HOW BANKRUPTCY WORKS
Bankruptcy is a federal law that allows individuals and businesses to obtain relief from their debts. For consumers, there are two primary types of debt relief, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, sometimes called “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy, all debts that are dischargeable (see FAQ’s below) go away quickly, usually in 3-4 months. Chapter 13 is a debt adjustment plan whereby people who can afford to, pay back a portion of their debts over 3-5 years.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Most bankruptcy clients who are eligible choose to file Chapter 7 rather than Chapter 13, because it is quicker, simpler, and less expensive. But not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. There are income limits. In addition, there are circumstances where people who have substantial equity in non-homestead real estate or personal property need to file Chapter 13 in order to be allowed to keep that property and still discharge their other debts through a payback plan.
Some Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are some things that can be done in Chapter 13 that can’t be done in Chapter 7, such as removing certain eligible second mortgages on primary residences and restructuring non-homestead real estate mortgages, qualified vehicles and other personal property. This restructuring is called “cramdown” and “lien-stripping,” and the aim is to allow you to get rid of that portion of the debt that is not fully secured by collateral.
As you can see, the concept is pretty simple – but the devil can be in the details. Our firm is well qualified attorney to help guide you through the labyrinth of complex provisions and procedures.
To determine what you can do or should do, call or e-mail for an immediate appointment. The consultation is free:
Residential Mortgage Modification in Chapter 13
The Orlando Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court (M.D. Fla) has a one-of a kind mediation program for modification of residential mortgages in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The success rate in those Chapter 13 mediation modifications is outstanding, surpassing that achieved under state-sponsored mediation programs. Let me know if we can help you.
Yes, we do business bankruptcies as well. Whether you have a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or are self-employed, debt relief is available for most businesses – either through liquidation under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or reorganization under Chapter 11. Again, the consultation is free.
Representation of Creditors
We do represent creditors in contested matters to obtain motions for relief from the bankruptcy stay and adequate protection on secured claims, as well as adversarial proceedings to dismiss cases for abuse, or to obtain exceptions from bankruptcy discharge.
Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions
Can I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and keep my home?
Yes. Under Chapter 7, you can continue the payments and reaffirm your mortgage loan if you are current. However, even if you are behind in your payments and cannot afford to bring your home loan current, you have two options for keeping your home in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: a) you can attempt to modify your mortgage in a Chapter 13 mediation, and, if successful, your payments will be reduced, your arrearage (past due interest and fees) will generally be added to the principal, and that portion of the principal will usually not draw further interest; and in some cases, the principal may be reduced; b) even if you cannot modify your mortgage, you can repay the arrearage over time as part of your Chapter 13 plan.
What about my car? Can I keep it and file bankruptcy?
Can a creditor garnish my wages or bank account?
Will bankruptcy ruin my credit and for how long?
Are all loans and debts dischargeable in bankruptcy?
Can I strip my second mortgage in a Chapter 7?
If I surrender my house and/or car will I be liable for a deficiency judgment?
No, the debt will be discharged.
My spouse and I are separated and are thinking about getting a divorce. Can either or both of us still file? Should we file now or wait until the divorce is over?
whether either of you are planning to keep the marital residence
whether the second mortgage can be stripped from the home
whether a mortgage modification is needed
how the debt obligations are distributed, and who is co-liable on which debt