Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Miami

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Introduction To Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In The United States

Presently, the United States has been experiencing an economic crisis which has resulted in the loss of employment and the difficulty of handling large debts. Many individuals simply do not know how to manage their earnings and have gotten into uncontrollable debt. Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is an option for many in Miami. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Miami, the Bankruptcy Lawyers at Gallardo Law Firm can help.

Six types of bankruptcy were developed in the United States since 1978, but the most commonly used ones are really under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13. Chapter 7 is also known as debt settlement or “straight bankruptcy”, whereas Chapter 11 is a reorganization of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is a strategy payment plan called “wage earner”, and Chapter 12 meets the same requirements as Chapter 13 but is aimed only at those debtors who are engaged in agriculture and fishing. You can find more details about Chapter 13 in the bankruptcy section of this site.

People usually think that bankruptcy is exhausting and can destroy a person’s credit, but that is very far from the truth. If you feel as if you are drowning in debt, you should consider filing for bankruptcy, we can help you decide of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is right for you. Chapter 7 bankruptcies allow debtors to keep their properties, get rid of all debts, and even achieve their desired credit score. (See more information about credit on the Gallardo Law Firm website and the procedures on obtaining credit after bankruptcy).

History of Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy dates as far back as the beginning of the 19th century. The very first bankruptcy law was passed by the U.S. Congress with the Bankruptcy Act of 1800. At the time, only traders were permitted to file for bankruptcy. Debtors were able to file for bankruptcy about a half year earlier. The act was repealed a few years later. For almost half a century after repealing this law, there was no federal bankruptcy law in the U.S., and creditors processed the properties of debtors in his or her respective state. This caused an economic crisis in the 1840s, and “Federal Bankruptcy Code” laws emerged, which helped merchants and anyone struggling financially because they owed large amounts of money. These debtors now had the opportunity to choose to go bankrupt voluntarily. However, in 1843 the law was annulled. This happened because creditors were not happy with it.

Then, shortly after the American Civil War, the third bankruptcy law emerged. This law continued with the precedent that both merchants and non-merchants alike could freely file bankruptcy. In 1874, the “composition agreement” was added to bankruptcy law, allowing for debtors to pay back a chosen percentage of his debts over a given amount of time while also being able to keep his property. A reform in which debtors and creditors could understand each other on a judicial commission was also established in 1874. In 1878, the bankruptcy act was repealed, and for the following twenty years there were no federal bankruptcy laws in place. Instead, bankruptcy and insolvency was handled by each state, leading to the Panics of 1884 and 1893. By 1898, permanent federal bankruptcy legislation was put in place, establishing the first reforms on chapters 7, 11, and 13 emerged.

The first changes to the bankruptcy act of 1989 took hold with the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Some administrative guidelines were modified. One of the most common bankruptcies across the nation was Chapter 7. Some chapters were combined. For example, Chapter 10 and 11 became 11. This act was the first in the nation that did not come about due to an economic crisis.

In 2005, the BAPCPA, or the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act”, emerged. With this law, borrowers would now have to prove how they were unable to cover their debts, making it more difficult for a debtor to file for Chapter 7. They also had to attend classes about economy and credit. Chapter 7 bankruptcy appears under the federal law, Title 11 of the U.S. congress. Bankruptcy is a legal right under the Constitution of the United States. These processes are led by judges who specialize in this particular area.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Miami?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called “Liquidation” or “Discharged” bankruptcy, is a legal process under U.S. federal law that was established for companies and individuals with properties. Its main goal is the elimination of all debts that were acquired in a specific period of time. Obtaining a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge means that people can continue on with their lives without worrying about financial debts, since they will be canceled through the bankruptcy process.

Requirements To Establish Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7

chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can only be filed by individuals and by some types of business debtors. Bankruptcy attorneys can determine if you meet the following requirements:

  • Have low and stable income.
  • Struggle to pay the bills each month.
  • Be sure debts will take at least a period of 5 years to be paid.
  • Have not filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the last five years.

Advantages Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can contribute to the individual’s immediate relief from collection activity. Chapter 7 bankruptcy Miami provides the following:

  • No payments to creditors.
  • Eliminates overwhelming debts such as credit cards debt, bank loans, medical bills, and so on.
  • Creditors must cease any type of actions against debtors.
  • Foreclosures are cancelled and the properties are retrieved. Individuals are able to keep cars, house and other personal belongings.
  • Credit can be rebuilt in less time than with any other bankruptcy chapter.

