Answers to Common Personal Bankruptcy Questions
When you are considering personal bankruptcy, you are likely to have a wide range of questions. In some cases, it might be relatively easy to find a quick answer with some searching on the internet, but for many inquiries about the bankruptcy process, there are many myths circulating, and clear answers can be difficult to find. Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys are here to help. The following are answers to common personal bankruptcy questions we receive.
Most Personal Bankruptcy Cases Are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Cases
Many debtors want to know: what type of bankruptcy is most common for an individual? Generally speaking, individual debtors will typically file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, although in certain cases (where a debtor has too much debt to qualify for Chapter 13) a debtor will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Requirements for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Are Very Different
You might be wondering: are the requirements the same for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, and can I choose between them? It is important to know that the requirements for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are very different from those for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and most debtors cannot simply choose between the two types of bankruptcy. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to pass the means test. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to show you are a wage earner with the ability to make regular payments on a repayment plan.
Chapter 7 Involves the Liquidation of Non-Exempt Assets While Chapter 13 Does Not
You are likely wondering: will all of my property be liquidated, and will I lose all of my assets if I file for any type of personal bankruptcy? You should know that only Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of non-exempt assets. Even then, it is only non-exempt assets that are liquidated. The Florida Statutes cite a wide range of assets that are “exempt,” which means a debtor can keep them and they will not be liquidated in a bankruptcy case.
Timing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases is Very Different
How long will a bankruptcy case take? It depends upon your circumstances, and it also depends on whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In general, Chapter 7 cases typically take about four to six months, but Chapter 13 cases take a significantly larger amount of time. In general, Chapter 13 cases take anywhere from three to five years (or even longer, depending upon the terms of the repayment plan).
You Should Hire an Attorney to Assist You With Your Case
You may be wondering: can I do this myself? Bankruptcy law is extremely complicated, and it is always a good idea to have an attorney representing you to ensure that the bankruptcy process goes smoothly, that all materials are completed and filed properly, and that all requirements are met.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyers
Whether you know you are ready to file for personal bankruptcy or you have additional questions, an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at Kelley, Kaplan & Eller can help. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to find out more about a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in South Florida.