The Pros and Cons of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Jacksonville, FL
For many people, bankruptcy feels like a personal failure. However, the system is there for a reason and bankruptcy is a part of a healthy economy. When your debts are too massive for you to repay, you have the option of discharging those debts in bankruptcy. In this article, the Jacksonville, FL chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, Carol M. Galloway, will discuss the pros and cons of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Advantages of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida
The best reason to file for Chapter is to get a fresh financial start. Chapter 7 can help wipe out your debt. It relieves the pressure of overwhelming debt in a variety of ways. These include:
- The automatic stay – When you file for bankruptcy in Jacksonville, FL, the court issues an automatic stay that prevents any adverse creditor action against you. Lawsuits, foreclosures, repossessions, and evictions are all stopped immediately, buying you time to get your finances in order. It also stops debt collectors from harassing you over the phone for the recovery of a debt. All debt collection actions must stop once you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Discharge of your debts – Chapter 7 offers a full discharge of any unsecured debt. Unsecured debt includes medical bills and credit cards. You can also discharge past-due rent, utilities, and personal loans. This means that you will not have to pay these debts and creditors are prevented from attempting to collect them.
- You can keep most of your assets – Chapter 7 allows you to exempt certain assets from liquidation up to a certain dollar amount. You may also be able to exempt a certain amount of equity in your home or personal vehicle. You can also keep items such as those you use for your job, clothing, your furniture, and your retirement accounts.
- You can protect your future wages – If creditors secure a judgment against you, they can garnish your wages. You can prevent that from happening by filing for bankruptcy.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeds quickly – Chapter 7 bankruptcies take a few months to process through the system.
Disadvantages of Chapter 7 bankruptcy
You will need to consider both the positive and negative aspects of filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of the disadvantages include:
- Liquidation – For those who have significant assets, those assets can be liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to repay creditors. Chapter 7 does offer exemptions to protect a lot of your personal property, but luxury items may be liquidated to repay creditors.
- All debts are not discharged – In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, only unsecured debts are discharged. Debts related to a mortgage or car loan are considered secured and thus, they are not discharged in Chapter 7. There are options for keeping your personal vehicle and home, however.
- Chapter 7 impacts your credit score – A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will impact your credit record for up to 10 years after the filing. However, your credit score will be higher after filing because your debt has been discharged. It is, however, possible to rebuild your credit quickly after filing for a Chapter 7.
Talk to a Jacksonville, FL Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Today
The Jacksonville, FL Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, represent the interests of debtors seeking bankruptcy relief. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.