Fort Myers Bankruptcy Attorney
An Entire Team of Lawyers Helping You Through Bankruptcy
At Your Advocates, we believe a teamwork approach makes anything easier, or at least less stressful. When you need to file for bankruptcy, you can come to our Fort Myers bankruptcy attorneys for all the legal and moral support you need and deserve. We have decades of combined legal experience to put to use for your case, allowing us to go above-and-beyond what you may have been expecting.
Let us help you regain your financial freedom with bankruptcy. Call our experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Fort Myers at (239) 970-6844 today!
When Should I Declare Bankruptcy?
If you are feeling the weight of unpaid debts, bankruptcy could be your best option to find debt relief before things truly get out of control. There is no shame in filing for bankruptcy – thousands of Americans do it each year! There can be trouble, though, if you approach bankruptcy without an understanding of what it can do. Educate yourself and work through the process with our assistance.
You will likely need to file for one of two types of bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7: The goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to eliminate, or discharge, any and all of your unsecured debt. You must meet strict standards to use Chapter 7, and you could potentially lose some of your valued property in the process.
- Chapter 13: Through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you aim to reduce your debt, not completely discharge it. The payoff is generally being able to keep most or all of your valued property and risking less damage to your credit score.
What Is the Difference Between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7?
Choosing the right chapter is one of the most important parts of filing for bankruptcy in Fort Myers. Choosing the wrong chapter could have serious consequences, including possibly having your case denied or dismissed due to a lack of qualification. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences between these chapters to help you make the right choice.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as “liquidation bankruptcy” because of the liquidation process it often includes. In short, the Chapter 7 process involves totaling up your assets, applying the appropriate exemptions and protections, and then your remaining property is sold off (liquidated) and the proceeds used to pay your creditors. Once this sale is completed, the remainder of your debts is discharged, giving you a fresh start.
While Chapter 7 may seem like the simplest form of bankruptcy, it’s also one of the most stressful. It’s not uncommon for people to lose a lot of possessions that are extremely valuable to them as part of the liquidation process, and those who don’t utilize their exemptions well may lose more than they should.
Those who wish to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must also pass a “means test,” which is essentially a test of your ability to make your payments based on your current monthly income. If you fail to qualify, you’ll have to choose a different bankruptcy option.
Unlike Chapter 7 which takes the liquidation route, Chapter 13 is a longer and more drawn-out process that allows someone to essentially re-organize their financial affairs and develop a plan to pay off their debts as much as possible within a three to five-year span. This plan must be approved by the court and do everything possible to repay outstanding debts within this limited stretch. Assuming you make a good faith effort to repay your loan and stick to your payment plan, the court will likely grant a discharge on any remaining unsecured debts at the end of your repayment plan period.
On the downside, this process takes longer to complete and means your credit score will continue to feel the effects for a much longer period. However, on the plus side, the lack of liquidation means you get to keep more of your property and a much lower chance of losing that which is important to you.
How Do You Declare Bankruptcy in Florida?
Declaring bankruptcy in Florida involves disclosing all aspects of your financial situation—income, expenses, property and debt—on official bankruptcy forms. After filling out these forms, you will then file the paperwork with the bankruptcy court along with the filing fee or fee waiver.
An experienced Fort Myers bankruptcy attorney can help you decide which bankruptcy form is right for your situation, assist you with accurately completing the paperwork and guide you through the bankruptcy hearing to make sure you get the right outcome for your financial situation.
For more information about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, discuss your case with a bankruptcy attorney in Fort Myers today! Call us at (239) 970-6844 to schedule your free consultation.
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Your Advocates is a law firm that is not about assigning each client a case number and pushing them through the legal procedures. Instead, we want to establish a genuine relationship with our clients and form a trusting bond. When we dedicate our time to learn who you are and what your goals through bankruptcy are, we stand a better chance of landing a successful bankruptcy, protecting your property, preventing the foreclosure of your home, and rebuilding your credit for your life after bankruptcy.
Contact our Fort Myers bankruptcy lawyers and set up a free consultation today!