Palm Coast Bankruptcy Attorney
Flagler & Volusia County Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Since 2004
Florida has recently experienced some of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country. Flagler County and surrounding areas have faced the worst unemployment in Florida. The troubled economy has had a negative impact on the finances and overall financial security of many residents of Flagler, Volusia and St. Johns Counties.
Are you one of the many people in our area struggling to cope with overwhelming debt? Don’t wait until all of your retirement savings and cash reserves are gone before you take action. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Chiumento Selis Dwyer, PL, now to find out what options you have to make your financial future brighter.
Since 2004, our attorneys have helped many people in Palm Coast, Ormond Beach and elsewhere in Flagler County and Volusia County work out solutions to their debt problems. Ready to take the first steps to improve your finances? Let’s talk. Contact Chiumento Selis Dwyer, PL, now for a free review of your situation and advice about your options under the law.
About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Depending on your situation and your financial goals, one of two types of bankruptcy could be the right choice for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy – often referred to as “liquidation” – is the form of consumer bankruptcy that most individuals file. The goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to discharge (get rid of) debts. Once a debt has been discharged, you no longer owe the money.
Many types of debt may be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including:
- Credit card bills
- Personal loans
- Medical bills
- Utility bills
- Civil court judgments
- Past-due rent
- Certain older unpaid taxes
- Money owed on a repossessed car
- Bad checks
Some debts, however, generally cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy – for example, student loans, unpaid child support, personal injury judgments from a drunk driving accidents, court fines and penalties, certain unpaid taxes and money borrowed from certain retirement plans, among others.
Mortgages, car loans and other secured debts may be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you may have to give up the house, car or other property that served as collateral for the loan. It may be possible to keep a mortgaged house or a car subject to a loan if you reaffirm the debt and continue paying on it.
You may be required to give up certain property in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Property that is considered “nonexempt” may be sold in order to pay your creditors. However, exemptions may allow you to keep things like your home, car, work tools, retirement savings, prescribed health aids and education savings, for example. You can also keep a certain amount of your personal property – things like furniture, electronics and clothes – up to a certain dollar amount.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test that looks at your income and your expenses and determines your ability to pay your debts. You must also get credit counseling from an approved provider.
Yet, too often, individuals facing serious debt challenges wait until their retirement savings and cash reserves are completely depleted before considering bankruptcy. Unfortunately, even though Chapter 7 bankruptcy still makes good sense, it is now too late to protect the assets already lost in an effort to stay current on debt repayment.
About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Sometimes referred to as a “wage-earner’s plan” or “reorganization,” Chapter 13 is another option for people who are trying to deal with overwhelming debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in several ways. One of the most significant differences is that debts are restructured under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as opposed to being discharged under Chapter 7.
Why might Chapter 13 bankruptcy be a good choice? For starters, it might make it easier to save a home that is facing foreclosure. It might also be a good option for those who fail the Chapter 7 means test or have assets with significant equity.
This form of bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to work about a payment plan for your mortgage and other debts that is more manageable. This often means lower payments.
Similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all creditors must stop pursuing collection of the debts you owe once you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Once a Chapter 13 repayment plan has been approved, creditors are required to follow the plan and may not take any action against you outside the plan. Once you complete the plan, any remaining debt may be discharged.
Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Explain Your Options
Do you think bankruptcy might be the right option for your debt issues? You should talk with a qualified attorney at Chiumento Selis Dwyer, PL. We can review your individual situation and advise you about what types of bankruptcy you might qualify for, whether bankruptcy is a good solution to your debt problems and, if so, how to proceed with a bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcy filings are complex and require a lot of paperwork to be filled out accurately in order to avoid accusations of fraud or a dismissal of your case. At Chiumento Selis Dwyer, PL, our Palm Coast bankruptcy lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals who need debt relief. We are Your Law Firm for Life, including when financial times are tough.
Are you ready to talk about your options for the future? Contact us now for a free consultation.