Filing for Bankruptcy in Miami
Counsel from an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer
Federal law regulates bankruptcy, which means most states follow the same
process. However, Florida law still comes into play, particularly when
dealing with property exemptions and how much you have to repay creditors.
If you are currently deciding whether or not you should file for bankruptcy,
you need to reach out to an experienced
Miami bankruptcy lawyer. The attorneys at Orshan, P.A. have handled all types of bankruptcy cases
and have extensive knowledge in all facets of related laws.
Ready to take the first step?
Reach out today for a free case evaluation!
What to Expect in the Filing Process
Bankruptcy can be a confusing and exhausting time. By understanding what
to expect before and during the filing process, you can be better prepared
to get through this time. Read the sections below to find more insight
on the bankruptcy process in Florida.
Mandatory Credit Counseling
When you want to file for bankruptcy, Florida law requires that you attend
and complete a credit counseling course with a pre-approved agency. This
counseling is enforced for both
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. Prior to filing, you must complete
the credit counseling course and a personal financial management course.
You can get started here:
You may be asking yourself, why? The purpose of these courses is the enlighten
those filing for bankruptcy about their financial options and determine
whether or not you are able to pay your debts in a payment plan. However,
just because the counselor of the course recommends you pursue a repayment
plan, doesn’t mean you have to. Choosing to hire a Miami bankruptcy
attorney to advise you on what to do instead can be incredibly beneficial.
Passing the Means Test for Chapter 7
When seeking to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to compare
your income to the average Floridian income with a similarly sized household.
This is known as the
means test. If your income is below the average, then you are eligible to file for
Chapter 7. If your income exceeds it, you may still qualify if you have
limited disposable income each month.
The median for cases filed after November 1, 2016 in Florida are:
- $44,021 for single households
- $54,655 for two-people households
- $59,881 for three-people households
- $71,480 for four-people households
- Add $8,400 for each household member that exceeds four
*These numbers are subject to change. Speak with our Miami bankruptcy attorney
for a more accurate idea on where you fall on the means test.
You are exempt from taking the means test if your debts are not primarily
consumer debts or if you are a disabled veteran that incurred debt during
active duty. Contact Orshan, P.A. to learn more about exemptions and whether
or not you qualify.
Planning Out Your Debt Repayment in Chapter 13
Chapter 13 is available to all consumers, regardless of the amount of debt
held. However, a three-year repayment plan is involved, so it is better
suited for individuals that have enough resources or monthly income to
pay off these restructured debts.
The amount paid through your payment plan is determined by:
- Where you live
- Whether your property is nonexempt or not
- Your expenses and income
- The type of debts you need to pay
In this type of bankruptcy, you often get to keep a majority of your property,
including your home. That is one reason many people may want to turn to
Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a solution. Only a skilled and experienced bankruptcy
attorney in Miami can inform you on whether or not this option will be
most beneficial to your situation.
Florida Property Exemption Laws
One of the most important aspects of bankruptcy is determining which assets
are exempt and which will need to be used to pay off creditors. Florida
also has its own unique property exemptions laws, and fortunately it is
among the most generous states.
Properties that are exempt under Florida law include:
- Personal property under $1,000, including furniture, art, electronics, etc.
- Prescribed health aids
- Prepaid health savings accounts and medical savings accounts
- Health savings, hurricane savings, and education savings
As a homeowner, you may exempt all of your equity unless it is over half
an acre in an urban area, or 160 acres elsewhere in the state. We can
provide additional insight on other exemptions you may qualify for.
Attending Required Debt Courses
After you have filed, you are required to attend a mandatory debtor education
course before you are handed your discharge. Just as with the beginning
credit counseling, you must make sure to enroll in a state-approved course
to be given credit.
You can get started here:
Need legal help? Our seasoned bankruptcy firm is here!
Filing for bankruptcy is hard, but the good news is that you do not have
to go through it alone. Our skilled Miami bankruptcy lawyers can help
you navigate the confusing and overwhelming process.
If you are currently wondering if you should file for bankruptcy, be sure
to call our office today! A paralegal will meet with you for a free case
evaluation. Following that, our skilled legal team can help you decide
if moving forward with bankruptcy is the best option for your case.
Need trusted advice on your financial situation?
Call Orshan, P.A.