Miami Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy Lawyer Assisting Clients with Chapter 7 Cases in Miami, Florida
Are you struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt? Would you like to get a fresh start with your finances? Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to help you discharge your debts and to start anew with your financial record. Once you receive a discharge, you can begin rebuilding your credit.
A Miami Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at Nowack & Olson, PLLC can answer questions you have about consumer and business bankruptcy today.
What is Miami Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy.” The key idea behind this type of bankruptcy is that all of a debtor’s nonexempt assets are liquidated in order to repay creditors what they are owed, and then the debtor’s remaining debts are discharged.
Certain types of debt are not eligible for discharge, such as child support debt or tax debt. While student loan debt can be very difficult to discharge, it is not impossible to do so.
Passing the Means Test and Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Miami
If you are a consumer (and not a business) and want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may need to show that you can pass the “means test” to prove that it would not be an abuse of the bankruptcy system for you to receive a discharge of your debts under Chapter 7. What is the means test and how does it work?
For consumers who are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the first thing a court wants to know about your finances is whether your current monthly income is more than the median in the state of Florida. If it not, then you can be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. However, if your income is more than the state median, you will need to show that you can pass the means test. The means test is a way of determining whether your income is sufficiently low that it would make sense for you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer in Miami can speak with you in more detail about the means test.
If you cannot pass the means test because your income is too high, you should keep in mind that you still may be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Individuals and Businesses
Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy protection available to individuals as well as businesses. Only individual debtors are subject to the means test, while businesses are able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy regardless of the income level.
Nearly all types of business entities can be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
Exemptions and Miami Bankruptcy Discharges
Miami debtors must use Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions when exempting property from liquidation. While there are federal exemptions, debtors in Miami are required to use Florida’s state exemptions. For homeowners in Miami, there is a particularly generous Florida homestead exemption. Here are some examples of Florida bankruptcy exemptions:
- Homestead exemption: unlimited amount of value in your home, as long as it is not larger than one-half acre within a municipality or larger than 160 acres outside a municipality;
- Personal property exemption: up to $1,000;
- Health savings accounts;
- Education savings account;
- Hurricane savings accounts;
- Health aids prescribed by a doctor;
- Motor vehicle exemption: up to $1,000 in equity;
- Pensions, including most ERISA qualified retirement plans and pensions;
- Child support; and
- Wildcard exemption: if you do not use the homestead exemption, you can exempt up to $4,000 of personal property.
Contact a Miami Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Debtors should know that bankruptcy law is extremely complicated, and it is important to work with an experienced Miami Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer on your case. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC to learn more about how we can assist with your case.