The bankruptcy and credit counseling attorneys of Caroline Secor, P.A. represent individuals and families who are struggling with their monthly bills. Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers individuals residing in Florida who have income to restructure their debt and protect certain assets through the bankruptcy process. If you are a resident in the Tampa Bay area and you are earning some income, contact the lawyers at Caroline Secor, P.A. to discuss restructuring your monthly payments.
How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Works in the State of Florida
Unlike the Chapter 7 process where your non-exempt assets are liquidated and your creditors are paid with the proceeds, Chapter 13 allows you and your attorney to negotiate with lenders and collectors to lengthen the terms of your loans, negotiate loan payoffs, and to develop a three to five-year repayment plan to be submitted to the bankruptcy court. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is ideal for families and individuals who have some income coming into their households, but cannot keep up with their monthly bills. It also allows veteran attorneys the leeway to sit down with your creditors and create a plan that puts you back on the road to solvency.
When you complete your three to five-year payment plan under Chapter 13, you are entitled to a bankruptcy discharge. Your credit can start rebuilding as of the bankruptcy filing date, rather than the discharge date.
Some of the benefits to Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:
- Preservation of your primary residence
- Protection of assets like cars and other items that might not otherwise be exempt
- Debt consolidation
- Lowering of monthly payments
- The automatic stay, which blocks creditor harassment
- Defense against foreclosure
The federal government passed new bankruptcy reform legislation in October 2005. However, don’t be discouraged! Most studies indicate that the new law affects less than 15% of individuals who could have filed previously. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debts and considering filing bankruptcy, it is highly probable that you fall into the category of the 85 percent of people who are still eligible to file.