A Dedicated Jacksonville Attorney Guides You Through the Bankruptcy Process
Personal attention and detailed legal advice when you need it most
When you’re facing financial difficulties, you may need to consider filing for bankruptcy protection. This can be a complicated process, so it’s important to retain skilled legal counsel to help you review your options and best steps moving forward. At the Law Firm of Carol Galloway, we’ve served clients throughout the Jacksonville area for more than 13 years, delivering dedicated advice and guidance to individuals facing a broad range of financial challenges. We leverage our real-world experience and deep knowledge of bankruptcy law to your benefit, easing your burdens and allowing you to truly understand your rights.
Is bankruptcy right for you?
In general, you should only consider filing for bankruptcy protection if you are having serious problems paying bills and meeting other financial obligations, such as repaying debt. The programs available are reserved for those who have large amounts of debt and whose income and assets do not come close to covering all of their obligations.
If you do decide to pursue bankruptcy protection, there are several different options:
- Chapter 7: Known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 involves wiping out all unsecured debt, including medical bills and credit cards. Generally, you must have little to no assets available and a lack of disposable income to qualify. In Chapter 7, a trustee will administer your case and sell any nonexempt assets to help pay back creditors.
- Chapter 13: This form of bankruptcy reorganizes your debts and allows you to pay back your creditors using a court-approved repayment plan, typically lasting three to five years. This option is best for debtors who have adequate income and assets to eventually make good on what they owe.
- Chapter 11: This is often a good option for small businesses that would like to continue operating rather than dissolving their assets. It can be more complex than Chapter 7 or 13, and is only applicable to partnerships, LLCs and corporations.
We can help you determine what type of bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation.
Analyzing your debt
One of the top benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay, which prevents creditors from collecting on the debt you owe. Once the stay is in place, creditors can no longer call you, garnish your wages, begin foreclosure proceedings or take legal action against you. This can buy you some time to catch up on paying back mortgage and other debt, thereby allowing you to keep your home or motor vehicle. You may also qualify for a discharge, which frees you from all or most of your debt.
Conversely, bankruptcy cannot eliminate or reduce tax debt for the most part, and it will not have any impact on criminal or dissolution matters. You also cannot eliminate debt from student loans, unless you can demonstrate that “undue hardship” exists — something that’s very rare and only applicable in a handful of situations.
It’s also important to note that in Florida, you cannot use federal bankruptcy exemptions. Instead, you must use the exemptions made available through state law, which include the value of a home or real estate, personal property, motor vehicles, wages, pensions, public benefits, insurance policies, alimony and child support. We help you understand these exemptions and how they apply to your case.
Consult an experienced Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer
If you need sound legal guidance related to bankruptcy protection in Florida, turn to the established team at the Law Firm of Carol Galloway. From our office in Jacksonville, we serve individuals, families and businesses throughout the region. To get started today, call 904-356-7005 or contact us online.