Ocala, FL Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is something most of us hope to never have to go through. But sometimes life has other ideas. Circumstances beyond our control can wreak havoc on finances and you may find yourself contemplating bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most commonly used form of personal bankruptcy protection in Florida. Chapter 7 is the bankruptcy we think of when we hear the term; the kind that clears unsecured debt from our name and allows us to get a fresh financial start.
Benefits Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection
Firstly, bankruptcy offers you some immediate relief by preventing creditors from pursuing you. Once you file for protection with an Ocala bankruptcy attorney, wage garnishment stops and collection efforts by creditors must end as well. This can be a source of great relief if you are already struggling to come to terms with your financial situation, and can give you some breathing room to make time to speak with a qualified Gainesville bankruptcy lawyer and determine your options.
Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to discharge personal debt. Often called "straight bankruptcy" or "liquidation," it eliminates personal unsecured debt such as the kind incurred from personal loans, medical bills or credit cards and even those debts left over from a foreclosure. Certain kinds of unsecured debt, such as student loans, are exempt from Chapter 7 protections. An experienced Gainesville chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on what debts qualify for Chapter 7 relief and which ones do not.
Once your unsecured debt has been eliminated under Chapter 7, your creditors cannot continue to seek collection of that debt. In essence, your financial slate is wiped clean and you can start fresh.
How It Works
Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, a trustee will be appointed to administer the bankruptcy. This person is an individual appointed by the court to review your bankruptcy petition. The trustee will analyze your exempt and non-exempt assets, determine your income and ability to repay your debts (also called a “Means Test”) and arrange for the liquidation of the non-exempt assets. Your creditors will be paid from the liquidation of these assets which may include such things as: cash on hand or in bank accounts, stocks, second homes or vehicles, family heirlooms or valuable collections. The bankruptcy lasts several months at the end of which most of the debts are discharged. However, you won’t lose everything. Federal bankruptcy exemptions mean most of the people who file for Chapter 7 protection are able to keep their house, vehicle and personal items.
Who Is Eligible For Chapter 7 Protection?
Any permanent resident of Florida who cannot afford to pay his or her bills, is being hounded by creditors or is facing foreclosure can apply for bankruptcy protection may be eligible for Chapter 7 protection. An experienced Ocala Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer will be able to tell you if your situation qualifies for protection. At our Ocala bankruptcy law office, we often see Chapter 7 protections being sought in cases of foreclosure, overwhelming and unexpected medical expenses, debilitating credit card bills or situations involving a divorce.
If you are wondering about Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if it is right for you, contact an Ocala bankruptcy lawyer at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli for a no cost initial Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy consultation. Our bankruptcy attorneys can assess your situation quickly and tell you if bankruptcy is an option for you.