Orlando Bankruptcy Lawyer
Many people believe consumer bankruptcies are like Monopoly bankruptcies. In this board game, bankrupt players lose all their assets and must quit the game with no hope of returning. A consumer bankruptcy in Florida is much different. The Bankruptcy Code exists to help distressed debtors, not to punish them. So, most bankruptcy debtors keep most of their property and receive the tools they need to get fresh financial starts.
The experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway knows how the law works. More importantly, our professional team knows how to make the law work for you. So, we do much more than fill out paperwork. We thoroughly evaluate your case and stand with you throughout the process. Only an attorney delivers this level of service to distressed debtors who desperately need a way out.
- Business Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Credit Card Debt
- Debt Collection
- Debt Settlement
- Medical Debt
Qualifying for Bankruptcy
Most people qualify for consumer bankruptcy, even though U.S. law changed significantly in this area in 2005.
All debtors, whether they file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, must complete a pre-filing debt counseling course and a post-filing budgeting course. These brief and inexpensive classes are usually available online.
Other formal requirements are more rigid. Chapter 13 debtors must have fewer than $2.75 million in secured debts, like a home mortgage, and unsecured debts, like credit card bills. Many homes in many parts of Orange County may push debtors over this limit. Chapter 7 debtors must earn less than the statewide average for families their size. If you are on the borderline, an Orlando bankruptcy lawyer can find ways to help you qualify for bankruptcy or offer other options, such as non-bankruptcy debt reduction negotiation.
These advanced options, which are unavailable elsewhere, include precision asset valuation, lien stripping, and fair market value cram-downs.
Furthermore, each jurisdiction has its own informal requirements. For example, most trustees (people who oversee bankruptcies for judges) prefer Chapter 7 debtors to be slightly in the red each month. Conversely, most Chapter 13 debtors must have sufficient disposable income to make a monthly debt consolidation payment. Trustees generally also want certain documents, such as recent tax returns.
The Automatic Stay, asset protection, and debt discharge are available in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
At the moment debtors file their voluntary petitions, Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits most kinds of creditor adverse actions, such as:
- Wage garnishment,
- Creditor lawsuits,
- Evictions, and
- Utility shutoff.
Usually, this protection lasts until the judge closes the bankruptcy. In the meantime, only bankruptcy protects key assets from creditor or trustee seizure, such as:
- Retirement account,
- Government benefits, and
- Personal property.
A bankruptcy lawyer can unlock advanced bankruptcy options and also show debtors how to maximize the existing exemptions.
Chapter 7 erases most unsecured debts in as little as six months. Chapter 13 does even more. In addition to unsecured debt forgiveness, this form of bankruptcy gives debtors up to five years to catch up on delinquent home mortgage payments and other secured debts.
Contact an Experienced Orlando Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy offers distressed debtors a way out. For a free consultation with our experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, P.A. Convenient payment plans are available.