Deciding whether filing bankruptcy is the right move can be very difficult. Doing so can affect your financial future, self-image and reputation. However, bankruptcy can immediately improve your quality of life when collection calls and letters stop. A Chapter 7 lawyer Orlando FL can help guide you through the process.
Before you hire a lawyer, here are a few things about a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to consider.
Ask Yourself Three Important Questions
The first question you want to ask is whether you are judgment proof. This means whether your creditors are legally barred from garnishing your income or taking your property. The next question is will this type of bankruptcy get rid of enough of your debt? If not, it might not be worth your time and effort. A bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on which bankruptcy filing fit your situation.
Lastly, you want to know if you will be required to give up personal property that you want to keep.
How you answer these questions will determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice.
Identify Valuable Assets
If you have wages or valuable property, count on creditors taking action to recover as much of the debt you owe as possible. Collections for overdue child support, back taxes and student loans may continue. These types of creditor receive special collection rights by law.
Unsecured creditors such as medical bills, utility balances and credit card companies must sue you in court. The case must end with a court judgment before they have legal rights to begin collection procedures.
How Much Debt is Dischargeable?
Keep in mind that not every category of debt is dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In addition to creditors with special collection rights mentioned above, other non-dischargeable debts include:
- Recent luxury purchases
- Court judgment for death or injury to someone that is the result of you driving while intoxicated
A bankruptcy judge might consider a debt non-dischargeable. An example of this is debts you incur by a fraudulent act such as writing a bad check or not being truthful on a credit application.
There are plenty of reasons you may want to file for bankruptcy. Be sure to have a clear view of your finances and type of debt before moving forward.