As Florida’s coronavirus infection rate rises to a shocking 1.25 million total after the Christmas holidays, more and more people are struggling. Not only are people having to isolate themselves from their friends and family, but they also have to deal with the issue of not being able to work if they come down with the virus.
For many, the pandemic has hit them hard financially. If you have been affected by the pandemic, you may have begun to consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before you file, make sure you speak to a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, who will be able to guide you through the process.
But what is Chapter 7 bankruptcy? And how can you file for it in Florida? Here’s everything you need to know.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that clears most of your unsecured debts, while also allowing you to retain your exempt assets.
However, to be eligible for this sort of bankruptcy, you have to meet a specific income requirement or pass a means test. However, if you are successful in your application, the courts will put an automatic stay on your debts. This means that creditors (such as lenders and banks) will not be able to take any more payments from you, they cannot garnish your wages, and cannot garnish your wages.
Once you have filed, the court will take legal possession of your home, and a bankruptcy trustee will be applied to your case.
How to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
As previously stated, to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first pass a means test. Firstly, you will have to see what your total household income is. If your THI is at or below Florida’s median income level according to your household’s size, then you do not need to take the means test.
Currently, the median income levels in Florida are:
- One-person household: $50,641
- Two-person household: $61,619
- Three-person household: $67,717
- Four-person household: $81,091
- Five-person household: $90,091
- Six people or greater: Add $9,000 per person
If your total household income is over this amount, you will have to pass the means test. This test works by analyzing your income and expenses over the last 180 days and will determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or whether you should consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
How to file
If you have worked out that you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you then need to get in touch with a Miami bankruptcy attorney. They will help you file a petition along with any other forms you will need with the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.
It is also imperative that you don’t falsify any information on any document. If you do, you could jeopardize your case if the court and your creditors feel you have not been truthful.
This can be a complicated process, with a lot of documents, so it is always recommended that you use a trusted lawyer to help you through the legal process and to ensure you aren’t making any mistakes.