What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida?
If you are struggling with overwhelming debt in Florida, you may be wondering if bankruptcy is the right option for you. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one type of bankruptcy that could provide relief by allowing you to reorganize your debt and make manageable payments over a period of time. In this article, we will discuss what Chapter 13 bankruptcy is and how it works in Florida.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – An Overview:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a wage earner’s plan, is a type of bankruptcy that allows individuals with regular income to reorganize their debts and create a repayment plan that spans three to five years. This repayment plan is approved by a bankruptcy court and is based on your income and expenses.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep your assets and property while you make payments according to your repayment plan. This is different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which requires the liquidation of some assets to pay off debts.
How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Works in Florida:
In Florida, Chapter 13 bankruptcy follows the same general rules as in other states, but there are some state-specific rules that you should be aware of.
First, Florida has a set of exemptions that protect certain types of property from being taken to pay off debts. These exemptions include your home, car, and personal property up to a certain value. Additionally, Florida allows for a homestead exemption, which can protect the equity in your primary residence from creditors.
Second, to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida, you must meet certain requirements. These include having a regular income, having unsecured debts of less than the debt caps set by Congress (which is generally slightly more than $1,200,000) and completing a credit counseling course before filing.
Once you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida, an automatic stay goes into effect, which stops creditors from pursuing collection efforts. From there, you will file a repayment plan based on your income and expenses. You will make payments to the trustee, who then distributes the funds to your creditors according to the plan that you filed with the Court.
During the repayment period, you must make all payments on time and continue to pay your ongoing bills, such as your mortgage or rent, utilities, and taxes.
The Court will hold a confirmation hearing several months into the case to determine whether the plan that you filed meets with the requirements of the bankruptcy code. If so, then the Court will confirm the plan making the plan binding on your creditors. If not, then the Court might allow the chapter 13 trustee to suggest changes to your plan that would make it comply with the Code. The Court might also dismiss your case if the plan cannot be confirmed.
Once you complete your repayment plan, any remaining unsecured debts will be discharged, meaning you will no longer owe them.
If you are struggling with overwhelming debt in Florida, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be a viable option for you. By working with a bankruptcy trustee, you can create a manageable repayment plan that allows you to keep your assets and pay off your debts over time. However, it is important to note that bankruptcy should be a last resort and may have long-term consequences on your credit and financial future. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you.
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