it ran into its own financial trouble, and BlockFi said any attempts to get additional funds in the days before the bankruptcy were not honored.


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