Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy chapter that most people have heard about is Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. Not everyone can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have to qualify in order to do so. In order to qualify, you must make less than the income guidelines for a family your size and other criteria. A Ft. Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney can determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 after a review of your specific situation. If you qualify, and if your attorney vets your case well so that there are no issues at your 341 meeting, it is the quickest road to a fresh start and it’s also the least expensive option in bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is probably the best known chapter because it’s pretty straightforward. Your assets are divided into two buckets – exempt assets (assets that are protected by law) and non-exempt assets (assets that you cannot protect under the law). The trustee assigned to your case gets to keep and sell anything in the non-exempt bucket if they choose. The bankruptcy trustee can also choose to abandon any asset and you get to keep it. It’s very important that you fill the buckets correctly as trustees like to challenge what is put in the exempt bucket from time to time and if that happens, your case goes from being simple and straightforward to complicated and expensive. The attorney fees that you agree to pay do not include any litigation with trustees. THAT is very important to know and even more important to make sure that you choose a bankruptcy attorney that pays attention to detail and picks up on anything that may be tempting to a trustee!

How Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

To be eligible for Chapter 7 in Hollywood FL., you must be a person, corporation, partnership, or other business entity. You must make less that the federally mandated income guidelines adopted by the bankruptcy courts. You must take a credit counseling course before the case is filed. Although the next point is not a qualification, per se, it is very important: You must be 100% honest in your disclosures about income and assets. If you want to hide assets and think that the Trustee assigned to your case is not going to find out, we are not the law firm for you.

If you have assets, that doesn’t mean that you can’t file bankruptcy. You can. We might have to switch to a Fort Lauderdale Chapter 13 so you can keep your assets but it’s preferable to do that instead of lying on your bankruptcy papers. You can go to jail for that. Being in jail makes a fresh start just a little more difficult! Most people are not as familiar with Chapter 13 bankruptcy but we like to think that it’s a Chapter 7 with an affordable payment plan that lets you keep all your assets. It’s also the chapter that comes off your credit report the fastest – 3 years faster.

Why is Chapter 7 Called the Liquidation Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is often referred to as the liquidation bankruptcy because the trustee gets to sell all of the assets in the non-exempt bucket and the proceeds of the sale go to the creditors that you listed on your bankruptcy schedules. The trustee also gets their expenses paid from the sale as well as a percentage of the sale. That last part is also important. It means that they will be looking for assets to liquidate! Once everyone get their piece of the pie, your remaining debts are eliminated once the judge issues a discharge order.

Even if you look around and you think that you have assets that will be liquidated, you have to look at it this way: If your creditors told you to give them that paid-off boat in exchange for eliminating all of your debt – would you do it? If the answer is no, then it’s time to take a look at Chapter 13 where you will get to keep the boat but you still have to pay the creditors the value for the boat. The core principle doesn’t change – your creditors get the financial benefit of any unprotected assets that you have in exchange for eliminating your debt. What changes is that you get to keep your boat and pay the creditors back over time through a Chapter 13 payment plan. Check out our page on Chapter 13 to get more information.

All of that might sound a little grim but the reality is that if your case is vetted correctly and carefully by your bankruptcy attorney, in the majority of cases, no asset has to be given up or sold. And if there is property that has to be given up, you should know about it going into the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We do not like surprises at Bankruptcy Law Firm of Orfelia Mayor. We are hawks when we review your case and, more than once, we have refused to file a Chapter 7 case after our review. Our core philosophy is that we will not make a stressful situation worse by cutting corners or filing a case that we already know will have problems! We will give you options or flat out decline representation. We are here to give you a fresh start – not fresh problems with federal courts.

The truth is that most Chapter 7 cases, if done correctly, are “no-asset” cases. That means that all of the debtor’s eligible property is exempt and nothing is sold at all. Make an appointment today and we can help you determine which assets, if any, are a risk of being sold in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Are All Debts Dischargeable in a Coral Springs Chapter 7?

