Bankruptcy is a legal procedure by which debtors who are “in over their heads” are able to obtain relief and protection from creditors. If you feel like you are drowning in debt, contact Gulf Coast Legal Centers to discuss how we can help you through the challenging process of bankruptcy in order to attain the liberation of a fresh start. An experienced bankruptcy attorney at Gulf Coast Legal Centers will help you to identify the chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code which applies to your particular circumstances:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidating bankruptcy, formerly called a “straight bankruptcy”. In return for having debts discharged, the debtor must turn over all property to the bankruptcy trustee, except for certain property that is exempt under Florida law.
Chapter 11 reorganization is the type of bankruptcy proceeding most often used by businesses, although it may be used by individuals in some particular situations. In a Chapter 11 proceeding, the creditors are temporarily stopped from taking any action against the debtor while the debtor tries to work out a plan of reorganization.
This proceeding is most often used by debtors who want to catch up on a past-due mortgage or car loan payments and keep their assets. A debtor facing foreclosure on his or her home may use a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay past due payments and other costs, while also making regular mortgage payments in order to keep their home. The debtor must propose in good faith to pay all or part of their debts from future income over a period of time, usually three to five years. Though Chapter 13 cannot be used by business entities, an individual engaged in business might use Chapter 13 to pay debts or settle them over a period of time while continuing to own and operate their business.