Tampa, Florida, Chapter 7 lawyers are experts in the Florida statutes that govern which of your assets you can keep–and which must be surrendered to the Court trustee who liquidates (sells) them to pay back your creditors.
According to an overview of the Florida bankruptcy process, filing Chapter 7 allows most debtors to completely cancel out their significant credit card debts and get a “fresh start.” And, after the Court trustee pays off your creditors, he (or she) will give you back any monies/items that are “exempted.” These “exemptions”(assets/items not surrendered)–per Florida statutes–include:
- disability, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits,
- Social Security and Veterans’ benefits,
- a vehicle worth up to $1,000,
- “health aids,” such as wheelchairs, portable commodes, etc.
- alimony and child support needed by you, or by dependents, to pay basic living expenses,
- life-insurance “cash surrender value,”
- pre-paid funeral contract deposit,
- police/fire/state employees’/state trooper pensions,
- personal property worth up to $1,000,
- all of your weekly wages (for household heads) up to $500–either paid, or still due you–and existing in your bank accounts for up to 6 months.
Tools–or equipment–you’ve used to ply your “trade,” however, are not exempt. A Tampa Chapter 7 lawyer can fully explain this rule.
Florida’s “non-dischargeable debts”–or debts you will have to repay regardless of filing Chapter 7–include:
- alimony and child support
- debts accrued through the criminal act of “fraud,”
- income taxes you’ve owed the last 3 years (plus all other “back” taxes),
- debts for personal injuries–and deaths–you caused by driving drunk,
- court fines (i.e., for traffic tickets), and restitution for criminal acts,
Your Tampa Chapter 7 lawyers will apprise you of other non-dischargeable debts, and how you can repay them.
If you don’t want your trustee to sell your home, furniture and vehicles (secured with loans) during the Chapter 7 process, you can sign a “Reaffirmation Agreement,” which means you must keep paying on these loans. If you do “reaffirm” these obligations, however, the Court will not permit you to “wipe them out” for 8 more years. And, before you “reaffirm,” you must make these debts “current” by catching up on payments. In order to “reaffirm” some debts and liquidate others, consult your Tampa Chapter 7 lawyers.
You may have 60 days from the time you sign a Reaffirmation Agreement to “set it aside (stop it).”
Contact us for Tampa, Florida, expert representation in your Chapter 7 filing.