If you're considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, you may be confused regarding which type is right for you? There are three different kinds of bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11. Each is designed to offer relief from creditors to those who are filing, and each has specific rules and regulations that are used to define who may utilize which.
With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those who file are able to discharge all unsecured debts, such as those related to credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans, while protecting property from creditors that the court considers to be exempt. Property that is exempt includes their home, primary motor vehicle, and personal possessions.
Taxes, mortgages, car payments, and other such debts are not forgiven under Chapter 7, and debtors may still lose their car or home if they do not make timely payments. In order to file for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7, the debtor must qualify by undergoing a means test or meeting certain financial criteria. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can explain the process to you and help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 is the other form of personal bankruptcy. If you don't meet the means test for Chapter 7, then chances are if you have crushing debt that you can qualify under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 allows debtors to pay creditors on a schedule created by the debtor and approved by the court.
Under Chapter 13, the person filing for bankruptcy will usually pay a certain percentage of their debt off and will have the rest forgiven. The court normally gives the debtor from three to five years to take care of their bills. After that, all debts, whether they are paid or not, are forgiven.
As it is with Chapter 7, the person who files for Chapter 11 must pay taxes, mortgages, car loans, and other such debts, and keep current on all. Once the payment schedule is approved, the debtor sets up payments to the court and the court pays the creditors in a timely manner.
The third bankruptcy option, Chapter 11, tends to be used less often than the other two. That's because Chapter 11 is more complex than Chapter 7 and 13 and, often, more expensive. It also involves more risk. Chapter 11 tends to be utilized by corporations, allowing them to reorganize and negotiate with creditors concerning their debt. Sometimes individual business owners will use it if they owe too much debt to file for Chapter 13, but still feel the need to file.