Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer in Miami

The number of bankruptcy cases filed in Miami, Florida, for all three categories increased compared to the data from the same month last year. 

In financial matters, few situations are as daunting as facing bankruptcy. While it may carry a stigma, bankruptcy can also be a crucial tool for individuals and businesses to regain control of their finances and make a fresh start.

A trusted firm of bankruptcy attorneys in Miami, The Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, P.A., is here to help you navigate the intricacies of filing bankruptcy in the area.

Understanding Bankruptcy in Miami, Florida

Bankruptcy, in essence, is a legal process that provides individuals or businesses overwhelmed by debt with a chance to eliminate or repay their obligations under the protection of the bankruptcy court. In Miami, FL, bankruptcy filings typically fall under two main chapters of the United States Bankruptcy Code: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 involves a court-appointed trustee’s sale of a debtor’s non-exempt assets. The proceeds are then used to repay creditors. Certain assets, such as primary residences, vehicles, and personal belongings, may be exempt from liquidation under Florida bankruptcy exemptions.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals with a regular income to restructure their debts and create a repayment plan spanning three to five years. This plan will enable debtors to retain their assets while gradually repaying creditors.

The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Miami, FL
Understanding Bankruptcy in Miami, Florida

The Importance of Filing Bankruptcy in Miami

While bankruptcy is the least favorite word of entrepreneurs, it doesn’t always mean the end of your business journey. It can also provide numerous benefits for those burdened by overwhelming debt.

Here are some benefits of filing a bankruptcy in Miami, Florida:

  • Debt Relief: Bankruptcy offers a path to discharge or restructure debts, providing relief from relentless creditor harassment and the threat of legal action such as foreclosure or repossession.
  • Fresh Financial Start: By eliminating or restructuring debts, bankruptcy enables individuals and businesses to start anew, free from the weight of unmanageable financial obligations.
  • Protection from Creditors: Upon filing for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, halting all collection actions by creditors, including lawsuits, wage garnishments, and foreclosure proceedings.
  • Preservation of Assets: Bankruptcy exemptions allow debtors to retain essential assets such as their home, vehicle, and personal belongings, ensuring stability during and after the bankruptcy process.

The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Miami, FL

Navigating the bankruptcy process can be complex, but with the proper guidance of a Miami-based bankruptcy attorney, individuals, and businesses can successfully file for bankruptcy. 

Here’s a step-by-step overview:

  • Evaluate Your Financial Situation: Before proceeding with bankruptcy, assess your financial circumstances to determine whether bankruptcy is the best course of action. Consider consulting with a Miami-based bankruptcy lawyer to gain clarity on your options.
  • Credit Counseling: Under federal law, individuals filing for bankruptcy must undergo credit counseling from a court-approved agency within six months before filing.
  • Gather Necessary Documentation: Collect financial documents such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and a list of assets and liabilities to prepare for the bankruptcy petition.
  • File the Bankruptcy Petition: Submit your bankruptcy petition and the required documentation to the Miami area bankruptcy court. Ensure accuracy and completeness to avoid delays or complications.
  • Attend the Meeting of Creditors: After filing, debtors must attend a meeting of creditors, also known as the 341 meeting, where they will be questioned by the bankruptcy trustee and, in some cases, creditors.
  • Complete Financial Management Course: Following the meeting of creditors, debtors must complete a financial management course from an approved provider and file the certificate of completion with the court.
  • Discharge of Debts: Upon completing the bankruptcy process, eligible debts will be discharged, giving the debtor a fresh financial start.
importance of bankruptcy

Types of Bankruptcy Legal Services in Miami

In Miami, FL, individuals and businesses facing financial distress can access various bankruptcy services to navigate their situations effectively. 

Let’s explore each of these services in detail:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, is a legal process allowing individuals or businesses to discharge most of their debts by liquidating non-exempt assets. In Miami, FL, Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings involve the appointment of a trustee who oversees the sale of the debtor’s non-exempt assets to repay creditors. 

Certain assets, such as primary residences, vehicles, and personal belongings, may be exempt from liquidation under Florida bankruptcy exemptions. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a fresh start for debtors by eliminating unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills, allowing them to rebuild their finances.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as reorganization bankruptcy, enables individuals with a regular income to develop a repayment plan to restructure their debts over a period of three to five years. In Miami, FL, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to retain their assets while making affordable monthly payments to creditors. 

This type of bankruptcy is suitable for individuals with a steady income but struggling to manage their debts. Bankruptcy lawyers in Miami who specialize in Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help debtors avoid foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishment by providing a structured repayment plan that prioritizes essential expenses and allows debtors to catch up on missed payments.

Creditor litigation or representation involves legal services provided to creditors involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Creditors may face challenges such as contesting the discharge of debts, asserting priority claims, objecting to repayment plans, or seeking relief from the automatic stay to pursue collection efforts. 

Creditor representation ensures that creditors’ rights are protected throughout the bankruptcy process and maximizes their chances of recovering outstanding debts. Additionally, creditors may negotiate with debtors to reach settlements or payment agreements outside of court.

Bankruptcy Litigation

Bankruptcy litigation involves legal disputes arising within the context of bankruptcy proceedings. In Miami, FL, bankruptcy litigation may encompass various issues, including disputes over the validity of debts, challenges to bankruptcy filings, objections to discharge, and conflicts between debtors and creditors. 

Bankruptcy litigation requires specialized knowledge of bankruptcy law and procedures, and individuals or businesses involved in such disputes may benefit from legal representation to protect their rights and interests.

Take Control of Your Financial Future with Guidance From the Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, P.A.

Are you facing overwhelming debt and seeking relief through bankruptcy in Miami, Florida? Look no further than The Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, P.A.

Our experienced attorneys specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, bankruptcy litigation, and creditor representation. With a deep understanding of Miami’s bankruptcy laws and a commitment to personalized service, we’ll guide you through every step of the process, ensuring the best possible outcome for your financial future. 

Don’t face bankruptcy alone – contact us today at (305) 278-0811 to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a fresh start.

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We offer a free consultation. During your free consultation with our Miami Bankruptcy lawyer, James Schwitalla, will review your financial situation, answer your questions and recommend a personalized strategy for you.

About Us

Miami Bankruptcy serves clients throughout the Miami and Miami-Dade County area, South Florida and the Florida Keys, including Kendall, Westchester, Sweetwater, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, Florida City, Cutler Ridge, Richmond Heights, Key Largo, Marathon, Islamorada, Big Pine Key, Key West, Tavernier and Plantation.

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