Deciding to file for bankruptcy may be the right choice for your financial situation. However, it can be a challenging step to take. Any major financial decision should be made with as much information as possible, allowing you to plan appropriately and determine how that decision will affect your overall well-being.
When you work with a Cocoa bankruptcy lawyer, you can have someone by your side who understands Florida bankruptcy law. You don’t have to feel alone in the process of researching bankruptcy, preparing your documentation, and beginning the process. A lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can be with you through every step.
Contact us to speak with a representative and learn more about how we can help today. Call us at (321) 633-3208.
The Basics of Filing for Bankruptcy
Some may have negative associations with the idea of filing for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy is simply a tool to allow you to repair your finances, granting you space from your debt and allowing you to rebuild. Of course, the benefits afforded by filing for bankruptcy can come with financial tradeoffs.
Bankruptcy typically takes one of two forms: liquidation or restructuring. With liquidation, assets are sold off in order to repay what is owed. Not all assets will have to be sold, however, as many states make provisions for exemptions.
With forms of bankruptcy that involve restructuring, the individual or business is typically allowed to make a plan to repay what they owe over a period of time. This could be beneficial for businesses, individuals with a steady income source, or individuals with complicated finances.
Some of the most common forms of bankruptcy include the following.
This is a type of bankruptcy that involves liquidation. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets may be sold in order to repay your debt. However, don’t expect that you will have to sell everything you own. Several exemptions may apply to your circumstances, including exemptions for homeowners and vehicle owners. Depending on the value of your property, you may be able to keep these assets.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a commonly used form of bankruptcy, and the process involved is often faster than for other types. However, one tradeoff involved with Chapter 7 is that you will see an impact on your credit score for ten years after you file, which is a longer period of time than that involved with other forms of bankruptcy.
To qualify for this type of bankruptcy, you will have to pass what is known as a “means test.” This test is intended to ensure that only those below a certain income level are using this form of filing. The means test process can involve a highly detailed look into your income and finances, one that a lawyer can help you navigate.
Intended for more complicated scenarios, Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves financial restructuring as opposed to liquidation. Those who make use of Chapter 11 will often make a plan to pay off their debt over time. Chapter 11 may be used by individuals or businesses. This allows a business to keep its doors open while they recover from their debt.
Formally known as “Adjustments of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income,” this is a type of bankruptcy that is useful for those making a steady income. Chapter 13 does not involve liquidation but allows the individual to take advantage of a three- or five-year time period over which they can make payments on what they owe.
While Chapter 13 does not involve passing a means test, you will still need to show documentation of your monthly income and a statement detailing your expendable income.
A Cocoa bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which form of bankruptcy may be right for you based on your financial details. You can speak with someone from our team to learn more by calling Bogin, Munns & Munns at (321) 633-3208.
To consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer serving Cocoa, call 855-686-6752
How a Lawyer Can Help You File
No laws require you to work with a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, but you may find that legal counsel is important to ensure that you don’t overlook important laws or procedures that could affect your filing. Bankruptcy laws can be complex, and small mistakes can affect the outcome of your case. A lawyer can also help you protect your assets to the greatest extent possible, depending on your situation.
A lawyer will help you begin the process by taking a detailed look at your financial picture, including a look at your debt, your income, any spouse’s income, and more. A lawyer will request several forms of documentation to aid in this process.
First, they will ask you for a breakdown of who you owe funds to and how much you owe. Being as detailed as possible when you share this information will only be helpful as you begin your case.
To document your income, you’ll be asked to show your lawyer your most recent pay stub. This should reflect your gross income, net income, and year-to-date earnings. Sharing information about your assets will also be needed. Your lawyer will also want to see documentation of your real estate, retirement accounts, financial accounts, vehicles, trusts, and more.
Even if some of this information feels difficult to share with someone else, it is very important to provide your lawyer with complete, accurate information. Your lawyer, after all, is working by your side. They will want to help you protect as much of your assets as possible and understand how to advise you appropriately based on your true financial picture.
Florida Laws and Bankruptcy
Several laws in Florida may affect your bankruptcy case, including laws that govern exemptions in bankruptcy cases.
For instance, the Florida Homestead Exemption and the Florida Vehicle Exemption can allow you to protect your home and vehicle from liquidation in the event that you pursue a form of bankruptcy that involves liquidation proceedings, such as Chapter 7.
You could protect your equity in a home through the Florida Homestead Exemption, meaning that you may not have to sell your home when you file for bankruptcy, according to Florida Statutes § 222.01. Similarly, Florida Statutes § 222.25 provides those who file for bankruptcy to keep a car worth no more than $1,000.
A lawyer will be able to tell you more about any laws that could apply to your situation.
Cocoa Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me 855-686-6752
Let Bogin, Munns & Munns Stand Beside You
There are certain steps involved with filing for bankruptcy. You may have to go through bankruptcy counseling, share a number of financial documents, and be open with your lawyer about your situation. However, filing for bankruptcy may be the best move for you based on your current finances. Bankruptcy can allow you to start fresh, even if that may involve some tradeoffs.
A Cocoa bankruptcy lawyer can help you think through what steps might be right for you. With 13 offices across Central and North Florida, Bogin, Munns & Munns is available to help you begin the process in many nearby locations.
You can get started today by calling someone on our team today at (321) 633-3208.