In today’s up and down economy, it’s easy to end up with more debt than you can handle. Sometimes, you can’t pay the debt and need help. Bankruptcy is a solution for many. A Bankruptcy Attorney in Fort Lauderdale can advise you on whether you qualify for bankruptcy, and which Chapter of Bankruptcy is best for you. New bankruptcy laws require potential filers to undergo a means test. This test determines whether or not a debtor is able to repay their debt. If not, you’ll qualify for Chapter 7. Under Chapter 7, your assets are liquidated to repay creditors. In many states, a debt that is current is exempt from discharge of the debt. For example, if a home mortgage loan is current, it does not have to be included in the bankruptcy. The mortgage holder must agree to this process. Some debts cannot be discharged including spousal or child support.
Chapter 13 allows you to restructure your debt. You’ll pay your creditors over time. Chapter 13 requires that filers have a regular source of income. Usually, monthly payments are made on your debt. Debtors get to keep secured assets like cars and homes. While you are in Chapter 13, you can’t make any new debt without the approval of the court. A Chapter 13 usually lasts anywhere from three to five years. If you’ve complied with the repayment plan, the court will discharge your debt. A Bankruptcy Attorney Fort Lauderdale will advise you during every step of the bankruptcy process. There are some negatives to filing bankruptcy. Your credit report could be affected for up to ten years. However, many people are able to slowly rebuild their credit after bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is also a matter of public record. But, it’s doubtful that people find out unless they go looking for the information. Other new bankruptcy laws require debtors to attend credit counseling prior to filing. Additional counseling is required before your debt is discharged. Changes in the law made filing Chapter 7 much more time consuming for attorneys. As a result, bankruptcy attorneys are charging more. Filing bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make. But, everyone is entitled to a second chance.