Are you unable to pay your home or car payments? Does it feel like you are being crushed by a mountain of debt? Have you ever considered wiping your financial slate clean by filing for individual Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Known as either straight or liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is the type of bankruptcy that comes to mind when most people think of “Bankruptcy.” Many people consider bankruptcy as an “easy way out” or a way to free themselves from their debt. Depending on the situation, many factors can make bankruptcy more or less of a hassle than their current situation. Before you decide, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of filing bankruptcy below.
Even though it’s considered one of the most common forms of bankruptcy, many people do not understand the process of filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. To put it briefly, the debtor files a bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court in their area. Once the petition is filed, an experienced bankruptcy trustee is appointed to oversee your case. The trustee will evaluate the estate (case) and determine the value of your assets after exemptions. The trustee can sell assets or the Debtor can pay into the estate the value of the non-exempt assets, keeping your property. These funds are then distributed to your creditors that have filed a proper claim. Typically, the Order of discharge is received within 6 months of filing.
While some may fear the negative light a bankruptcy puts on your record, it may still be the better option than keeping long-term debt. This is just one of the reasons why filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Naples, Florida, may help you in the future. More Pros include:
If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, make sure to weigh the cons. The consequences of bankruptcy are not as severe as they once were, but it still comes with some risk. It does wipe the slate clean but ensures that the debtor is still accountable for falling short of their agreements. Some cons that can occur when you file include:
Filing severely damages your credit and can stay on your record for up to 10 years (some creditors will offer help after one year, but at higher interest rates). This makes it more difficult considering significant future purchases, such as buying a home, returning to school, or simply applying for a credit card.
Bankruptcy shouldn’t be looked at as a form of punishment. The goal is to help you regain control of your finances. In 1934, the Supreme Court said that the primary goal of bankruptcy was to offer debtors a fresh start saying, “It gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…..a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt.”
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Before petitioning for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer near you in Naples, Florida. They can help to explain the complicated process of bankruptcy and determine if filing is the best option for your situation. Miller, Hollander & Jeda offers a free consultation to discuss your financial situation and providing information asset protection and both Chapter 7 & 13 bankruptcy. Making an informed decision with attorneys you can trust is always the best course of action.
Miller, Hollander & Jeda’s founding attorneys began practicing in the early 1970s before putting down roots in the area and joining forces in 1992 to create the Naples, Florida, law firm that bears their names. Since its inception, Miller, Hollander & Jeda has focused on bankruptcy. The goal of our attorneys and our experienced staff, established at the outset and built upon year by year, is to use our extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law to answer the complicated questions you have regarding your financial trouble and help you solve your problems. We take pride in helping clients get a fresh start.
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