The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. Offices | Fort Lauderdale and Miami

3101 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 609,
Oakland Park, Florida 33306

*Licensed in England and Wales, Florida and Washington D.C.

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Fort Lauderdale

754-332-2101

Miami

305-399-3832

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Ft. Lauderdale Bankruptcy FAQs

Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida

How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

When preparing for Bankruptcy, you will need time to compile information about your finances and determine which type of Bankruptcy you qualify for. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your case will typically last four to six months, after which your debts will be discharged. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy case itself will take a similar amount of time, but the repayment plan you create will last between three and five years. Once this plan is completed successfully, the remaining debts included in the plan will be discharged.

How Can I Stop Creditors From Harassing Me?

Once you file your bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay will go into effect prohibiting creditors from contacting you, attempting to collect on outstanding debts, repossessing your property, or proceeding with the foreclosure of your home. If creditors continue to contact you or try to collect payments after you have filed for Bankruptcy, you can ask the court to take action to stop this activity or impose sanctions against a creditor who has violated the automatic stay.

Will Bankruptcy Wipe Out All of My Debts?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge or eliminate most unsecured debts, including credit card balances or outstanding medical bills or utility payments. Secured debts may also be discharged, but this will likely result in the creditor repossessing the collateral attached to the loan, such as a car or appliance. 

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a repayment plan will be created in which you will pay down some of your debts over three to five years, and debts included in the plan will be discharged after the plan has been completed. This can eliminate most unsecured debts, and a plan may also include past-due payments on secured debts, allowing you to keep the collateral.

Certain types of debts cannot be discharged through Bankruptcy. These include any child support or spousal support obligations and most taxes and student loans.

Will I Be Able to Keep My House?

If a lender has begun foreclosure proceedings on your home, filing for Bankruptcy will halt these proceedings while the case is ongoing. Depending on the type of Bankruptcy you file, you may be able to save your home. In Florida, you can claim a homestead exemption when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as long as you meet certain requirements, allowing you to continue to own equity in your home and make mortgage payments while discharging other debts. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to make up these missed payments as part of your repayment plan, as long as you can continue making ongoing mortgage payments. At The Elliot Legal Group, P.A., we can advise you of your best options for keeping your home when filing for Bankruptcy.

Do I Have to File for Bankruptcy Together With My Spouse?

While you can file for Bankruptcy separately from your spouse, creditors may be able to hold them responsible for any joint debts, including a mortgage or auto loan for which they have co-signed. If you file for Bankruptcy together, you will be able to address your joint debts, and you will be able to double any exemptions that you can claim.

How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

Bankruptcy will usually lower your credit score. However, if you are struggling to repay debt, you have likely missed some payments, which means that your credit score has already taken a hit. Bankruptcy can eliminate debts or create a workable repayment plan, returning you to financial stability, and it may allow you to rebuild your credit score more quickly than if you did not file for Bankruptcy. Even though you may not qualify for many types of credit cards immediately following Bankruptcy, you will likely have options for obtaining certain loans, since many lenders provide services for people who have gone through Bankruptcy or who have low credit scores.

Contact Our Oakland Park Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have any other questions about Bankruptcy, or if you want to learn more about your options for debt relief, contact The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. at 754-332-2101. We offer free bankruptcy consultations, and we serve clients in Broward County and surrounding areas, including Fort Lauderdale, Surfside, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Plantation, Dania Beach, Miami, and Miami Beach.

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