Bankruptcy in West Palm Beach, FL

Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.

Types of Bankruptcy in West Palm Beach, Florida

Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In West Palm Beach, FL to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

At the time of writing, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach has jurisdiction over these proceedings.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in West Palm Beach  who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.

Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.

According to the Florida Bar, most people consider Chapter 7 to stop debt collector harassment. Before settling on this type of debt relief, it’s worth your time to consider alternatives. This fact is one of the many reasons why the federal government makes credit counseling mandatory.

The Better Business Bureau recommends dozens of organizations in West Palm Beach that provide this service. Debt Management Credit Counseling is one of many nonprofits dedicated to helping the general public create healthier financial habits.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.

A Guide to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 identifies recent changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcies. Small businesses with up to $7.5 million in debt have eligibility for this debt relief. This number represents an increase from the previous limit of $2,725,625. Individuals or businesses from West Palm Beach often consider this option if they cannot qualify for Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In West Palm Beach, FL after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Florida asks consumers to hire a lawyer to represent them when filing for Chapter 13. Both state and federal laws can affect the outcome of your case, and failure to complete forms the right way can result in a denial of your petition. The documents that you will need to provide at the start include:

  • Photo ID
  • Creditor Matrix
  • Voluntary Petition
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Initial Statement About an Eviction (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Credit Counseling

The Bankruptcy Process in West Palm Beach, Florida

There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation and help you get back on track.

In West Palm Beach to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.

Some of your possessions and real estate have freedoms from repossession or liquidation. However, debtors from West Palm Beach need to choose between the possibilities from the federal or state government. This choice often comes down to which option leaves you with the most value. However, this process requires some due diligence and knowledge of existing legislation.

For example, consider the differences between homestead exemptions. The State of Florida allows you to take an unlimited amount of equity in your house. At the time of writing, the federal exception only goes up to $25,150. The choice may seem simple, but if you don’t own property or the numbers stack above U.S. Code, you may want to make another choice.

At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.

Work With an Experienced West Palm Beach, Florida Lawyer

Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in West Palm Beach during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case, especially which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced Florida attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.

Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in West Palm Beach can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Florida state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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