Bankruptcy Attorneys in Jacksonville
Jacksonville St. Augustine Attorneys for Your Bankruptcy Guidance
Bankruptcy is a process in which some or all of your debts can be erased or reduced when you you're not able to pay them. There are two common types of bankruptcy for individuals and married couples: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 allows you to discharge, or erase, unsecured debts if you give up most of your property. In the language of Florida bankruptcy law, "unsecured debts” are debts you owe that are not attached to property, like credit cards or medical debts. Conversely, “secured debts” are those like mortgages and car loans that are secured by property, meaning the creditor can take that property if you don’t pay the debt. There are specific rules and limits about what property you can keep in a Chapter 7. The bankruptcy attorneys at the Duval County law firm of Beller & Bustamante, P.L. can instruct you as to what kinds of assets you can retain in a Chapter 7 action.
Chapter 13 allows you to “reorganize” your debt if you make enough money to pay some of them and you have secured property that you want to keep—particularly a house. The judge must approve your plan to repay your debts over a number of years and can force your creditors to take lower payments than you normally would otherwise have to pay.
Debts that you cannot erase include child support, alimony, criminal fines, certain taxes and most student loans. These debts are non-dischargeable under federal bankruptcy law.
The Automatic Stay
If you declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, the federal court issues an automatic stay. This stops all creditors from pursuing you for your debts. The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as a creditor becomes aware of your bankruptcy. The stay prevents foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishments, and collection calls. A court order is required for the creditor to be able to lift the automatic stay. To find out more about the bankruptcy’s automatic stay, contact the Jacksonville attorneys who know debt collection. Contact the Duval County law firm of Beller & Bustamante, P.L.
Bankruptcy can be a fast way to stop creditors from taking your property and harassing you, but this is not the right answer for everyone. You may be able to work out payment plans for your debt without filing bankruptcy, you may have debts that cannot be discharged, or you may be “judgment proof” because your only income is from Social Security, unemployment, or other public benefits that your creditors cannot take.
Beller & Bustamante, P.L.
Contact our Duval/St. Johns area law firm by calling (904) 416-1963 to schedule a consultation regarding your bankruptcy questions and concerns. We assist couples and individuals in making decisions about your financial future.