For individuals considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Palm Beach County, it is important to have an experienced and compassionate Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney on your side. Our Chapter 13 lawyers help individuals in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Lantana, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, as well as nearby cities, obtain the financial relief they seek through the debt reorganization opportunities available under Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also referred to as “debt reorganization” because under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy code, debt relief is handled through a process of reorganizing outstanding debt and setting up a debt repayment plan that requires a series of monthly payments spanning 3 – 5 years to repay creditors. This is in stark contrast to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which requires the liquidation of assets and the distribution of proceeds from that liquidation to repay a portion of outstanding debt.
Although Chapter 13 doesn’t eliminate most unsecured debt in the way that Chapter 7 allows, this form of bankruptcy protection provides individuals with opportunities to take control of their finances and begin on the path to a more secure financial future by reorganizing debt into a manageable and structured payment plan. There are a number of other benefits to Chapter 13. For one, assets can be retained by the debtor and are not required to be liquidated in order to repay creditors. Additionally, due to stringent requirements to qualify for Chapter 7, this form of bankruptcy provides an opportunity for those that do not meet the strict Chapter 7 eligibility requirements to still obtain financial relief.
Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in South Florida
Whether you are an individual that does not meet eligibility requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or you prefer to restructure your debt rather than liquidating your assets to repay your debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide the financial relief you need if you are facing difficult financial circumstances. In addition to restructuring your debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy halts any collection proceedings or harassment by creditors, prevents foreclosure on your home, and stops repossession of any of your assets, such as your car.
Choosing a Chapter 13 Lawyer in Palm Beach
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a more complex process than Chapter 7 and spans a longer period of time (generally 3 – 5 years). Therefore, it is important to find a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney that is not only knowledgeable, but that you feel comfortable with and can trust. Our Chapter 13 attorneys provide the experience you need with the compassion and understanding you deserve. We realize that making the decision to file bankruptcy and going through the process is a difficult one, and we are prepared to be with you every step of the way as you navigate the path to a more secure and healthier financial future.
Attributes of Our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Law Firm
Our offices are located in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, providing convenient locations to assist individuals throughout South Florida considering debt reorganization under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law. We are experienced in helping residents of Palm Beach and Broward counties regain their financial freedom by taking control of their debt and financial challenges, and we understand that it is a stressful time for those considering bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy law firm is dedicated to providing you with knowledge, information and advice to get you through this time, while also offering you the compassion and understanding you deserve as you navigate this difficult path.
Free Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Consultations In Palm Beach
The first step on the path to a more secure financial future is determining whether filing bankruptcy is right for you, and if so, which form of bankruptcy protection best suits your needs. We offer free chapter 13 bankruptcy consultations in any of our three South Florida locations (West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale), providing you with information, answering your questions, and helping you decide if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most appropriate option for you.
More Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information
There’s a lot to know about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, since the process is more complex and lengthier than Chapter 7. We have provided you with answers to many common questions related to Chapter 13 bankruptcy on this page, but we realize that you may still have many questions and concerns. Therefore, we invite you to speak directly with one of our bankruptcy lawyers, either by phone or in one of our convenient law offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, to discuss the unique aspects of your financial situation and to provide you with the information you seek. Call us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on the side of this page and one of our bankruptcy attorneys will contact you.
Contact Our South Florida Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Law Firm
We have offices conveniently located on N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, and E. Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. For more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and how it can help you get back on the path to a more secure financial future, contact us to schedule your free Chapter 13 bankruptcy consultation. Call us or fill out the contact form on the side of this page and one of our lawyers will call you to schedule an appointment.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can help you get back on the path to a healthier financial future. We offer knowledge, experience, compassion – and the freedom to start fresh.
Why is Chapter 13 referred to as “debt reorganization”?Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to repay a portion of your debt according to a monthly payment plan that typically spans 3 – 5 years. In essence, it reorganizes your debt obligations into a plan that makes it feasible for you to be able to repay all or a portion of your outstanding debt to your creditors. Chapter 13 takes into account your ability to pay based on calculations of your disposable income, along with considerations of your reasonable and necessary living expenses.
Who is eligible for file Chapter 13 bankruptcy?Individuals seeking financial protection from insurmountable debt are typically eligible to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Eligibility requirements are less stringent than Chapter 7, which requires debtors to pass a “means test” to determine if they qualify for protection. With more stringent qualification requirements in place for Chapter 7 since 2005, many more individuals are turning to Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a way to handle difficult financial circumstances. Individuals must have regular ongoing income in order to qualify for Chapter 13, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “wage earner” bankruptcy.
There are debt limits for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (unsecured debts of $360,475 and secured debts of $1,081,400), and those with debt in excess of the debt limits may want to consider Chapter 11, although this is a costlier and more complex process.
What are the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?Chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to take control of difficult financial circumstances and seemingly insurmountable debt by creating a structured debt repayment plan. This process takes into account the debtor’s disposable income and necessary living expenses before determining the amount that they can be expected to pay on a monthly basis to creditors. During this time, which can span 3 – 5 years, collection, foreclosure and repossession activities must cease and creditors cannot communicate with or harass the debtor. Once all payments have been completed according to the agreed upon debt repayment plan, any remaining debt is discharged, meaning that the debtor is not required to repay the remaining debt.
In addition to handling the restructuring of debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals to retain ownership of their assets, including non-exempt assets and even investment properties. This is a benefit that is not afforded under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law (except in the case of “exempt” assets). Additionally, it offers a broader discharge of debts than Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives debtors time to rebuild credit, reinstate a mortgage in default, and may even allow HOA liens and second or third mortgages on a home to be stripped away. It may also be a good option for those trying to keep their businesses open during the bankruptcy process.
What happens when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?Once you have determined that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, the next step is to file a bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court, as well as a series of financial schedules and a proposed debt repayment plan. This plan will take into account your disposable income and living expenses to determine how much is available for you to use to repay debt on a monthly basis. Some non-exempt assets may factor into how much you are able to pay.
You will then attend a meeting with a court-appointed trustee, your bankruptcy lawyer and any creditors that wish to attend (they rarely do). This is called a Section 341 meeting. During this meeting, the trustee will review all information and will either approve or oppose the debt repayment plan. Once approved, you will begin making monthly payments to the trustee and they will distribute funds to your creditors according to terms stipulated in the debt repayment plan and statues set forth by federal bankruptcy law.
Throughout the process, you cannot be contacted or harassed by creditors and all collection activities against you must cease. Once you have completed all payments according to the debt repayment plan, you are discharged of any remaining debt to your creditors. You will be on the path to a more secure and healthier financial future – in fact, not only will you be able to begin rebuilding your credit at this point, but your credit will already be stronger at the time of bankruptcy discharge than it’s been in years.
How are monthly payments determined in Chapter 13?The amount you will be required to pay on a monthly basis to creditors will be determined based on calculations of current and future income levels, along with considerations of “reasonable and necessary” living expenses. This will determine your disposable income and a portion of this income will be required to be used to repay creditors. Some “non exempt” assets may be considered in determining your ability to repay your debt, although you are not required to liquidate assets in the way you are during Chapter 7.
What is “debt discharge”?After you have completed all monthly payments according your approved debt repayment plan, any remaining debt to your creditors is discharged. This means that you are no longer obligated to repay the debt.
Where in South Florida do you provide Chapter 13 bankruptcy services?We offer Chapter 13 bankruptcy services in Palm Beach County, as well as in Broward County.