Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pembroke Pines, FL

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to list all of my credit card debt in my bankruptcy or can I can leave out a credit card?

You must list all of your debts in your bankruptcy schedules. You may not use credit cards while you are in bankruptcy.

Can I keep my car after I file?

It depends. If your car has equity or is paid off, you are entitled to claim a $1000 exemption for one vehicle. In addition, you may be able to claim additional exemption allowances for personal property. In Florida, some debtors, particularly those who do not own a homestead, may be eligible to claim additional exemptions for a vehicle. If the value/equity in your vehicle exceeds the exemption allowance, you may have to turn over the vehicle to the chapter 7 trustee or "buy back" the non-exempt value.

How will my credit be affected if I file Chapter 7?

Generally, the bankruptcy filing (which is a public record) will appear on your credit report for up to ten (10) years. However, after your bankruptcy discharge occurs, it is not uncommon for creditors to offer new credit to you. Keep in mind if you decide to accept these offers, do so judiciously. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a new mortgage two (2) years after your discharge, provided you can comply with all other lending requirements.

Can I discharge my student loans in bankruptcy?

At the present time, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, if an "undue hardship" is proven through the filing of an adversary action (lawsuit) in the bankruptcy court and a trial before a bankruptcy judge, a discharge may be allowed. There are other non-bankruptcy options to relieve the burden of student loan debt. Discuss those with your attorney.

How do I know if I qualify for Chapter 7?

To qualify for Chapter 7, you must pass the "means test." The United States Trustee has established median income criteria for all regions of the country which take into account the size of your household and your average gross monthly income for the six (6) months preceding the month of your filing. This is referred to as the "commitment period." If you are living with your spouse, his/her income will also be factored into the calculation. Other sources of income, such as rent or business income are counted, however, social security income and social security disability benefits are not. As long as your calculated income is at or below the median income, you will qualify for Chapter 7.

Is there a limit to how much debt I can have to stay in Chapter 7?

No. In Chapter 7 there are no debt limits.

What happens at the Meeting of Creditors?

You will appear and testify under oath before a Chapter 7 trustee as to the accuracy and truthfulness of information appearing in your bankruptcy schedules. Your creditors are permitted to appear to inquire as well.