Have questions about bankruptcy in Florida?
If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you
get all of your questions answered, this way you can make an informed
decision about your debt relief options. At Richard S. Johnson & Associates,
P.A., we have been guiding clients through
Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcies since 1994, and we would be glad to help you decide if bankruptcy
is right for you.
What sets us apart from the competition in Florida?
- We have more than 20 years of experience.
- We gladly offer free case evaluations.
- We serve Okaloosa & Walton counties.
- Client satisfaction is our top priority.
Since most people that come to us have questions about
bankruptcy, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions and answers below.
For further information about the bankruptcy process, don't hesitate
to contact our office directly to schedule your free, initial consultation.
What type of bankruptcy should I file?
The two main types of bankruptcies for individuals are the Chapter 7 liquidation
and Chapter 13 adjustment of debts. Some debtors whose incomes are in
excess of the guideline income threshold may not be eligible for relief
under a Chapter 7, which allows a debtor to discharge most debts. In effect,
they would have to file a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7.
What is a Chapter 13?
A Chapter 13 allows the debtor to reorganize and eliminate or reduce debt
payments. The debtor enters into a repayment plan where they make regular
monthly payments over a period of three to five years. In cases where
a debtor is seeking protection from a
foreclosure, a Chapter 13 may be more appropriate than a Chapter 7.
Will I lose everything that I own?
Consumers filing for bankruptcy have numerous exemptions available which
allow them to protect personal property from creditors. To illustrate,
a debtor's retirement savings is usually exempt from creditors'
claims and home equity is protected under Florida's constitutional
Can I discharge all of my debts?
You cannot discharge all debts in a bankruptcy; for example, some tax obligations,
student loans, child support, spousal support, and criminal fines are
not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Additionally, if a debt was incurred
by fraudulent means by the debtor, the court may refuse to discharge it.
Will I have to go to court?
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will have to attend a hearing called
the "Meeting of Creditors" or the "341 meeting." There
is no judge at this meeting, it is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee.
In most consumer cases, there will be very few or no creditors at this
meeting. The trustee will place you under oath and ask general questions
about your bankruptcy petition and whether you accurately disclosed all
of your property and debts in your petition.
Can I run up my credit cards, then include them in my bankruptcy?
If you are considering bankruptcy, you should ensure that your filing is
done in good faith. It is a mistake to incur new debts and run up credit
card balances in contemplation of filing for bankruptcy. The courts view
this as bankruptcy fraud, a criminal act, which can result in the denial
of a discharge of debts and even imprisonment in federal prison.
Meet With Our Okaloosa County Bankruptcy Attorney
Have more questions about bankruptcy?
Contact our office today to schedule a free, initial consultation with our Okaloosa County
bankruptcy lawyer. With two decades of experience, we can provide you
with honest answers and advice about how you should address your financial