A Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding is available to individuals, partnerships and corporations. The debtor is allowed to keep exempt assets. For individuals filing bankruptcy in Florida, the exemptions are primarily determined by Florida law. They include the debtor's homestead, (subject to a cap of $155,875 in equity if owned less than 1215 days), a debtor's interest in a single motor vehicle not to exceed $1,000, a debtor's interest in any professionally prescribed health aids, monies paid into the Prepaid Post-Secondary Education Expense Trust Fund, and $1,000 per individual in miscellaneous personal property, and an additional $4,000 exemption for those who do not own and claim a house as a homestead exemption. (Married couples filing jointly have the above exemptions doubled.) Certain other assets such as the cash surrender value of life insurance policies, annuity contracts, IRA's and pension plans may be exempt also. All non-exempt assets must be turned over to the Chapter 7 trustee for liquidation and distribution to creditors unless the trustee decides the asset is not worth taking. Thus, most of your debts are discharged (revoked or cancelled legally) but you may lose some or many of your assets also. Some debtors file without having any of their assets taken away if all their assets are exempt or they had few assets that had any significant value.
For individuals filing Chapter 7, most debts, including some tax obligations, are discharged. Some debts, including recent tax obligations, trust fund obligations, student loans (hardship discharge will discharge student loans), child support and alimony generally cannot be discharged. Other debts may not be discharged if the creditor can prove improper conduct on the part of the debtor. Call us Now at (239) 542-2002 for your free Planning Session.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or "wage earner reorganization" is available only to individuals with regular income. It requires that the debtor file a plan providing for payment to creditors over a period of three or five years. Afterwards, most of the remaining debts are discharged. If there are certain assets that you want to keep, such as a house or a car or vehicle, Chapter 13 may be right for you since you are able to keep most of your assets. The benefits of a Chapter 13 include the ability to reinstate a home mortgage that is in default, retain personal assets, stop IRS collection efforts while payments are made, the ability to retain non-exempt real estate, and a broader form of discharge. Call us Now at (239) 542-2002 for your free Planning Session.
You are confused and you do not know which Chapter would be best for you. The chart to the left can help you understand the benefits of each Chapter better. Click the chart to enlarge it. Although the chart is helpful there are many facts and circumstances that could affect whether 7 or 13 is better for you that cannot be listed here. Call us and receive your free Bankruptcy Asset Protection Planning Session* ($300 value) so you will fully understand which Chapter to file and which would benefit you the most. Call today at (239) 542-2002.
Judges sometimes make "horrible" rulings in Orders or Judgments that are legally incorrect, or that have ignored the facts in the case. The faulty Judgment may have been decided based on wrong information, faulty reasoning of the Judge or on the Judge's own biased beliefs, feelings, desires or objectives. Sometimes the Judge may not be fully aware of some of the many and numerous laws or case law rulings regarding certain areas of the law. The Judge may not have enough time to research the laws for the numerous cases that come before the Court and that can lead to incorrect and faulty Judgments that may hinder and ruin people's lives or relationships with others. Judges are very busy and cannot always make the right decision even though most of them try their best most of the time.
Family law judgments are often emotionally devastating regarding the children or regarding the orders concerning financial matters such as alimony or the distribution of assets and debts. Call us Today at (239) 542-2002 for your free Planning Session.
Appealing your case may often be the way to change or overrule what the trial Judge has ordered. Although appeals can be very expensive, it could save you many thousands of dollars in certain cases, allow you to have a relationship with your children again, or change the "bad" result you may have received in your case. Appellate Courts generally can overrule the trial Judge on important legal errors or on a clear mistake of the facts but usually cannot overrule the trial Judge's interpretation and evaluation of the facts of the case, although there are exceptions. The reason is that the Judge (or jury) saw and heard the witnesses and the evidence but the appellate court judges did not see or hear them and therefore cannot make better judgments than the Judge or jury that were there in the trial. However, often the Judge made an error regarding what the law says or how it applies, and the appellate court can overrule those types of errors and mistakes of the trial Court.
Attorney Mitchell has handled several appeals and has great skills in drafting briefs and analyzing the legal arguments needed to win the appeal. He has excellent writing abilities to clearly portray to the appellate court how the lower trial court entered a Judgment and ruling that is legally incorrect and should be overturned so that justice can prevail by entering a proper and fair ruling and Judgment. Often an appeal can cause the opposing party to agree to negotiate and settle the case and agree to modify the "bad" Judgment since they know they will lose on appeal or they do not want to spend the time or pay the attorney fees needed to fight the appeal. Call us Now at (239) 542-2002 for your free Planning Session.