Law You Can Understand


Our guidance can assist you make the process much smoother and stress-free than expected.  Many  people who are struggling with debt are reluctant to file for  bankruptcy because they are fearful of the bankruptcy process.


Below is a general outline of what you may expect from the bankruptcy process. 

asked questions
on Bankruptcy

If  a person or business does not have enough  money to pay their bills, they may file for bankruptcy in federal court. Bankruptcy is a legal way for people and businesses to either: (a) work  out a plan to repay their debts over time, or (b) completely eliminate debts. These proceedings occur under the protection  of bankruptcy law and the court. You can receive further protection and  advice from a Florida bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy in Florida (and the rest of the nation) is governed by  federal law contained in Title 11 of United States Code. Individual states such as Florida are not allowed to regulate  bankruptcy, but state law may affect other things such as the property  you are allowed to keep after a bankruptcy.

No.   In general, the new bankruptcy laws will not  prevent you from filing bankruptcy. However, the new bankruptcy laws  have placed limits on eligibility for Chapter 7 (liquidation)  bankruptcy. Under the new bankruptcy laws, filers with higher incomes  may have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and pay off some of their  debts. In addition, new bankruptcy laws may require you to receive  budget counseling, credit counseling, and debt management education.

These  4 different chapters of bankruptcy can be broken down as follows:
Chapter 7-this is a “liquidation” bankruptcy for individuals or  businesses. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your non- exempt assets may be sold to pay down your debt. You will be able to  keep any property that is exempt under Florida and federal law. Most  people who file Chapter 7 do not have any non-exempt assets to sell;  therefore, they lose no property at all and their unsecured debt (i.e.,  unsecured credit cards) is erased.

You  can file for bankruptcy without the assistance  of a Florida bankruptcy attorney, but it is not recommended. Bankruptcy  laws and forms are very technical and are not written in layperson’s  terms. If you try to file without an attorney, you could lose valuable  rights and property, or your case could be dismissed altogether. The  financial risk of representing yourself in a bankruptcy case is  substantially larger than the fees you would pay to a bankruptcy  attorney. We offer a free initial consultation with a Tampa bankruptcy  attorney, so there is nothing to lose by discussing your bankruptcy case  with us. 

The  filing fee for bankruptcy is the same in every state, including Florida. The current nationwide filing fees are as follows:
Chapter 7: $338*
Chapter 11: $1,738*
Chapter 13: $313*


Additional Fees

In  addition to the above filing fee, there will  also be attorney fees (if you hire an attorney) and possibly minor fees  for credit counseling, etc. Several different arrangements are available  for paying filing fees and bankruptcy attorney fees, depending on the  case. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filing fees and attorney fees are  sometimes paid in installments. Another possibility is: 

(1) hiring a bankruptcy attorney,
(2) notifying your creditors about the bankruptcy, and
(3)  redirecting the money you would have used to pay your creditors and  using it to pay your attorney and filing fees. 

Our Tampa bankruptcy  attorney fees may vary slightly from case to case, but at the same time  we realize our clients are in a difficult financial situation.  Therefore, we try to make our fees as affordable as possible.

We understand that our list of bankruptcy FAQ may not answer all your questions about bankruptcy in Florida.      

* Filing fees are subject to change without notice and may not reflect any increases set forth by the state. Always consult with us first on the most up dated fees.

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Bankruptcy may not be for everyone. Mr. Carratt analyzes each client’s situation and creates a Debt Relief Strategy.  Serving Tampa Bay & Daytona Beach areas.