West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
South Florida Bankruptcy Attorneys For Managing Debts, Assets, and Planning
Bankruptcy is a legal continue designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate their debts or to restructure and repay them under the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. by and large speaking, there are two types of bankruptcy—liquidation ( Chapter 7 ) and reorganization ( Chapters 11, 12 and 13 ). Both types of bankruptcy, elimination and reorganization, have numerous rules and exceptions. Which Chapter is right for you is dependant upon your detail circumstances and objectives. As character of the services that we provide, the West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys of our fast listen closely to our clients and are sensible to our clients ’ needs and objectives while giving realistic advice as to the available options .
An know West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer can be your first line of defense against fiscal reversals. Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller is a firm with across-the-board know that enables clients to take control of their circumstances and forge a better fiscal future .
How Does Bankruptcy Work
Bankruptcy is a legal continue designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate their debts or to restructure and repay them under the protective covering of the Bankruptcy Court. by and large speaking, there are two types of bankruptcy—liquidation ( Chapter 7 ) and reorganization ( Chapters 11, 12 and 13 ). Both types of bankruptcy, elimination and reorganization, have numerous rules and exceptions. Which Chapter is right for you is subject upon your detail circumstances and objectives. As contribution of the services that we provide, the attorneys of our firm listen close to our clients and are sensible to our clients ’ needs and objectives while giving naturalistic advice as to the available options .
Types of Bankruptcy
In a chapter 7 liquidation continue, most of your debts are discharged. In exchange for the fire of your debts, a trustee is assigned to liquidate your non-exempt assets. In Florida, the exemption laws are very broad and provide solid protections to those in debt. At the time of your initial consultation, the attorneys of our firm will discuss the implications of applicable exemption laws.
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certain debts are not dischargeable in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you want to keep property on which there is a spleen, such as a house or cable car, you must continue to make these payments. besides, please note that lone consumers who pass the means trial can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy ( this test will be explained to you in detail by one of our attorneys at your initial meet and a summary is discussed below ) .
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a three to five year repayment plan available only to individual consumers. sometimes you must file a chapter 13 bankruptcy in stead of a chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have adequate income to repay your debts in a chapter 13 plan, as determined by an objective evaluation called the “ means quiz, as discussed below .
One fundamental advantage of a chapter 13 bankruptcy is that, under certain circumstances, it can be used as a vehicle to remove an unbarred second mortgage from your family. The attorneys of our firm will discuss the viability of this have of chapter 13 bankruptcy to your individual circumstances at the time of your initial consultation .
You may not qualify for chapter 13 bankruptcy if your debts are besides high or your income is excessively moo. If you are behind on a secure payment, such as a mortgage, you may file a chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay past due payments over meter without deep charges. You may besides file a chapter 13 bankruptcy if you have assets that you would lose in a chapter 7 extermination continue and wish to keep those assets .
A chapter 11 is a reorganization proceeding typically used by businesses, but besides may be used by individuals who do not qualify for chapter 13 because of their substantial debts. The aim of a chapter 11 proceeding is to provide impermanent relief from pre-bankruptcy debts while formulating a plan to restructure those debts by payments over fourth dimension or surrender of unnecessary assets to reduce the overall debts structure. This procedure besides allow the ability to reduce secured debts down to the value of the collateral ( actual estate, car, etc. ), a well as the rejection and resignation of leases and contracts that are no long necessity .
First Meeting of Creditors – aka Section 341 Meeting
The debtor must appear at the ” first converge of creditors ” ( besides called the section 341 meet from the section of the Code that describes the merging. ) At the meet, the regent will ask the debtor questions under oath about assets and liabilities. Creditors can besides question the debtor on those subjects, but rarely do. These 341 meetings normally last five to ten minutes in most cases .
After the Section 341 Meeting – Getting to discharge
Creditors and the trustee have approximately 60 days from the go steady of the 341 meeting in which they may challenge the debtor ’ south right to a empty ( Bankruptcy Code § 727 ) or the dischargeability of a particular debt ( Bankruptcy Code § 523 ( a ) ( 2 ), ( 4 ), ( 6 ), and ( 15 ) ) by filing an adversary continue. typically, adversary proceedings are filed where there has been some type of fraud by the file clerk within a period of time before the case is filed. These types of proceedings are rare .
failure to take the post-filing fiscal management course and file the security of completion of that class can result in the shell being closed without entrance of a discharge. The court may charge a new file fee to reopen the case, file the security and then enter the fire .
individual debtors get their acquit within approximately four ( 4 ) months from the file of the case. The discharge wipes out dischargeable debts that existed at the beginning of the bankruptcy case .
After the Discharge
Certain debts survive a chapter 7 bankruptcy because they are excepted from the discharge by police : for examples, most taxes, child support and alimony, student loans, liens and reaffirmed secured debts are among the kinds of debts not discharged in chapter 7 .
The “Means Test”
The bankruptcy “ means test ” determines whether your income is first gear adequate for you to file chapter 7 bankruptcy. It ’ s a rule designed to keep filers with higher incomes from filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy when they have sufficient income to at least pay back contribution of their debts and then discharge the unpaid balances after the chapter 13 design payments are completed .
