The Bankruptcy Code is designed to on the individual's income or future trustee, and creditors who request to a discharge of your debts, or provide relief to people and assets. Certain debts are them, copies of their recent tax returns. whether there is some reason why he businesses in financial distress. "nondischargeable" which means that Debtors must file with the court any or she should ask the bankruptcy Although bankruptcy can benefit some a bankruptcy will not excuse them. pay stubs they received in the 60-day judge to deny your discharge. people, a person cannot obtain these "Nondischargeable" debts include child period prior to filing their petition with You should understand that in some benefits without assuming certain support, alimony, federal taxes, certain the court. cases the trustee or a creditor may duties. If after considering the benefits student loans, payment of a fine in a Debtors are now subject to the means object to your eligibility to receive a and burdens associated with criminal case and debts arising from test. If a debtor’s family monthly discharge of your debts. If the trustee bankruptcy you want to obtain the the commission of a willful wrongful income is greater than the median or a creditor objects to the discharge of relief provided by the Bankruptcy act. income for her state, she may be a debt, for example, on the basis that Code, you must file a petition and a list subject to a means test (after the debt arose through the debtor's of all your debts and your property, New Requirements deducting allowable expenses based fraud, then the creditor would actually together with the appropriate filing fee, on IRS guidelines for necessities). have to prove the case before the with the Federal Bankruptcy Court. On April 20, 2005 and October 17, bankruptcy judge as with any other These lists of debts and property must 2005, major changes went into effect Once you have filed, the court will set lawsuit. If there is no objection to the be prepared on forms approved by the in the bankruptcy laws. Many of these a date for an dischargeability of a particular debt, court. It is very important that these changes impose new requirements on appearance then it will be discharged. There are lists of debts and property are accurate consumer debtors. which is called also instances where a discharge will and complete in all respects. You may the "first be denied as to all debts; for example, file either an individual bankruptcy Before a person may file a consumer meeting of where the debtor has purposely petition or a joint bankruptcy petition bankruptcy petition, within 180 days creditors." The concealed records from the trustee in with your spouse. before filing her petition, she must court will notify order to hide assets. complete a credit counseling briefing you and all of your creditors of the time What are the different Bankruptcies? given by a U.S. trustee approved and place of the meeting and you will If you have been permitted to have agency. There are some exceptions for be required to attend. When a your debts discharged, you must turn There are four types of bankruptcies genuine emergencies where the debtor bankruptcy case is filed, an estate is over to the bankruptcy trustee all of available to individuals: a Chapter 7 has tried to, but is not able to get the created comprised of all your property your property except for certain assets liquidation, a Chapter 11 counseling before filing her petition as of the date the bankruptcy petition which the law allows you to keep as reorganization, a Chapter 12 with the court. In order to receive a is filed. The judge will appoint a trustee "exempt." In Florida, an individual may adjustment of debts for family farmers discharge of debts from the court, the who will act as the representative of keep between $1,000 and $4,000 in only, and a Chapter 13 adjustment of debtor must take an education course your estate. The trustee's duty is to personal property based on whether debts. A Chapter 7 liquidation allows after she files her case and before take possession of your property, to you own a homestead and $1,000 of an individual to obtain a discharge, discharge of her case. There are now examine claims creditors may file and their interest in a motor vehicle. An which relieves the debtor from any two courses debtors must take: one to determine whether they are proper, individual's home is also considered debts owed as of the date that the get the case filed and a second one to and to sell the property of your estate exempt, but bankruptcy does not wipe bankruptcy petition is filed. Creditors receive a discharge. in order to reduce it to cash for out most mortgages. If an individual then will be unable to try to collect distribution to your creditors. It is also wants to keep his or her house, those debts or sue the individual and Debtors now must file more documents the duty of the trustee to determine generally he or she must continue the obtain a valid judgment. With a few with the court when they file whether you have properly listed all of payments on the mortgage. exceptions, the creditors have no claim bankruptcy. They must give the your assets, whether you are entitled credit in about two year’s time. Homestead Exemption There are many more changes that went Bankruptcy is not the only method of into effect in 2005. In Chapter 13 cases, dealing with a debt problem. In some A major change affecting Florida debtors as of April 20, 2005 is the limit on the a debtor may cram down an automobile loan only if she purchased the car more situations, other methods might be more advantageous to an individual than filing BANKRUPTCY homestead exemption. Debtors may use than 910 days before filing bankruptcy. bankruptcy. Such alternatives may Florida exemptions as long as they have resided in Florida for 730 days (2 years) The new law also limits the automatic stay after the court has dismissed a include an out-of-court settlement with creditors, reduction of payments to BASICS before filing their case. With respect to previously filed case and the debtor tries creditors, obtaining help from a the homestead exemption, if a debtor to file another case within a year of the consumer credit counseling service or has resided in Florida for 1,215 days dismissal. payment of debts by sale of assets or (about 3 years and 4 months) before borrowing on assets. filing bankruptcy, she may use Florida’s While Congress made major changes to unlimited (as to value) homestead bankruptcy law, people are still able to Although you do not need an attorney to exemption. However, if she has acquired file bankruptcy and get protection from file a bankruptcy petition, you should a home within 1,215 days of filing creditors. You should consult with an consider seeking the advice of an bankruptcy, her homestead exemption is attorney before filing bankruptcy since attorney if you are unsure of your rights limited to $125,000 in equity (unless she there are many changes to the law. If a and duties under bankruptcy law. owned a home in Florida more than debtor does not follow the requirements 1,215 days before filing bankruptcy and closely, the court could dismiss her If you believe you need legal advice, call used those proceeds to buy another case, which can lead to loss of shelter, your attorney. If you do not have an home in Florida.) transportation and income. attorney, call The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011, or A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Your Credit adjustment of debts enables an individual How does bankruptcy affect your credit with regular income to rating? The fact of bankruptcy is picked Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. propose in good faith to up and noted by various commercial 126 W. Adams Street pay all or part of his or credit reporting companies. Federal law Jacksonville, FL 32202 This information is provided by her debts from future limits the length of time this information 904-356-8371 The Florida Bar. income over a period of time. If the court may be carried on a report. The law also approves the plan of payment, the debts prevents certain governmental units and This is an informational brochure may be settled in this manner, even if agencies from discriminating against and is not a substitute for legal the creditors are not willing to go along persons who have filed bankruptcy. Most advice. The laws described here with the plan. If the individual makes the people find that if, after filing bankruptcy, may change without notice. payments as required, he or she will not they promptly make the payments that have to surrender his or her property. they are left with such as car payments, Unsecured debts may not exceed house payments, rent or utility $307,675, generally, with a maximum of payments, they can reestablish some $922,975 for secured debt obligated.
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