Procedure for Filing Bankruptcy

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Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process. It requires in-depth knowledge of bankruptcy laws, as well as a thorough understanding of the filing procedure. The Hollywood bankruptcy procedure attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can provide the guidance and counseling you need in your bankruptcy case. We will advise you on which type of bankruptcy is appropriate given your particular situation and proceed with filing the petition on your behalf. We will represent you at every step of the bankruptcy process to help you seek the debt relief you need.

Procedure for Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must file your petition with the bankruptcy court in your area. You must also include several other documents to support your petition, such as:

  • Schedule of your assets and liabilities
  • Schedule of your current income and expenditures
  • Schedule of any executory contracts and unexpired leases
  • Statement of your financial affairs

You must also complete the means testing form (Form B22A) to determine whether your application raises a presumption of abuse. All bankruptcy filers must undergo credit counseling, and you should include a certificate verifying that you attended it. Once you file, the automatic stay goes into effect, which means that certain creditors must stop any further attempts to collect on their debts.

A trustee will be appointed to administer your case. Approximately 21 to 40 days after you file, the trustee will schedule a meeting of creditors. The meeting is an opportunity for the trustee and any creditors to ask you questions regarding your finances and property. Within 10 days after the meeting, the trustee will report to the court whether your case raises a presumption of abuse. The court will also require that you turn in any non-exempt property that it believes you still have. Unless an interested party files an objection or requests an extension to file an objection, most courts will issue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within 60 to 90 days after the meeting of creditors.

Procedure for Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Like Chapter 7, you must file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in the Florida bankruptcy court in your area. You must also attach schedules listing your income, expenses, leases, executory contracts, and statement of financial affairs. In addition, you must include a proposed debt repayment plan either with the petition or within 14 days of filing the petition. The plan should pay out all your disposable income over a period of either three or five years, depending on your median monthly income.

Filing for Chapter 13 automatically puts a stay on any collection attempts. This includes the foreclosure of your home or repossession of your vehicle, but only if your debt repayment plan provides a method for paying any arrearage.

Once your case is filed, the court will appoint a trustee to administer your case. You must begin making payments to the trustee within 30 days after you file the petition, even if your plan has not yet been approved. The trustee will hold a meeting of creditors approximately 21 to 50 days after your petition is filed. The trustee and your creditors will ask you questions about your finances and proposed repayment plan. They may raise objections if, for example, they believe you can make payments that are higher than what you propose in your plan.

Within 45 days after the meeting of creditors, a bankruptcy judge will hold a confirmation hearing. Most of the issues raised after the meeting of creditors should be resolved prior to the confirmation hearing. If the court approves the plan, the trustee will distribute funds as indicated in the plan. If the judge does not approve, you may submit a modified plan. After the plan is approved, you must make payments in accordance with its terms. Your debt will be discharged once you complete the payment plan.

Bankruptcy Attorneys Committed to Serving Fort Lauderdale Residents

At Anidjar & Levine, our Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyers are devoted to helping clients who face the prospect of bankruptcy. Our lawyers provide capable legal guidance and representation throughout the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy procedures. We serve clients throughout South Florida, including in Miami-Dade and West Palm Beach. For a free initial consultation, call us today at (800) 747-FREE or complete our contact form.