Orlando Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most commonly filed bankruptcy and is usually referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. Although commonly filed, an individual seeking to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy must qualify through the use of the means test. if your income meets or falls below the guideline amounts provided in the means test you may qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although the latter is generally the case there are instances where individuals can still file chapter 7 even though they may exceed the allowed income level to file chapter 7. Orlando chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers Michael Ferrin and Victoria Anderson have extensive experience in this area that they will put to work for you to obtain the best outcome for you, your family, or your business.
What Can Filing Chapter 7 Do for Me?
There are many reasons why an individual would want or need to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. for some individuals unexpected expenses and emergencies can throw their financial worlds upside down. for others, financial issues have been slowly eating away at them and they get to a point where they can no longer keep things a float.
Filing chapter 7 provides individuals the ability to be forgiven of their liabilities or Discharged of their debts. Some examples of the debts that can be discharged are credit cards bills, foreclosures, repossessions, civil judgments, payday loans, personal loans, hospital or medical bills, and sometimes even taxes. Orlando debt relief attorneys Michael Ferrin and Victoria Anderson have help numerous individuals free themselves from debt. Let our family at Anderson and Ferrin Attorneys at Law, P.A. in Orlando Florida help your family. Our bankruptcy firm is located in Downtown Orlando Florida and we serve all surrounding counties and Central Florida including but not limited to Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, Lake County, Brevard County, and Volusia County.
Contact our offices located in Downtown Orlando Florida today to schedule a fee consultation to review your options and determine whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you.
For some individuals a chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t the right fit either because they do not qualify because of their income or there are other bankruptcy options that would be better suited to a client’s particular needs. for these individuals there are still avenues available to assist them with the financial issues they face such as filing chapter 13 bankruptcy or in some limited circumstances filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy.
If I File Bankruptcy Will I Lose Everything I Have?
In short the answer is NO. Most individuals get to keep the majority of their assets in bankruptcy while still discharging their debts. Generally, each individual filing bankruptcy is exempt (or protected) $1,000 in personal property and $1,000 in vehicles. if you are not going to be keeping any real estate, and you meet the requirements to claim the Florida exemptions, your personal property exemption increases to $4,000 per person filing. There many other exemptions that can be applied to various things and it is imperative that you hire and experienced and skilled attorney that is familiar with the intricacies of the bankruptcy code to obtain the best result for you.
What to Expect When Filing…..The Timeline
A great bankruptcy attorney is one that can make your case predictable and advise you as to what is going to happen before it happens. of course there are those few special and complicated cases where predicting what will happen in the case can be more difficult, but rest assured that Michael Ferrin and Victoria Anderson will guide you through what is often times some of the most difficult moments in someone’s life. the attorneys at Anderson & Ferrin have seen it all so they know what to expect. While working in the area of bankruptcy since the first day they began practicing law they have worked on cases with liabilities in access of $40 million to cases with less than $15,000. Below is a brief description of what to expect when filing your chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Warning Signs of Financial Crisis
Financial crisis can often blind side individuals. No matter how much money you may have or how much you prepare and plan for your future, unexpected events can occur that can turn your life upside down. Below we have compiled just some warning signs that you may be facing a financial crisis.
- You are using your credit cards every month to cover necessary living expenses.
- Your credit card debt continues to rise every month and you just can’t seem to make a dent on the balances
- Interest rates on your credit cards are reaching 20-29% interest and you just can’t keep up
- Creditors are calling you day and night and you are afraid to open your mail or answer your door in fear that you may receive a lawsuit or yet another bill.
- You haven’t been able to make your mortgage payments and your house is on the verge of foreclosure
- You continue to dip into your savings just to make ends meet slowly dwindling your nest egg and leaving little to nothing for you to retire with or heck even get away for a vacation
- You owe much more on your home than you think it will ever be worth again and wonder why your are dumping your money into something with no value
Of course there are many other warning signs that you may be noticing in your life. Make sure that you are not ignoring them and make the decision to come and speak with us to discuss your options. You may be surprised with some of the results a bankruptcy could provide you. We invite you to contact us and set up a free consultation.
