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What is a Bankruptcy Filing?


Whether you are struggling with personal debt, or your business is struggling financially, you might have considered bankruptcy because a colleague, family member, or other trusted party recommended it. Yet for parties without experience in bankruptcy cases, understanding what is involved in a bankruptcy case, and in a bankruptcy filing specifically, can be complicated. Given the complexity of US bankruptcy law, it is critical to have an experienced West Palm beach bankruptcy attorney representing you throughout your case, regardless of whether you are filing for personal bankruptcy or business bankruptcy. An advocate at Kelley Kaplan & Eller, PLLC can talk with you today about your bankruptcy options for yourself or for your small business, and in the meantime we can tell you more about bankruptcy and bankruptcy filings in Florida.

What is Bankruptcy? 

To understand what a bankruptcy filing involves, it is important to be clear about what bankruptcy is more generally. Broadly speaking, bankruptcy is a legal process through which an individual or a business can be freed from liability for debts. Bankruptcy cases are governed by the US Bankruptcy Code, although state laws apply for certain bankruptcy issues, such as determining bankruptcy exemptions. In personal bankruptcy cases in Florida, for example, individual filers will need to use exemptions listed in the Florida Statutes. While some aspects of bankruptcy cases are governed by state law, bankruptcy cases are nonetheless heard in federal bankruptcy courts.

There are many different types of bankruptcy that can be available to individuals and businesses, based on the party’s financial circumstances, whether the party is an individual or a business, and other factors. Common types of bankruptcy filings for individuals include Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, while Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 (as well as Subchapter V, a type of Chapter 11) are common for businesses.

What is a Filing? 

In general, the term bankruptcy filing refers to the filing of a bankruptcy case. In order to file for bankruptcy, the party filing needs to submit a bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy petition is a form that requires you to provide detailed information about yourself and your financial information. Sometimes the petition and all of the additional bankruptcy forms that are typically filed with the petition (although many of these can be filed in the 14 days that follow) will be described as part of the petition, or part of the bankruptcy filing. Formally, however, the bankruptcy petition itself is the legal form filed with the court to initiate a bankruptcy case.

Bankruptcy petitions can be voluntary (where the individual or business files for bankruptcy), or involuntary (where a creditor or groups of creditors files an involuntary petition against an individual or a business).

Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyer Today 

Do you have questions about filing for bankruptcy in South Florida? The experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Kaplan & Eller, PLLC routinely assist individuals and businesses with a wide range of bankruptcy filings, and we can begin working with you on your bankruptcy case today. If you are still seeking more information about bankruptcy before deciding to file, we are here to assist you by answering any questions you have about the process. Contact us today for more information.




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