Our Legal Help Is Affordable
You can expect upfront, transparent quotes that include the courts filing fee. Our payment plans make legal services affordable for you. We know the financial pain because weve been there. Our founder had to climb back to financial freedom after filing for bankruptcy relief. Were here to help you on your journey and make the process affordable.
Is Marital Property Safe In Bankruptcy
Under Florida family law, when a married couple jointly purchases a home or other personal property, it is presumed that the property will be held as tenancy by the entireties. In a tenancy by the entireties, the property is owned by the marital union, rather than by the individual spouses. This is an important fact to consider if you are contemplating filing bankruptcy when married.
Each party to the marriage has an undivided one-half interest in the marital union, which in turn owns the property. Thus, a creditor of one spouse may not place a lien on property held as a tenancy by the entirety without both spouses agreeing to do so. Therefore, if only one spouse agrees to give property held as tenancy by the entireties to a creditor as collateral for a loan, the creditor will not be able to force a liquidation of the property. Instead, the creditor will only have a lien on that spouseâs one-half interest in the tenancy by the entireties.
The Means Test For Chapter 7
To be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test. The means-test requires borrowers to earn below a specified income. The income is based on the median income of similar household size. The median income is determined by the U.S. Census and is updated frequently.
The test is designed to weed out those who âneedâ bankruptcy from those who donât. It was developed to keep people from abusing Chapter 7â bankruptcy. You only have to pass the means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Borrowers seeking relief under Chapter 13 will not be required to pass the means test. Additionally, the means test may not be applied in your case if you are a disabled veteran. Also, you may be exempt if your debt is primarily business-related debts, as opposed to consumer debts.
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Contact A Skilled San Diego Bankruptcy Lawyer
Do you have questions about filing for bankruptcy, including how long it will take before your bankruptcy is finalized? If so, the experienced lawyers at Bankruptcy Law Center are here to help. Contact our San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you get a fresh financial start.
Who Qualifies For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are a few requirements you’ll need to meet to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- You generally must complete an individual or group credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days before filing.
- Either the average of your monthly income during the previous six months must be less than the median income for the same-sized household in your state or you must pass a means test, which determines if your disposable income is high enough to make partial payments to unsecured creditors. If you don’t pass the means test, you may still be able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- You can’t have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy during the past eight years.
- You can’t have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy during the past six years.
- If you tried to file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and your case was dismissed, you have to wait at least 181 days before trying again.
- You may be eligible to file, but a court could dismiss your case if it determines you’re trying to defraud your creditors. For example, if you take out a loan or use credit cards with the intent of then declaring bankruptcy to avoid repaying the debt.
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Does Everyone Qualify To File For Bankruptcy
The qualifications for bankruptcy vary. For most consumers, there is an income qualification for chapter 7. For chapter 13, there are debt limitations, meaning that if you have too much debt, then you might not be able to qualify for chapter 13. Another option is chapter 11, which can offer other alternatives. Each individuals circumstances have to be specifically reviewed to see which chapter of bankruptcy is going to be most appropriate for them.
Ohio Bankruptcy: A Clean Slate
After your debts are discharged by the courts, you have a fresh start. Bankruptcy offers you the chance to get your financial health back in place and begin again.
Although many people believe that filing for bankruptcy is a long, difficult process, it generally is not. As you can see, there are only a few basic steps you need to go through. With the help of an experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyer, it becomes simple for anyone.
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How Does Debt Settlement Differ From Bankruptcy
Debt settlement is a process in which you negotiate with your creditors to pay a reduced amount. To explore debt settlement, you need to have an income stream that will enable you to repay your creditors. Most creditors will only accept a settlement if the borrower can show they can afford it. If an agreement is reached, the remaining balance of the loan should be forgiven.
Unlike bankruptcy, you cannot force your creditors to accept less. A debt settlement only occurs if the creditor agrees to the proposal. Essentially, the creditor holds all the cards in debt settlements. Usually, the most considerable risk to the creditor will be the borrower filing bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is filed, the creditorâs power may be limited or non-existent.
