Take Your First Step Toward a Debt-Free Future
The very first thing you need to do if you are interested in using bankruptcy to put an end to your problems with debt is to come to The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. for a free initial consultation with a Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer from our team. We encourage you to take advantage of this offer regardless of whether you have already decided that bankruptcy is the right thing for you or you are still only considering it. We can go over your financial circumstances to determine whether bankruptcy is the best option and we can help you begin the process immediately.
Once you have decided to pursue bankruptcy, it is necessary in most cases to take the means test. This involves calculating your aggregate monthly income over the past five years and determines whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy – which takes only a few months – or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which takes up to five years. Either way, we can assist you with the next step of gathering documentation and completing the necessary paperwork for your petition.
One of the advantages of hiring a lawyer for your bankruptcy is that it means that you may never have to appear in court. We can take your petition before the judge and act on your behalf throughout the process. Once your petition is filed, an automatic stay will be issued to protect you from further creditor actions including repossession, wage garnishment, and foreclosure.
What happens when we declare bankruptcy?
If you are filing under Chapter 7, a bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case, and he or she will then go about attempting to liquidate your personal assets in order to make repayment to your creditors. Fortunately, an attorney from our team can help you claim any available exemptions under Florida law, and you may lose little or nothing of your personal estate.
In a Chapter 13 case, the lawyer has the job of helping you to develop a plan of repayment. Depending on your financial circumstances, you will be continuing to repay your debts for a period of either three or five years. Fortunately, you will no longer have to keep track of multiple due dates and minimum payments. Instead, your existing debts will be lumped into a single payment, the amount of which is calculated to be within your means. Your lawyer can assist you by helping design a plan that keeps the payment amount to an absolute minimum.
Discharging Your Debts
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more flexible than the other common types of bankruptcy, a fact which also makes it more difficult to generalize about the process. Whichever type of bankruptcy you choose, at the end of the process, your remaining debts will be discharged, meaning that you will now be entirely freed up from the obligation to pay on them, and you will be free to enjoy the benefits of life after bankruptcy. Take the first step now by contacting us for a free case evaluation!