If you're facing overwhelming debt and a constant barrage of creditor calls, it is natural to feel stressed and uncertain about your financial future. An experienced bankruptcy attorney in West Palm Beach can explain the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how it can be a financial lifeline to help you move forward.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy at a Glance
Chapter 7, often referred to as "liquidation bankruptcy," provides individuals and businesses with a fresh start by discharging unsecured debts. It may involve the sale of non-exempt assets by a court-appointed trustee to repay your creditors. The ultimate goal of Chapter 7 is to discharge unsecured debts, wiping the slate clean. This includes credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans. Some debts, like student loans and certain tax obligations, may not be dischargeable.
Eligibility Criteria for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in West Palm Beach
The primary requirement of Chapter 7 involves passing the means test, which evaluates your income compared to the median income for Florida and your household size. If your income is below the median or you pass the means test, you are likely eligible for Chapter 7. However, if your income exceeds the median and your disposable income can fund a Chapter 13 repayment plan, Chapter 7 eligibility might be more challenging. Additionally, eligibility may be affected if you've filed for bankruptcy previously or engaged in certain financial behaviors.
Debts Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many unsecured debts can be discharged, including credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, and utility bills. However, some debts are generally non-dischargeable, such as student loans, child support, alimony, and recent tax debts. It is important to consult an attorney to determine which of your debts can be discharged.
Effect of Chapter 7 on Credit Score
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will harm your credit score, and it will stay on your credit report for up to ten years. However, it's essential to understand that you may already have poor credit due to your financial difficulties. Over time, you can rebuild your credit by responsibly managing your finances, paying bills on time, and using credit wisely. You may find that your credit improves faster after bankruptcy because you have eliminated unmanageable debt.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida
While it is possible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney (known as "pro se" filing), the risks of errors, asset loss, and potential complications are significant, as the Bankruptcy process is very technical. A qualified bankruptcy attorney has the knowledge and experience to ensure your case follows all relevant laws and regulations. Given the long-term impact of bankruptcy on your financial future, investing in legal representation is a wise decision to ensure the best possible outcome and a smoother path to financial recovery.
Get a Proven and Resourceful Bankruptcy Attorney on Your Side
At Rivera Law Firm P.A., our experienced bankruptcy lawyers treat every case with urgency and diligence and provide robust legal representation. Our dedicated legal team can provide customized advice to help you make informed decisions to preserve your financial future. To set up your free and confidential consultation, call 786-529-6060 or contact us online.