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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyers can help you decide if you are eligible for protection under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code.   Both individuals and companies can use Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code for protection from creditors.  A chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy where you liquidate your assets and only pay for those you want to keep. It can include property, secured debt and unsecured debt.  If you have a home that is underwater, a bankruptcy may be one way to deal with the money you owe on the home, or the home can be left out of the bankruptcy in some cases.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7

You must qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jacksonville Florida and around the country. A individual who does not qualify may still file bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the Code. Below you will find some important issues to consider with a Jacksonville Florida Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

  1. Safe Harbor – A debtor whose household income falls below the median income for the State of Florida automatically qualifies to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy . The “median income” is found by looking at the 50th percentile of household income as reported by the United States Census Bureau. These income figures are updated twice a year on February 1st and October 1st.

  2. Household income includes all taxable income. There are some types of income that are not included such as SSA benefits and tax refunds.

  3. Means Test – Debtors with a household income which is over the Safe Harbor (50th percentile for the State of Florida) must complete a complex form known as the Means Test. This financial analysis compares the income to the “allowable” expenses in order to see if there is enough disposable income to pay part of the debt.  The results of the Means Test let a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer determine if Chapter 7 Protection can be used. The U.S. Trustee’s primary responsibility is the enforcement of the bankruptcy rule.

  4. Special Circumstances – If you fail the Means Test, then you cannot file a Chapter 7, unless the judge finds that there are special circumstances.

There are some kinds of debt that a bankruptcy will not discharge such as child support, alimony, most taxes, and some student loans.  To find out more and see if you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy call our Jacksonville Bankruptcy lawyers, contact us by email for a Free Consultation*.

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