Common Bankruptcy Concerns for Individual Filers
Recently, data suggests that consumer bankruptcy filings have risen across the country. According to the U.S. Courts, between 2005 and 2021, there were just over 15 million non-business bankruptcy filings, with about 10 million Chapter 7 consumer filings and about 5 million Chapter 13 filings. The American Bankruptcy Institute shows that personal bankruptcy filings increased from 2022 to 2023 by about 10 percent, while commercial bankruptcy filings also rose. If you are currently struggling with debt and wondering if bankruptcy is an option for you, we know it is likely that you have questions and concerns. For example, you might be worried about how bankruptcy will impact your credit, or whether you are even eligible to file for bankruptcy.
A West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at our firm can provide you with information you need.
Concerns About Eligibility for Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, the two most common forms of individual bankruptcy, have quite different eligibility requirements. While determining your eligibility can seem daunting, an experienced lawyer can help with this process right away.
Concerns About Property Liquidation
Even if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, all of your assets certainly will not be liquidated. The Florida Statutes provide a wide range of bankruptcy exemptions that allow debtors to retain many forms of property, including all of the equity in a home, various types of personal property, pensions, and more. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you should not anticipate that any assets will be liquidated since this type of bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy (rather than a liquidation bankruptcy).
Concerns About Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy does impact your credit, there are many misconceptions about just how much — and for how long — bankruptcy continues to impact you. Once you receive a discharge, it is possible to begin rebuilding your credit. Bankruptcies can remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, but you can certainly be eligible for new lines of credit and for another mortgage long before the bankruptcy disappears from your credit report. Depending upon your circumstances, you could even be eligible for a mortgage as soon as two years following your bankruptcy discharge.
Concerns About Stigma of Bankruptcy
Millions of Americans have filed for bankruptcy, and in just the last year, there were more than 33,000 new individual filings. People across the country from all different backgrounds struggle with debt, and bankruptcy is often an option that allows individuals to get a fresh start financially or to reorganize their debts in order to catch up with their creditors.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are considering personal bankruptcy, it is essential to get in touch with an experienced attorney who can assist you. One of the dedicated West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Kaplan & Eller can speak with you today about your circumstances and can answer your questions about personal bankruptcy. If you do plan to file, we are here to represent you and to ensure that you meet all requirements and deadlines so that your bankruptcy goes as smoothly as possible.