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West Palm Beach Bankruptcy & Business Attorneys > > Bankruptcy Attorneys > Basics of Personal Bankruptcy in Florida

Basics of Personal Bankruptcy in Florida


When an individual (or a married couple) is planning to file for personal bankruptcy, many aspects of the case are set by the US Bankruptcy Code, while certain features, documents, and steps will depend on the particular facts of the debtor’s case and circumstances. Given that every bankruptcy case will have particularities that will be based on your financial situation, we cannot provide in-depth details about what to expect in your specific bankruptcy case since everyone will have a case with slightly different facts and materials.

To gain a clear and detailed understanding of what you should expect from a bankruptcy case based on your situation, you should have an attorney assess your case. In the meantime, our experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with information about the general basics of personal bankruptcy in Florida.

Most Individuals File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

In personal bankruptcy cases, most individuals will file for either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is critical to recognize that these types of bankruptcy are quite different: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy, whereas Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy.

When an individual wants to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but is not eligible, they will often file for Chapter 13 instead. At the same time, there are many reasons to choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including because it can allow you to stop a foreclosure and remain in your home.

Education Requirements 

All personal bankruptcies require the debtor to complete two educational requirements: one prior to filing for bankruptcy known as pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, and one after filing and prior to discharge known as a debtor education course.

Length of Bankruptcy Case Time Will Vary

 The length of personal bankruptcy cases will vary based on the type of bankruptcy and the particulars of a case. In general, Chapter 7 cases are much shorter than Chapter 13 cases. Chapter 7 bankruptcies tend to take an average of four to six months, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases tend to take three to five years.

Exemptions Are Important 

Florida’s exemptions will be extremely important in a Chapter 7 case since exemptions will determine which property you can keep (meaning that it will not be liquidated). At the same time, exemptions can also be important in Chapter 13 cases because they can play a role in determining the total amount that must be repaid during your bankruptcy case, and thus can affect the amount of your monthly payment.

Discharging Debts

 Personal bankruptcies are distinct from business bankruptcies in that debtors can be eligible for a discharge of all eligible debts at the end of the bankruptcy case. (In Chapter 7 business bankruptcies, there is no discharge). Dischargeable debts include those that are not identified as exceptions to discharge in the Bankruptcy Code.

Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney Today

 Whether you are considering the possibility of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, or you have questions about your eligibility for personal bankruptcy, one of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers at Kelley, Kaplan & Eller, PLLC at our firm can assist you. We can answer your questions about consumer bankruptcy and can represent you when you are ready to file. Contact us for help with your bankruptcy case.




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