Florida Gulf Coast Chapter 13 Attorney
The Golden Law Group is recognized as one of the Central Gulf Coast's prominent bankruptcy law firms. Board-certified bankruptcy specialist Don Golden leads a team of experienced legal professionals who have helped thousands of clients climb out from under the heavy burden of consumer debt. The firm knows that the bankruptcy process goes most smoothly when people know what each type of bankruptcy offers by way of protection from creditors.
Types of Bankruptcy
No matter which type of personal bankruptcy is right for you, creditors will be required to make all further collections efforts through your attorney. Stop creditor harassment with one phone call to The Golden Law Group.
This is the chapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code that most people think of when they consider filing. Although it does not allow the discharge of all personal debt, it's primary function is to eliminate all unsecured debt, including credit card debt and medical bills and deficiencies from repossessed cars and foreclosed properties Chapter 7 also allows the filer to discharge some government tax debt, after strict criteria for repayment has been met. Most government-backed debt, such as student loans and Small Business Administration loans cannot be discharged through Chapter 7. Under U.S. bankruptcy law, no court-ordered judgment for child support, alimony or division of marital assets in divorce may be discharged by an type of bankruptcy. Florida bankruptcy laws allow the Chapter 7 filer to keep the house and one car, as long as equity requirements have been met and the petitioner reaffirms to repay the monthly amount on time.
Under the new bankruptcy laws of 2005, not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. When filing for Chapter 7, you will be expected to report all of your income and assets and debts owed. Not most. All. Your financial information will be put to a 'means test' to determine whether you meet the requirements for a specific debt-to-income ratio. If your income and assets are determined to be sufficient to meet your debt obligations, you will be disallowed for Chapter 7, but will qualify for Chapter 13. During the Chapter 7 process, your creditors have the right to defend themselves against the debt discharge in a Creditors' Hearing. It is the only courtroom meeting the petitioner is required to attend. Any new accumulation of debt they can show was intentionally obtained with the knowledge of pending bankruptcy will typically be disallowed for discharge, and may result in a fraud charge.
Many people don't qualify to have their unsecured debts eliminated through Chapter 7. Others who know that they can meet their repayment obligations, but need some breathing room from high interest rates, late fees and penalties find a viable solution in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under the rules of Chapter 13, some debt may be selectively discharged. All remaining debt, including student loans, tax debt and other debt that can typically not be included in Chapter 7, will be consolidated into a single debt repayment plan, supervised by a bankruptcy trustee appointed by the courts. Creditors will attend a Plan and Confirmation Hearing, during which they can argue their case for repayment and approve the final form of the supervised plan. Most plans are approved for either a three-year of five-year repayment period.
At first glance, most people in deep debt are not interested in simply reconsolidating their debt for payment. On closer look, there are many advantages to Chapter 13, which your attorney at The Golden Law Group will explain during your initial meeting. For instance, people with significantly high student loans can reduce their monthly payment considerably. In addition, people who know they will need to borrow money for a mortgage or other long-term debt in the near future will appreciate the reduced hit on their credit report, compared to Chapter 7. When banks see that you are meeting your monthly obligation, they are likely to consider your cash flow less of a risk than when you were juggling bills from month to month.
Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy
Newspaper and television news often report that a large corporate entity, such as General Motors has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 11, often referred to as business bankruptcy, gives corporate entities relief from creditor claims, while continuing operations. Similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy for individuals, the restructured debt plan under Chapter 11 is supervised by a trustee of the bankruptcy courts. You may hear news reports of businesses emerging from bankruptcy. That simply means that they have developed an acceptable plan to repay creditors, while ensuring their stockholders that they can meet their future debt obligations, as they grow their operations. The Golden Law Group does not handle Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy is restricted specifically to owners of farms. Under terms of the debt repayment plan (similar to Chapter 13 and Chapter 11), the property owner maintains ownership and control of the farm assets. The repayment plans are typically three or five years in length, depending upon your income level. Depending upon the income and assets held by the farmer, some debt may be discharged through the petition. Chapter 12 also places a limit on the amount of farm debt that can be declared to be included in the restructured debt repayment plan. The Golden Law Group does not represent farmers in Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases.
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From offices in Brandon, Tampa and Bradenton, The Golden Law Group helps individuals and families secure the second chance they need for a brighter future. Contact the firm today to arrange a free consultation.