Complete The Bankruptcy Form And Pay The Fee
To apply to go bankrupt you need to fill in an online application. You or someone helping you can fill in the form on the GOV.UK website. You can save and come back to it later if you need to.
You will need to pay a total fee of £680 to apply to go bankrupt. You won’t get this back unless you decide to cancel your application before submitting it.
You can pay the bankruptcy fee online when you fill in the form with a credit or debit card. If you pay online you can pay in instalments. The minimum online payment amount is £5 and can be paid in as many instalments as you need.
You can also pay by cash at a bank. You’ll be told which bank to use when you fill in the form. You cant pay by instalments if you pay in cash.
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May An Employer Terminate A Debtor’s Employment Solely Because The Person Was A Debtor Or Failed To Pay A Discharged Debt
The law provides express prohibitions against discriminatory treatment of debtors by both governmental units and private employers. A governmental unit or private employer may not discriminate against a person solely because the person was a debtor, was insolvent before or during the case, or has not paid a debt that was discharged in the case. The law prohibits the following forms of governmental discrimination: terminating an employee discriminating with respect to hiring or denying, revoking, suspending, or declining to renew a license, franchise, or similar privilege. A private employer may not discriminate with respect to employment if the discrimination is based solely upon the bankruptcy filing.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Take
The bankruptcy process lasts about three to four months from start to finish for Chapter 7 filings. Chapter 13 takes the same amount of time to file, but because you pay down some of your debts over time, the payment plan may last three to five years.
At the end of either bankruptcy filing, your debts will be discharged and you will be free of the bankruptcy court.
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Limitations Of Chapter 13 Discharges
Some debts can’t be discharged under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including:
- Child support and alimony
- Certain fines, penalties, and restitution resulting from criminal activities
- Certain taxes, including fraudulent income taxes, property taxes that became due within the previous three years, and business taxes
- Debts you didnt list on your bankruptcy petition
- Debts incurred due to personal injury or death caused by drunk driving
- Debts arising from fraud or recent luxury purchases
It’s extremely difficultif not impossibleto discharge student loans in either chapter of bankruptcy.
What Happens To Your Motor Vehicle
Your motor vehicle will be sold to pay for your bankruptcy debts, unless you need it:
- for your work or vocation
- to meet basic domestic needs where alternative transport is not practical
If the official receiver agrees you need the vehicle, it will be classed as exempt and not included in your bankruptcy. This does not apply if you own your vehicle through an ongoing hire purchase agreement .
If you are allowed to keep the vehicle you remain responsible for road tax, MOT and insurance.
If your vehicle is exempt but valuable it can be replaced with a cheaper alternative. The official receiver will use the money from the sale to either pay for the new vehicle directly or give you the money to buy one. You must provide proof of purchase for your new vehicle within 1 month. The guide price for a replacement is £1,250.
Stop the sale of your vehicle
If your vehicle is not exempt you may be able to keep it if a third party can pay to transfer it to them for you and you provide a:
- current insurance certificate
- vehicle registration document
- a valid MOT
The price paid will be the market value of the vehicle but must at least cover the agents costs for the sale of the vehicle.
If you do not want to keep the vehicle the official receiver will dispose of it.
Vehicles under finance agreements
A finance agreement can be a:
- hire purchase
- conditional sale
- leasing agreement
If the trustee decides they will not be claiming the vehicle, they will give notice to you and the finance company.
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Limitations Of Chapter 7 Discharges
Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code describes the types of debt that can’t be discharged in Chapter 7 proceedings, including:
- Domestic obligations such child support, alimony, and debts owed under a marriage settlement agreement
- Certain fines, penalties, and restitution resulting from criminal activities
- Certain taxes, including fraudulent income taxes, property taxes that came due within the previous year, and business taxes
- Court costs
- Debts associated with a DUI violation
- Condo or other homeowners association fees that were imposed after you filed bankruptcy
- Retirement plan loans
- Debts that weren’t discharged in a previous bankruptcy
- Debts you failed to list on your bankruptcy petition
How Long Does A Bankruptcy Case Take
Whether a case is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the basic steps in the process are the same. Generally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will take approximately 4 to 6 months from the date when the case is filed until the case is closed. A Chapter 13 case will typically last 36 to 60 months from the date of filing.
The sequence of events in a typical Chapter 7 case include the following:
- Client completes the first consumer credit counseling course.
- Bankruptcy documents reviewed by clients and attorney.
- Case filed.
- Meeting scheduled with Trustee approximately 20 days after case is filed and Clerks Office mails the notice of the meeting of creditors.
- Client and attorney attend meeting of creditors together.
- Client completes the second consumer credit counseling course.
- Approximately 90 days after the meeting of creditors the Clerks Office will mail the discharge order demonstrating the termination of any personal liability on the debts included within the bankruptcy documents.
- Approximately 14 days after the discharge order is issued, then the Clerks Office will mail the final decree that signals the end of the bankruptcy case.
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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 bankruptcy 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.
How Long Do Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases Take
Chapter 7 bankruptcies are called liquidation bankruptcies because they involve liquidating your assets to pay off your creditors. People with high debt and limited income typically file for chapter 7 bankruptcies.
For most people, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will take around four to six months to be completed. The first step in filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves filing a petition and listing all your assets, debts, and information about your creditors.
You will need to meet with the trustee assigned your case, complete a meeting with your creditors, and give your trusty time to sell your assets and pay off your creditors. If the trustee needs more information from you, the bankruptcy process will take longer.
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Two Weeks After The Bankruptcy Order Is Made
The Official Receiver will get in touch to discuss your bankruptcy. This is usually through a telephone call. Its unlikely the official receiver will ask to meet in person. The Official Receiver is there to help the bankruptcy process run as smoothly as possible and deals with all legalities and creditors on your behalf.
Its important you work with the Official Receiver and help them with any requests they may have for information. They may need further detail about something on your application form or ask you to present something as proof.
You could also now look into setting up a basic bank account as yours may still be affected by the Official Receiver investigating your finances. This will need to be a standard type of account, with no overdraft, because you wont be able to apply for credit. This is simply so you can have your wages or benefits paid electronically and still pay any bills.
Does The Spouse Of A Married Person Also Have To File Bankruptcy
No. In some cases where only one spouse has debts, it may make sense for only one spouse to file. Further, if the debts of the other spouse are not dischargeable it may not make sense for that spouse to file.
Both spouses are responsible for the debts acquired together while they are married. If you file for a bankruptcy on these joint debts, your creditors can pursue your spouse for payment. If you are living together, it may be wise for you to jointly file for bankruptcy.
If the debt belongs to you alone, the creditor cannot pursue your spouse for the debt after you file for bankruptcy. Before you make a decision on whether the debt is a joint debt or yours alone, you may want to ask an attorney.
If you co-signed for a debt with an unmarried partner or someone else, you cannot file jointly for bankruptcy. However, you can file separately.
You can protect a friend or relative who co-signed with you by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you file under Chapter 13, creditors are not allowed to pursue your co-signers as long as you are keeping up the payments under the plan. As long as you pay the creditor as proposed by the plan, the creditors will not pursue the friend or relative who co-signed with you.
Read the Law: 11 U.S.C. § 1301
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What Assets Are Exempt From Bankruptcy In Ontario
When you file for bankruptcy in Ontario, you dont need to be concerned that you will lose everything. These assets are exempt under federal and provincial law:
Chapter 11 Reorganization Plans
Ordinarily, the debtor has the exclusive right to propose a reorganization plan for the first four months however, the court can extend the debtors exclusivity period for to up 18 months after the petition date. This provision is one of the reasons why Chapter 11 is so costly. Once the exclusivity period expires, the creditors committee or other parties can propose alternate reorganization plans. But more often, creditors or other parties dissatisfied with the debtors progress will move to dismiss or convert the case to Chapter 7. Creditors are entitled to vote on whether they accept a proposed Chapter 11 plan. At least one class of impaired claims must vote in favor of a Chapter plan. An impaired claim is an obligation that will not be paid in full upon plan confirmation or when originally due.
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