Chapter 7

Central Florida bankruptcy lawyers offer guidance

If you have come upon tough times and believe that bankruptcy is your only option, you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Brandon or Lakeland bankruptcy lawyer. The attorneys at Pilka & Associates, P.A. can help you decide whether bankruptcy is an option and what type of bankruptcy is available to you.

Eligibility requirements for bankruptcy

To be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, you must:

  • Have not been dismissed within the past 180 days from a bankruptcy proceeding for failing to comply with a court order or failing to appear before the court
  • Not have voluntarily dismissed a bankruptcy proceeding after creditors attempted to seek relief from the bankruptcy court for property on which they hold liens
  • Have received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency within the 180 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition
  • Pass the means test to determine that the Chapter 7 filing is not presumptively abusive

Income can determine eligibility. If a debtor is found to have a five-year aggregated monthly net income of more than $11,725 after certain statutory exemptions, or if your five-year aggregated monthly net income is more than 25 percent of your non-priority, non-secured debt (provided this debt is at least $7,025) then you will not pass the Chapter 7 means test and your filing will be presumptively abusive. This presumption can be overcome in emergencies and in cases where your current income is drastically different from the aggregated monthly income. In many cases, a debtor who does not pass the means test will have his petition converted to a Chapter 13 proceeding.

Converting from a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13 proceeding makes you responsible for paying back at least some of your debt over three or five years. A bankruptcy attorney can help to determine in advance the proper type of bankruptcy for your situation can save you both time and money during the proceedings.

Preparing for a Chapter 7 filing

When preparing a Chapter 7 filing, a debtor needs to collect a significant amount of information and file it with the court.

  • A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of their claims
  • The source, amount, and frequency of the debtor's income
  • A list of all of the debtor's property
  • A detailed list of the debtor's monthly living expenses

The collection and proper filing of bankruptcy information can often be a time consuming task that requires an attention to detail and an eye for the unexpected. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brandon or Lakeland can be moved along and properly filed with the help of knowledgeable bankruptcy and experienced attorneys.

Before you come to your first appointment with a Pilka & Associates, P.A. bankruptcy attorney, please print out our online Bankruptcy Information form, provide the information requested, and bring the form with you. On this form, you supply all the details of your finances, creditors, and debts. This is the first step in our analysis of your financial past and our recommendations for the future.

Reach out to our Florida law firm for help with Chapter 7

Our attorneys are dedicated to providing effective and efficient representation. Call Pilka & Associates, P.A. in our Brandon or Lakeland Florida law offices at 863-236-9321 or contact us through this website.

We serve clients throughout the Tampa Bay region and Central Florida including the following counties:

  • Citrus County
  • Hernando County
  • Pasco County
  • Pinellas County
  • Hillsborough County
  • Manatee County
  • Sarasota County
  • Sumter County
  • Lake County
  • Polk County
  • Hardee County
  • DeSoto County
  • Orange County
  • Osceola County
  • Highlands County