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Who Can File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? It is a legal process through which most debts are forgiven mostly based on income, assets, and debt. Bankruptcy law enables a debtor to retain a certain amount of property that is considered exempt and the remaining assets are liquidated and sold to pay off creditors. There are many factors to consider when it comes to filing bankruptcy. Step 1 should be to consult an attorney. Most attorneys offer free consultations. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make.

Who can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

An individual can file for Chapter 7 in the case that they can no longer pay their creditors. The law prevents anyone from filing for bankruptcy if you have filed and it was dismissed anytime in the previous 180 days or if they did not comply with court orders. An individual that has had debts discharged in a previous Chapter 7 may not file for more than 8 years.

A debtor filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy must meet the Means Test. This compares the debtor's last 6 months average income to a median income for their state. If you received a stimulus payment, this doesn't count as income. If the income is greater than the median, it determines an amount that they could pay to creditors. This amount also takes expenses and dependents into account. You don't have to be completely broke to file. If you have a high income with high expenses, you may still pass as long as the expenses are not too outrageous. If you fall into the higher income bracket and do not pass the means test, a Chapter 13 might be an option for you.

What do you need to know about filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Worried about your personal property? Property can be covered with exemptions What and how much varies from state to state. This allows the debtor to protect most property. This is what you will find in Florida:

  • Homestead. Up to 1/2 acre in a city and 160 contiguous acres in the unincorporated county.

  • Personal property exemption. If you own a home, this exemption is limited to $1,000. Otherwise, it is limited to $4,000.

  • Vehicle. Up to $1,000.

  • Wages. The earnings of a person who is head of household are exempt. Head of household is as follows: