Practice Area: Bankruptcy / chapter 13
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyers
in Jacksonville, FL
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
This form of bankruptcy is designed for debtors with regular income who are able to pay back a portion of their debt to their creditors. This means debtors will usually pay back some of their debt through a court-approved repayment plan over a course of 3 to 5 years. This is known as a Chapter 13 Plan. In Jacksonville, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is most attractive to those with many assets because they may avoid having their property seized or liquidated. The bankruptcy exemptions available in Chapter 13 are identical to those available in Chapter 7, as seen below.
Are There Additional Benefits For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Another benefit of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it can stop or toll a foreclosure. This is great for debtors who are behind on their mortgage payments and wish to save their homes. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will not stop the foreclosure process of a home unless you bring your mortgage current through your Chapter 13 plan, but the automatic stay call toll (stop) it for 120 days. If you are looking to save your home and reduce your monthly mortgage payment, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy by itself will not allow you to reach this goal. You will need to have a modification as discussed below.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Mortgage Modification Mediation
One of the main advantages of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy over Chapter 7 is that you may be able to participate in Mortgage Modification Mediation. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, want to keep your home, are facing foreclosure and have tried over and over to no avail to obtain a modification of your mortgage, Mortgage Modification Mediation within a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be your answer.
Mortgage Modification Mediation may finally give you the opportunity to sit down with a representative of your mortgage company and obtain the modification you have been seeking. If a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy makes sense for you, after a Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney files a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition with the Bankruptcy Court, they can also file a motion asking the Court to allow you to participate in Mortgage Modification Mediation. If the Motion is granted, mediation must be held within ninety (90) days from the date of the Bankruptcy Court’s Order.
In a Florida bankruptcy, residents are not allowed to use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions. Some argue that Florida has some of the best bankruptcy exemptions in the country for homeowners. Florida residents must instead use Florida’s specific bankruptcy exemptions.
Florida's Specific Bankruptcy Exemptions Include The Following:
- Florida’s homestead exemption: Allows debtors to exempt an unlimited value in that person’s homestead property. In order to qualify for this exemption, a debtor must have owned the property for at least 1,215 days prior to filing their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The homestead exemption is limited to $146,450 for those who cannot meet this requirement.
- Personal property, bankruptcy exemption of $1,000: Includes such items as jewelry, furniture, art, and electronics up to a total of $1,000.
- If a debtor does not use Florida homestead exemption, they can take personal property, bankruptcy exemption of up to $4,000.
- Other bankruptcy exemptions include prepaid medical savings accounts, prescribed health aids, and educational savings.
The Automatic Stay Rule For Chapter 13
Upon filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put in place for 120 days. This means that creditors cannot try and collect from you. The automatic stay will remain in effect until one of the following things occur:
A creditor petitions the court for relief from the Bankruptcy’s automatic stay and the court enters an order granting it;
You receive a discharge in your bankruptcy case; or
Your case is dismissed.
However, certain debts are not affected by the automatic stay. These debts include child support, alimony, and other similar debts. If there is a breach of the automatic-stay, we aggressively pursue any violation to help you recover damages.
Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer to see what options may be available to you. During the consultation, an experienced Jacksonville Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer will carefully review the facts of your case and help you choose a course of action that is best for your individual needs.