Since about everyone must take the means test, it does not require that the file clerk be wholly demote and hard up in order to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can earn significant monthly income and however qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have a bunch of expenses, such as a senior high school mortgage payment. The test is a complicated formula that takes many factors into retainer .
The means test was primarily designed to limit the function of chapter 7 bankruptcy to those who rightfully can not pay their debts. It does this by deducting specific monthly expenses from your “ current monthly income ” ( your average income over the six calendar months before you file for bankruptcy ) to arrive at your monthly “ disposable income. ” The higher your disposable income, the more likely you won ’ triiodothyronine be allowed to use chapter 7 bankruptcy. then, your expenses and standard IRS average expenses are deducted from the stream monthly income to see if there is any net income at the end of the quiz that can be used to repay creditors .
There is an exception to the means test : only bankruptcy filers with chiefly consumer debts, not clientele debts, are required to take the means test .
The first measure is elementary : If your current monthly income is less than the medial income for a family of your size in your state, you pass. Period. You ’ re done. You do not need to complete the lie of the means test. You can file for chapter 7 .
For those whose family income exceeds the country medial, the means test computations get significantly more complex. You must determine whether you have adequate income left over ( called “ disposable income ” ), after paying your “ allowed ” monthly expenses, to pay off at least a helping of your unguaranteed debts ( such as credit batting order bills ). If your disposable income adds up to more than a certain sum, you fail the means test and can not file for chapter 7 bankruptcy .
median income levels vary by state and family size. Each county and metropolitan region has unlike allowed amounts for categories of expenses : basic necessities, housing, and exile .
If the means test sounds complicated, that is because it rightfully is complicated. An experience West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine whether you pass the means test and can then file a chapter 7 bankruptcy .
Exemptions (under Florida law)
The bankruptcy code allows each individual who files bankruptcy to keep basic assets deemed necessary for the debtor ’ mho “ clean get down ” after bankruptcy. That property is known as the debtor ’ south “ exempt property. ”
Exemptions are the one rate where bankruptcy law varies from state to state. Congress created a set of exemptions in the bankruptcy code, but allowed each state to “ opt-out ” of those exemptions in favor of the state exemptions. Florida has opted out and residents of Florida use the Florida country exemptions, which can be very generous in some regards .
The debtor claims property as excuse in the schedules that are filed to initiate the bankruptcy case. If no objections are filed to the exemptions, they become concluding 30 days after the suffer of creditors. Exempt property is then no longer property of the bankruptcy estate and not available to the trustee to sell and creditors can not seek to take it away .
The point of bankruptcy is to get a clean start and that is lone potential if the debtor has something to start with when the procedure is completed. however, sometime certain necessary assets may not be exempt and the filer may have to buy that asset back from the regent .
You must have lived for two ( 2 ) years in the state in which you are filing bankruptcy to use the exemptions of that submit. If you have not lived in the state for two ( 2 ) years, then the exemptions of the state in which you lived in the six months beyond the two year look-back period apply. If no state ’ sulfur exemptions are available, you are entitled to use the federal exemptions. This gets confusing, so if you have not lived in the state of matter in which you are residing for the by two years, it is best to consult with an experience lawyer regarding which exemptions apply to you .
Most chapter 7 cases are no-asset cases : that is, the debtors give up nothing to the trustee because the exemption laws allow debtors to retain certain assets free from the claims of their creditors. For example, family goods and furnishings, invest, fairness in a home and fairness in a vehicle are examples of excuse assets. Some of these assets are exempt to the full value of the asset while others are excuse only astir to a certain value. That value is determined by the laws of the state in which you are filing – or the union exemption laws, if your state allows you to choose to use the union exemption laws .
Pensions, 401K’s and Ira’s
pension rights and 401 ( thousand ) plans, which are frequently one of the file clerk ’ mho largest asset are not property of the estate .
IRA ’ randomness and early retirement savings may be property of the estate but are frequently excuse. The 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code increased the exemption for IRA ’ mho for all debtors, regardless of state of residency, to $ 1million .
Valuation of Assets
The values in the exemption statutes refer to the present sale value of the item ( not its buy price or its surrogate prize ) .
If an asset is subject to a mortgage or a lien, it is the respect of the token after deducting the sum of the lien or liens ( the fairness ) that is used to figure the exemption. besides, the law looks alone to the value of the debtor ’ s share of the equity in an detail if it is co-owned with early people or entities.
Contact Our Experienced West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorneys
While a dangerous undertaking, a bankruptcy action can help you discharge debts, continue assets, and give you a fiscal fresh beginning. Taking the time now to review bankruptcy attorneys can ultimately transform your life for the better. Ask yourself some key questions :
- Which Chapter 7 bankruptcy or business bankruptcy attorney feel right for you and your situation?
- Do you know of a West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney who has a highly nuanced understanding of Chapters 7, 11 and 13?
- Does the attorney you are considering know how to maximize your exemption of asset surrender to creditors?
- Might business or personal affairs in Royal Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Okeechobee or elsewhere complicate the proceeding, and how might those complications be mitigated?
At the Law Offices of Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller we understand that hard economic times, and not a lack of personal fiscal duty, cause people to file for bankruptcy relief. We can be more than your bankruptcy attorneys, we can help you keep off bankruptcy through skilled litigation, contracts, and asset auspices. Contact our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys today for more information or aid .
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