St. Augustine Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Of all the different types of bankruptcy a person can file in Florida, Chapter 7 is one of the most common. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all or most of a borrower’s debt can be discharged, meaning the borrower is no longer responsible for repaying it. Discharging debt through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not easy, though. Individuals who wish to file must meet certain eligibility requirements and it is important to know which debt can be discharged, and which cannot. Below, our St. Augustine Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer explains more.
The Basics of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you have incurred a significant amount of debt, you may be eligible to have it discharged using a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In exchange for the discharge, borrowers sometimes have to give up ownership of some of their assets. A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to the case and will liquidate those assets in order to repay creditors to the fullest extent possible.
It is important to note that discharging debt is not the same thing as forgiving it or erasing it. While the debt will still exist, you will no longer be required to pay it back. This means that while creditors and debt collectors cannot contact you to try and collect on the debt, it will still remain on your credit report and show that you were delinquent in repaying it.
The Automatic Stay in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The very act of filing bankruptcy can stop the harassing, threatening, and intimidating phone calls from creditors and debt collectors. Immediately after you file bankruptcy, a judge will issue an automatic stay. The automatic stay prevents lenders from contacting you and trying to collect on the debt while your bankruptcy case is proceeding. If your debt is discharged, creditors and debt collectors also cannot contact you to try and collect the debt.
The Means Test
Although Chapter 7 is a very popular option for borrowers who have incurred too much debt, most people who file this type of bankruptcy must first pass a means test. The means test is fairly new legislation that is intended to ensure that only those who really cannot afford to repay their debt file Chapter 7. The means test determines if your gross income the six months prior to filing bankruptcy is below the median income in Florida. If so, you pass the means test and can file Chapter 7. If you are a disabled veteran or your debt is not primarily consumer debt, such as medical debt, you are exempt from the means test.
Call Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in St. Augustine Now
At the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, P.A., our St. Augustine Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer will offer personalized advice and strong legal representation throughout your case to give you the best chance of getting your debt discharged. Call us now at 904-694-5489 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your options.