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Florida Bankruptcy Laws



Florida Bankruptcy Laws should be known by every resident of the state of Florida. With the rise of credit cards in recent years, the corresponding bankruptcy declarations have also increased. Debts have increased due to the ease of applying for credit cards, but when the time to pay comes problem starts to arise. Some Florida residents who could not keep up with their payments usually declare bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is under jurisdiction of the federal laws; however, there are Florida bankruptcy laws specifically created for the state alone. There are slight variations to the law with regard to filing fees and methods, mean income differences during mean tests, and asset exemptions. It is in the best interest of the debtor to file for bankruptcy with a lawyer’s help. Anything you need to know and explained will be better explained and illustrated by the lawyer.

Knowing the basic types of bankruptcy will help you decide what suits best with your current financial turmoil. Although you may need a lawyer to explain the technicalities of each bankruptcy type, knowing enough by reading will enlighten you on what and how to do it.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the easiest way out of your debts. This is often times called “liquidation” because all valid debts are completely eliminated; however, you will stand to lose your non-exempt assets because these will be liquidated to pay off your creditors. In every bankruptcy case, an arbitrarily selected trustee is assigned to evaluate and administer the necessary actions. This task will be given to the trustee who will take hold of your assets. It is also the duty of the trustee to pay off the creditors through the proceeds of the asset sales.

For regular income earners and those who stand to lose a lot of property, Chapter 13 is more appropriate. Instead of erasing all debts and selling non-exempt properties, Florida bankruptcy laws state that the debtor has to propose a repayment plan, with the help of the trustee in charge of the case, to be implemented not more than 5 years. This has to be approved by the court before its implementation. All pertinent information regarding the creditors you owe and the details of the loan availed from these creditors will have to be included. Once you have filed the bankruptcy petition, the creditors will then receive the monthly payments of your debts through the trustee.

Another aspect that you have to know when you file for bankruptcy are the exempted and non-exempted assets. The former assets are protected from creditors through federal, as well as state-specific laws, while the latter assets are dispensed to pay off creditors. The state of Florida offers liberal exemptions. These include:

• Limitless amount for the real estate property provided that it is not larger than one-half acre in the urban area or 160 acres anywhere else;
• 100% exemption for rented places and mobile homes;
• Wages of the head family amounting to $500 per week for a maximum of 6 months;
• $1,000 for a single vehicle in a household;
• Personal property amounting to $1,000; and
• Government benefits, prepaid college tuition funds, life insurance, retirement plans, pensions, and other benefits.

Regardless if you want to file for Chapter 7 or 13, the court requires that you attend a complete credit counseling program within 180 days before bankruptcy filing.