Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Jacksonville
Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and clients throughout Florida
With a chapter 7 bankruptcy once your case is complete, your debts are discharged and creditors can no longer collect on those debts. This type of bankruptcy still deals with a trustee, but the trustee oversees and cancels eligible debts.
It is important to meet with an attorney before assuming you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Due to new bankruptcy laws, it is much harder to qualify for this type of bankruptcy and not all consumers are eligible.
The Jacksonville Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton can help you with your Chapter 7 case.
Is Chapter 7 Right for You?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t right for everyone. In this type of bankruptcy, it is best if you are dealing with mostly unsecured debt, such as:
- Medical bills
- Credit card bills
- Department store credit cards
- Payday loans
- Personal loans
- Utility bills
This type of bankruptcy is ideal for those with low income who are struggling to pay their bills every month.
Who Should File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
There are strict requirements to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; therefore, it is only suitable for those in dire financial situations. People in the following situations should consider filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- You have too much credit card and medical debt. These types of debts are eliminated in bankruptcy, because they are considered unsecured debts.
- You are being harassed by collection agencies and creditors. These companies will do whatever it takes to get their money back, including threatening and resorting to illegal tactics. If you file for Chapter 7 these creditors can no longer harass you for payments and you will receive an automatic stay, which protects you from their collection tactics until the case is finalized.
- You own little to no property. If you don’t have any non-exempt assets, such as investment properties, then Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be ideal, because you will not have to liquidate a lot of property.
- You do not have the income to pay off your bills. If you weren’t to file bankruptcy, your income is too low to afford to pay off your debts eventually; therefore, you have no choice but to file for bankruptcy.
- Your credit is already too low. Your credit score is already too low so it will not matter if you file for bankruptcy.
Understanding the Bankruptcy Means Test
To make sure you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the courts require a means test. This test will prove that you do not have sufficient income or any way to recover and pay off your debts. The means test was designed specifically for Chapter 7 to ensure the protection is only given to consumers that truly need it.
The test involves a strict formula that assesses your income versus minimal payments to see if you could afford bankruptcy or if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your only option. The courts use the means test to ensure Chapter 7 is reserved only for those who cannot afford their debts.
In Florida, there are strict median incomes that must be met to qualify, these include:
- $41,334 for a single-earner
- $51,839 for a two-person family
- $53,952 for a three-person family
- $63,196 for a four-person family
Credit Counseling and Debtor Education
In addition to passing the means test, you must also go through consumer credit counseling and debtor education to finish your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Your case will not be approved by the courts until you complete this necessary step. These courses must be taken through a court-approved program, which your bankruptcy attorney can help you locate in the area.
How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Take?
Typically, Chapter 7 bankruptcies are relatively quick to complete. Most cases are completed and debts discharged within three to six months after the initial paperwork is filed.
It is important to note that if this is not your first bankruptcy, you may have to wait to file your Chapter 7 case again. Speak to your attorney about any dates that will prohibit you from filing on time.
As long as you go through a reputable attorney, you can expect to complete your Chapter 7 case in a year maximum; however, most cases take at least six months.
Meet with Our Team of Experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Jacksonville Today
If you are ready to meet with an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in your area, then contact our team of chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in Jacksonville at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A. today. Our attorneys will meet with you for free and discuss your Chapter 7 case.
Get started by calling 904-398-2212 to schedule your appointment.