It’s important to state that not all debts are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some debts that are not dischargeable are student loans, certain tax debt are not usually dischargeable (but some tax debt is). Family court orders such as child support obligations will never be discharged. If you have any debts that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, we will let you know at the consultation. We will also let you know which debts are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 but can be discharged in a Chapter 13 if qualified (2nd mortgages, etc)

Who is Best Suited for a Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 is best suited to those who have a large amount of unsecured debt such as credit card debt or medical bills. There are no debt ceilings in a Chapter 7 as opposed to a Chapter 13 which limits you to how much debt you can discharge. To file a Chapter 7, you also have to earn less than a certain amount per year depending on your family size. Do not despair if you are not eligible to file a Chapter 7 or if most of your debt is secured by property that you want to keep. A Chapter 13 is a great option and an option that will be discussed if it’s a better choice for you to get a fresh start.

It is important to realize that although a Chapter 7 can delay a foreclosure or a repossession, it doesn’t provide a solution for either one. So if one of your goals is to save your home or your car while eliminating your credit card debt, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is something that you want to get more information about and consider.


Looking For A Bankruptcy Attorney Near You?

The Bankruptcy Law Firm of Orfelia Mayor is a debt relief agency in Broward County that loves what they do! We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code. Make our day by letting us help you stop wage garnishment, stop foreclosure sales, stop car repos and just get you back into loving life! Your creditors have lawyers on their side – shouldn’t you have a lawyer too?

Contact us today for a no-charge, no-obligation bankruptcy consultation throughout Broward and Palm Beach County. We happily service clients in: Broward County including Oakland Park, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Miramar, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Weston, North Lauderdale, Coconut Creek, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston. In Palm Beach, we serve clients in Boca Raton, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Lantana, Boynton Beach, and all cities in Palm Beach County.

Ask About Our Affordable Payment Plans and Zero-Money-Down Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Just a quick note about the main thing on everyone’s minds when they are thinking about bankruptcy. You’re looking for a cheap bankruptcy attorney near you but you should be looking for an experienced and affordable bankruptcy attorney near you instead. We make bankruptcy affordable in Broward County.


When Your Debt Relief Can't Wait - We Can Wait For Our Attorney Fees!

How Zero Money Down Bankruptcy Works For You

While the majority of our clients prefer to make regular payments towards a bankruptcy before they file so they can get discounted attorney fees, some clients need to file right away to stop a wage garnishment, car repo or foreclosure sale. Those clients prefer to take advantage of our $0-down-payment bankruptcy option.

We can tell you more about it during your free bankruptcy consultation but to sum it up briefly, it works like this: Once you sign a retainer agreement, you only pay the costs of filing your case (approximately $500) and all of your attorney fees are paid after we file your case. This option does not get a discount on attorney fees but it does allow you to file an emergency bankruptcy petition so we can stop whatever debt collector that is threatening to take your property or garnish your paycheck. Of course, you can also take advantage of our zero-down-bankruptcy option if you do not have a bankruptcy emergency. It’s up to you. I do promise that we have a payment option that fits your budget and your situation. Make an appointment at our Cooper City bankruptcy office today! No matter where you live in Broward County, we are a bankruptcy attorney near you!

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Orfelia Mayor is that rare combination of integrity and compassion in an attorney. I think she does as much counseling as she gives legal advice. I turned to her during a very difficult time in my life. I could never have imagined that I would ever have to file for bankruptcy. She listened to all of my concerns and fears and put me at ease during our consultations. She is very knowledgable and extremely professional..." Olga
★★★★★
"Ms. Mayor clarified our concerns and we had no qualms about bringing our case to her. She is knowledgeable, professional, diligent and caring. She treats her clients with special care. I cannot say enough about this firm. She is our secret weapon...always there to battle on our behalf." Dorcas
★★★★★
“...She explained everything to me with a lot of patience and listened to what I was worried about. Everything went exactly as she said it would and I am not worry free, debt free and already have credit cards again. I got rid of about $50,000 in debt for a SMALL fraction of that amount, THANK YOU!” Magaly
★★★★★
“Attorney Orfelia Maria Mayor is one of the most excellent Bankruptcy attorney's here is Florida and works above and beyond these criteria’s. Throughout the process, she explained all the necessary steps and documents required and answer all “crucial personal ” questions advising on how to proceed to the best of my interest...“ Melinda
★★★★★
“I went to the office of Orfelia, looking for some advise, in return she took my case right in, and help me right away. i would definitely recommend her service to anyone who's facing debts and wants to file bankruptcy.“ Tatiana Hernandez