You will first begin by meeting with Michael or Victoria for your free consultation and reviewing your financial position and your goals. We will run means test calculations to determine whether you qualify for a chapter 7 or if another option is best suited for you.
Preparing the Bankrutpcy Petition
Once you decide to hire the firm we will provide you with a detailed list of information that we will need to prepare the multiple page bankruptcy petition that will be filed with the court. We will guide you through the process and once we have the information that we need we will begin to prepare your chapter 7 petition. Once your petition is completed you will be invited to sit down with the attorneys for a final review of your petition before you sign the final draft and it is filed with the court.
Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses
1) Credit Counseling Course
Before filing your chapter 7 bankruptcy you are required to take a credit counseling course. This course must be taken within the 180 days prior to filing. if you fail to take this course your case will be dismissed. at Anderson & Ferrin we provide you the information that you need to find a court approved course provider and have the course completed prior to filing. for anyone that has difficulty getting to a live class because of scheduling issues or medical issues many credit counseling agencies offer online courses that can be completed in as little as an hour.
2) Debtor Education Course
After your case is filed your must take another course called a Debtor Education Course. the Debtor Education Course must be completed within the 60 days after the 341 meeting of creditors following the filing of your case. if you fail to take this course the court will not grant you a discharge of your debts even though you may have completed everything else required by the bankruptcy code.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing
Once your chapter 7 petition is completed and your have review and signed the petition it will be electronically filed with the court. Once filed the Automatic Stay will kick in and allow you protection from your creditors. the Automatic Stay will delay foreclosures, foreclosure sale dates, repossessions, and stop creditors from calling you and harassing you at work and all hours of the day and night.
Approximately 45 Days After the Bankruptcy Filing
You will be required to attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors. This is a hearing where creditors are afforded the opportunity to briefly ask you questions about your finances but mostly it is for the chapter 7 trustee assigned to your case to review your petition for accuracy. More often than not these hearings only last a few minutes and creditors often times do not attend. for the most part it will be you, your attorney, the trustee, and everyone else that is present waiting for their turn in front of the trustee.
After the 341 Meeting of Creditors
Once the chapter 7 bankruptcy 341 meeting of creditors has been concluded you should receive your discharge within a few months. on average, from start to finish, chapter 7 bankruptcy cases only last 4-6 months. Once the case is complete you will receive a discharge of your debts and your case will be closed.
What About My Credit? How Does Filing Chapter 7 Affect My Credit?
You will begin to recuperate your credit shortly after your case is closed and most individuals report having credit scores in the area of 650 plus or so within 1 ½ to 2 years after filing. for most individuals you can purchase a vehicle with a reasonable interest rate or take out credit cards again to help build your credit within this time period. Remember, a bankruptcy filing basically refreshes your credit. You will need to build your credit history back up in order to increase your credit score. Generally, staying current on your car loans, rent, or mortgage will help greatly improve your credit quickly. You may also want to take out 2 to 3 credit cards but remember to pay them off every month so that you don’t incur interest and negatively affect your credit.
Contact Our Orlando Debt Relief Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Individuals can often find themselves in positions where debts far exceed their income. This problem can occur regardless of how much money one has or how much one prepares for the worst. Individuals looking to file chapter 7 often have been faced with a loss in employment, a loved one passing away, losses on investments or businesses, or divorce. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can assist you by putting your debts behind you and create a fresh start for you and your family. Chapter 7 can assist you with discharge of most debts including but not limited to:
- Judgments resulting from creditor suits or personal injury claims
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
- Some older tax debts
Every person’s case is unique and results are subject to certain limitations and exemptions which we will explain to you in detail at your FREE CONSULTATION.
At Anderson & Ferrin Attorneys at Law, P.A. we have helped clients file petitions for Chapter 7 bankruptcies for years. We take time to advise our clients about the necessary steps that are included in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as qualifying through a Chapter 7 means test, receiving a credit counseling briefing, filing a voluntary petition and attending a creditor’s meeting.