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Making the right bankruptcy choice for your financial future

When a person is in over his or her head with debt, it can be stressful for the entire Florida family. If you are unable to manage your financial obligations, you may be unsure of how you can ever get ahead and secure a better future for yourself. This may be possible by filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While not an easy choice to make, this could be a smart way to deal with your debt once and for all.

The right bankruptcy choice for you depends on the type of debt you have and your goals. Before you move ahead, it may be helpful for you to look carefully at your financial situation and learn more about eligibility requirements. When it comes to making such an important financial decision, you may find it beneficial to seek legal guidance before you proceed.

Which is right for you?

Many people prefer Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it is simpler than Chapter 13, and it takes less time to complete. Eligibility for this option depends on income and the types of debt a person has. Consider the following facts about this process:

  • You may lose certain property in a Chapter 7 filing to repay debts, including your vehicle and possibly even your home.
  • Chapter 7 cannot discharge debts related to child support and student loans.
  • You may be able to keep certain exempt property, such as necessary clothing and things you need for work.
  • If you earn over a certain amount of money, you will likely not be eligible for Chapter 7. Chapter 13 is an option.

Chapter 7 may seem like the preferable choice, but there are times when Chapter 13 is the most beneficial option. Consider the following about this process: 

  • You will probably be able to keep your family home and other valuable assets.
  • You cannot discharge student loan debt or unpaid alimony with Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • You will have to follow the terms of a court-approved debt repayment plan.
  • This process lasts three to five years, which takes longer than Chapter 7.

Most people are reluctant to file for consumer bankruptcy, but it could be the right choice for your individual situation. An assessment of your individual case can help you see which bankruptcy option is right for you and how you can proceed with steps that will allow you to seek a better, stronger financial future.

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Lewis & Monroe, PLLC

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Orlando, FL 32804

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