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Foreclosure. Job loss. Illness. Unfortunately, these things can happen to all of us at any time and can often result in unwanted judgments, debt, or medical bills. When a business or individual is unable to repay their debts, filing for bankruptcy may be a good option depeding on the circumstance.
Bankruptcy is a federal court process established to assist those who need assistance to either eradicate their debt or repay it. The principle goal of bankruptcy is to afford the business or individual a fresh start and relief from overbearing debt. The paperwork, fees, and deadlines associated with filing for bankruptcy can be daunting, so choosing an adept bankruptcy attorney will immediately lighten your load.
At Wilkes & Mee, our Jacksonville, FL bankruptcy attorneys utilize their comprehensive and proven understanding of bankruptcy law to work towards affording you the fresh start that you so desperately seek and deserve.
There are two basic types of bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization. The type of bankruptcy petition you file depends on whether you are an individual or business seeking protection and how much debt you have incurred.
An individual or business may seek protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the ability to completely discharge most of their debts. If the individual has considerable assets, these may be sold (liquidated) and the funds used to repay creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is widely used because petitioners are not required to repay most of their debts. The entire process usually takes between 4 – 6 months.
Primarily utilized by businesses, this type of bankruptcy is called a re-organization. The petitioner continues to run their business while repaying their debt, which undergoes a considerable amount of consolidation. Petitioner can be an individual if debts and assets are considerable. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is costly and time consuming.
Also known as reorganization, a payment plan is implemented to repay debt in 3-5 years. The amount the petitioner repays is calculated on how much they owe, the type and amount of debt and how much property they own. If your income is too low to meet your payment responsibilities the court may not allow you to file for Chapter 13.
It is important that when you initially meet with one of our Jacksonville bankruptcy attorneys, you have available the following information:
Based on the information you provide, the attorney can make recommendations to help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
At the initial consultation, the attorney will provide you with a packet of paperwork that needs to be completed by you in order to file your bankruptcy petition. Once the packet is completed, your petition is prepared and then filed with the bankruptcy court. About 30-40 days from the date of the filing, a meeting of creditors will be conducted which you will be required to attend.
Together with your attorney, you will appear before a bankruptcy trustee who has been assigned to your case. The trustee will ask you questions related to your bankruptcy filing which might include things about your assets, pending law suits to which you may be a party, inheritances you expect to receive, and circumstances that led to you filing bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy is usually discharged 2-3 months after the meeting of creditors.