Before Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Miami

There are several procedures that should be followed before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy lawyers at Gallardo Law Firm can assist you in navigating these procedures before you file.

If you believe you are a victim of creditor harassment or unfair debt collection practices, contact your Gallardo bankruptcy attorney. You may be able to recover damages after providing proof that creditors have violated the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Bankruptcy Lawyers in Miami

Discontinue use of credit cards once you have met with your bankruptcy lawyer or have chosen to pursue bankruptcy. Charges made to credit cards in the few months before filing bankruptcy may be subject to complaints from creditors that these charges were made with fraudulent intent.

If you discharge a loan or credit card debt from a credit union, that credit union may choose to close your checking and savings account. In certain cases, credit unions may seize the funds in your checking and savings accounts if your loan or credit card is secured by the money in those accounts. Loans may also be secured by other properties, such as a car. Examine your loan documents or visit your credit union to find out if your debts are secured by funds in your accounts.

Before filing, you must get a credit report and provide your bankruptcy attorney with a copy. By law, you have the right to obtain a free credit report once every year. You are also entitled to a free credit report if you have recently been denied credit, which you may obtain from the reporting agency upon receiving a letter of credit denial.

How Does Bankruptcy Work? Process Of Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7

The process of bankruptcy under Chapter 7 is fairly quick; within two months of filing, the debtors will be enjoying the first advantages of Chapter 7. First, the debtor must meet with one of our qualified Gallardo Law Firm attorneys for bankruptcy, who will determine if the individual meets the requirements to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7. The process begins when the debtor fills out the form called “Statement of Financial Affairs”, and issues a report on the expenses, income, debts and any information about the creditors. If there are any property exemptions, they will be claimed on these forms.

“In order to complete the Official Bankruptcy Forms that make up the petition, statement of financial affairs, and schedules, the debtor must provide the following information:
  • A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of their claims;
  • The source, amount, and frequency of the debtor's income;
  • A list of all of the debtor's property; and
  • A detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.”
– US Courts Website

From then on, the bankruptcy lawyer presents the case in federal court, where it is carefully analyzed by a court appointed trustee to check eligibility for Chapter 7. Once the application has been filed, an “automatic stay” is put in place, which will stop most creditor collection actions while the bankruptcy case is open. The judge then informs the creditors of bankrupt property, and they are forced to stop debt collection attempts. A notice will be sent by the court, where the debtor meets with the trustee and creditors. Questions about the debtor’s finances and bankruptcy forms may be asked. These meetings tend to be short.

After all this has taken place, the court appointed trustee responsible for collecting all non-exempt assets decides whether properties are worth seizing or selling; non-exempt properties include a second car, a second home, and investments. These properties are sold by the bankruptcy committee in Miami, and the payments received go to the creditors.

Once non-exempt property has been handled, secured debts are taken care of. Secured debts are those which are backed by collateral, where the creditor has the right to seize if the debt is defaulted on. In these cases, there are several ways in which a debtor can choose to handle their secured debts. Debtors may choose to return the property to the creditor, redeem it by paying back what is owed, or reaffirm the debt and pay back what is owed even after the bankruptcy case is closed.

The debtors have to appear in court, where they have to verify all the information previously provided. Then, the creditors and the court agree and accept the Chapter 7 bankruptcy Miami, waiving off all debts. After a minimum of sixty days from the date the bankruptcy was filed, a bankruptcy discharge will be sent in the mail. Between 30 to 45 days after receiving the discharge notice, another notice stating the case has been closed is sent. Once the case is closed, the automatic stay is then lifted.

