Filing for bankruptcy can be an overwhelming, difficult process, but with an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Boca Raton, you can move forward, free of debt and facing your future with confidence. Since 1998, Stiberman Law has helped clients just like you navigate the bankruptcy process, escape the weight and stress of debt, and start over with a clean slate. From the first, free consultation to the closure of your case, we’re by your side, advocating for your best interests and helping you achieve financial freedom.FREE CONSULTATION
Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy for people with serious debt but little to no expendable income to put toward a debt repayment plan. This is a liquidation bankruptcy, in which your creditors, income, financial records, and data are submitted with your petition in bankruptcy court. As soon as your petition is accepted, an automatic stay goes into effect stopping all debt collection attempts. This includes wage garnishment, lawsuits, and even letters and phone calls from creditors.
The court assigns a bankruptcy trustee to assess your personal property and gather your valuable, nonexempt assets. Nonexempt assets include:
These items will be sold, and the trustee will use the proceeds to pay off creditors. Once this is complete, all eligible, unsecured debt will be discharged and creditors can not contact you moving forward. The bankruptcy process takes around three to six months.
Stiberman Law has the experience and resources to resolve your legal challenges.
The following types of unsecured debts can be discharged during Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
These types of debt are not eligible for a bankruptcy discharge:
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney from Stiberman Law will fight to have as much of your debt eliminated as possible to ensure you’re starting over with a clean slate and a secure future.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the right choice for people with high credit card balances, excessive medical bills, and other unsecured debts, but minimal income and few valuable assets with which to pay them. However, this option may not be right for everyone.
In order to file for Chapter 7, federal law requires a means test to determine eligibility. The United States bankruptcy law requires your income to be below your state’s median income for your family’s size. For example, the median income for a family of four in Florida is $89,206. If your annual income is below this, you are eligible. However, the court will still look at your average monthly income and expenses, and if the bankruptcy judge determines that you can still afford to make a monthly payment, they may not grant your petition and instead recommend you file for Chapter 13, which requires a monthly payment plan to put toward debt.
Even if your income is higher than this, you may still be eligible to file for Chapter 7 becauses the bankruptcy judge will still look at your expenses, including housing, food, and other essentials. If the court finds that your expenses don’t leave you with any disposable income to put toward your debt repayment, they may grant your petition. Having an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney who can assist you with recording accurate income and expense data can help improve your likelihood of having your petition granted.
Even if your petition would be granted, Chapter 7 may not be the best option, especially if gyou have a lot of equity in your home, are worried about losing property, or much of your debt couldn’t be discharged, such as student loans. Sitting down with a member of our law firm to discuss your unique details can help you make an informed decision that will lead to a favorable outcome.
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Even though you aren’t required to have a Chapter 7 attorney file bankruptcy for you, it’s not a good idea to go through this alone. From making sure your paperwork is accurate and you have proper documentation, to pushing back against creditors, having a legal advocate ensures the process is faster, smoother, and has better results than if you try to navigate bankruptcy on your own.
Before filing bankruptcy, we will sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss:
After your free consultation, we are with you at every step, including:
Once your bankruptcy case is closed, you’ll get a report with any debts not discharged or paid off, and their balances, such as child support or student loan debt.
Every member of our law firm is committed to helping you achieve debt relief through a simple, swift bankruptcy process. With over three decades of experience and over 100 5-star reviews, you can feel confident that we have the experience, knowledge, and dedication you need to navigate bankruptcy and get the results you deserve.
Worried about affording a Chapter 7 lawyer in Boca Raton? We offer $0 down solutions with low monthly payments so you get the legal representation and guidance you need.
We know filing bankruptcy can be confusing and overwhelming. To help you better understand the process, we’re sharing some information related to our most frequently asked questions about Chapter 7.
Secured debts are backed by collateral or property, like a house or a car. If the debtor doesn’t make the agreed-upon payments, the lender can repossess the car or foreclose on the house.
Unsecured debts don’t have collateral for the lender to collect if the debtor defaults on the loan. This includes credit card debts, medical bills, and student loans.
You can not discharge a secured debt and still keep the property if you defaulted on the loan.
Filing for Chapter 7 temporarily pauses a foreclosure, but it will start back up as soon as the bankruptcy process has ended. On the other hand, if you are up to date with your mortgage, you may be able to keep your house by filing for a homestead exemption
Similarly to a home, if you are behind on your payments, the lender can still reposses the vehicle, though any payments or additional fees associated will be discharged.
If you are up-to-date on your payments, you may still get to keep your vehicle by claiming a personal property exemption. Florida law allows residents to claim up to $1,000 in personal property or up to $5,000 if they don’t own a home. This means that if you have less than $5,000 in equity in your car, you can keep it.
For example, if your car is worth $15,000 and you owe $11,000, you have $4,000 in equity, so if you don’t claim the homestead exemption, you can use the personal property exemption to keep your car. However, if your car is worth $15,000, and you only owe $5,000, you owe $10,000 in equity, so the bankruptcy trustee may use the vehicle to pay off debt.
No, you can leave your bank account open, though any money in a savings account, money market, or non-retirement investment account can be used to pay creditors.
Yes, even if you have accounts in good standing or have low credit card balances, everything needs to be listed. Failure to include all necessary information can result in delays in your processing time, your petition being rejected, or allegations of bankruptcy fraud.
Federal law requires a minimum, mandatory filing fee of $338. Attorney fees are usually between $900 and $1500, depending on the case. Separate, mandatory credit counseling is around $50.
To reduce your financial burden and ensure you can afford to hire an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, we offer low monthly payment plans with no money down required.
Yes. In order to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you have to show proof of completion of a federally-mandated course from an approved credit counseling agency. Rather than paying out more, our law firm is an approved agency and provide debt and financial counseling during the bankruptcy process to save you time and money.
From filing the petition to the completion of your bankruptcy case takes between 90 to 180 days.
Typically, federal student loans can’t be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
No. Once your petition is accepted, you can stop making payments on your eligible debts, and creditors are no longer allowed to contact you.
If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is the best solution. This option allows you to keep your property, restructure your debt, and make a single monthly payment based on your disposable income. At the end of the allotted time span, eligible debt will be discharged.
It stays on your credit report for 10 years, but you’ll start seeing improvements if you stay in good standing with any other debts you may accrue following the bankruptcy.
If you are ready to break free from medical debt, credit card bills, and more, we can help. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today by calling (954) 932-7804 or filling out the form below to get started.
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