There are certain debts that may not be discharged after a bankruptcy filing. The Bankruptcy code has a list of debts which are not discharged under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Order of Discharge sent at the end of a bankruptcy case will not list these non-dischargeable debts. Bankruptcy attorneys at Gallardo Law Firm can help you determine if your debts are non-dischargeable. These debts include:

  • Debts sustained through fraud or embezzlement
  • Income tax liabilities
  • Educational or student loans
  • Fines payable to government entities
  • Child support or alimony
  • Debts gained through the purchase of luxury merchandise
  • Cash advances of over $750 made within seventy days of filing
  • Purchases of more than $500 within ninety days of filing

Bankruptcy Attorney Miami

Bankruptcy lawyers play an important role in the process of financial crisis in Miami. Miami bankruptcy attorneys at Gallardo Law Firm will help you recover your finances. It is important to work from the start with a bankruptcy attorney, who, equipped with knowledge of Florida law and can help an individual restore his or her economic status in the shortest time possible, by reducing debt and eliminating harassment received from creditors.

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Miami, your attorney must show that he or she has done sufficient investigation into your financial situation, and that your application for bankruptcy is eligible for consideration. Your attorney must also prove that to his or her knowledge, all of the information in your bankruptcy schedules is correct. Due to these requirements, your attorney may request copies of your financial documents, such as pay stubs, bank account statements, credit reports, and any information regarding your finances and assets.


Questions about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Questions and Answers about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Miami

The bankruptcy process is the mechanism that is developed in federal court following bankruptcy laws established in the United States, to protect and assist individuals or businesses in solving problems of payments to other institutions known as creditors.
Chapter 7 is part of the bankruptcy law that allows for a person to discharge specified debts by filing a case in the bankruptcy court, turning over all non-exempt properties and assets to a court appointed trustee, and following the rules set by the court. A person who files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called a “debtor”.
Someone who qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy meets certain criteria. Any person whose current income is sufficient to repay a large portion of his or her debts should not file for Chapter 7, as the court may dismiss the case as an abuse of Chapter 7. In addition, if you have previously filed a bankruptcy within a certain period of time, or if the court believes you are committing fraud against your creditors, you will not be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is important to contact our bankruptcy lawyers. They can help you recognize if you are a good candidate for Chapter 7.
If an individual discharged debt under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the past eight years or under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past six years, then the debtor is ineligible for Chapter 7. If a debtor failed to meet the credit counseling requirements, the individual will not be eligible to file Chapter 7. In addition, if the debtor’s income is high enough to repay a portion of their debt, he or she will not be able to file.
Before you file bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course pre-approved by the bankruptcy court, including 180 days of bankruptcy petition, and present evidence to the court that the course has been passed. There are free agencies in Miami for credit counseling. You can contact Gallardo Law Offices for more information on credit counseling.
Chapter 7 eliminates almost all debts, but there are some that remain after the bankruptcy discharge, such as: student loans, fines due to government agencies, child support and spousal support or alimony debts.
Chapter 7 cases are filed in the office of the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court in the district where the debtor resided or maintained a place of business for the larger portion of the 180 days prior to filing.
You must stop using credit cards if you are considering filing bankruptcy. The judge presiding over your case will review all of your debts and can establish recent purchases as fraudulent activity.
Yes, you can get new credit cards. You will be able to restore your credit again long before you finish the set payments; you only need the approval of the bankruptcy court. In some cases, it might happen that the interest on loans is higher due to a bankruptcy. You can find more information in our website www.gallardolawyers.com, in the section on credit and bankruptcy.
Yes, they may, using the same set of forms.
Husband and Wife should file jointly if some of the debts are owed by both. If both spouses are listed for any of the debt and only one of them files for Chapter 7, creditors may attempt to collect payments on those debts from the spouse that did not file bankruptcy.
It is illegal for any employer, either public (government) or private, to discriminate against a person in regards to employment if that person has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is also illegal for any government agency to discriminate against a person when seeking any license, permit, or any similar documentation because the person seeking such documents has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Under federal law, certain properties and assets can be declared exempt and cannot be seized by creditors. A debtor may keep exempt property. It is only necessary for a debtor to turn over non-exempted property to the trustee.
A trustee is a court appointed officer responsible for gathering a debtor’s nonexempt property, selling it, and using the funds received to pay off creditors. The trustee also has certain administrative duties, including the responsibility of making sure debtors follow through with the obligations in their bankruptcy case.
The length of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case depends on how the trustee takes to gather and sell a debtor’s assets, and perform his other case duties. If the debtor has no assets or property determined to be nonexempt for the trustee to gather, the case will more than likely be closed soon after a notice of discharge is received by the debtor.