Bankruptcy FAQs

Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

Why do I need to hire a bankruptcy attorney?

Plainly put, filing for either personal or business bankruptcy is a complex process. Anyone who is contemplating bankruptcy, naturally, is already facing a dire financial crisis. Turning to the bankruptcy courts should be done in both a cautious and methodical manner. It entails much more than simply standing in front of a judge to proclaim your insolvency and that you have exhausted all other options in resolving the balances on your mortgages and credit card accounts. Any misstep can have dire consequences.

Your entire objective is to begin turning your life around; not to add more problems. Self-represented petitioners put themselves in jeopardy, not only of having their case dismissed, but they also risk the forfeiture of assets that may otherwise have been protected with the guidance of a qualified, compassionate, and experienced Bankruptcy Attorney from our firm. Whether you have questions regarding a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Ms. Salkin and her staff have more than three decades worth of experience upon which to draw for the answers you need. Our firm will keep you apprised of all of your options -- as well as what to expect along the path to regaining your financial freedom.

What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

This is the most commonly filed type of bankruptcy and is often called a "liquidation bankruptcy." In order for individuals to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, they must qualify through a means test. For instance, there is a maximum annual income ceiling which you must not exceed. When you sit down during your initial consultation with an attorney from The Salkin Law Firm, P.A., we will let you know the amount your salary cannot surpass -- as well as what forms of income are exempt from inclusion.

Ms. Salkin and her staff understand that it is not always the case that irresponsible spending and careless budgeting led to the need for an individual bankruptcy filing. We are tireless advocates for our clients. We never judge anyone and we know that downturns in the economy and unexpected family emergencies can quickly drain hard-working people of their savings. If one of these scenarios sound familiar, then a Chapter 7 filing could give you the fresh start in life you so desperately need.

Filing for Chapter 7 protection results in the forgiveness of your liabilities and debts such as: credit cards balances, repossessions, foreclosures, civil judgments, personal and payday loans, and medical bills, to name just a handful. Our office has been helping people throughout the State Of Florida for more than three decades. We have the experience and legal savvy to help regain your financial freedom.

Does filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy mean I'll lose everything?

Many people fear the worst when it comes to a bankruptcy filing, but the answer to this question is: No. Most of the clients we have counseled through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing end up retaining a vast majority (if not all) of their possessions. There are separate exemptions for both motor vehicles and personal property to which every filer is permitted to claim.

One of our attorneys will be happy to explain these exemptions when you come to our Fort Lauderdale Law Office for your free initial consultation. Luckily, the State Of Florida has one of the most progressive laws in the country when it comes to protecting real estate, and we will be happy to similarly detail the exemptions to which you may be entitled if you are a homeowner. To fully understand all of the exemptions to which you may be entitled, it is critical to consult with one of our attorneys.

Only an attorney who knows all of the intracacies and minutiae of the current bankruptcy code can properly guide you to ensure the very best possible outcome is achieved in your case.

How will a Chapter 7 bankruptcy impact my credit score?

Typically, people who have completed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing report that their credit scores hover in the mid-600s within two years' time after the discharge of all of their debts. As there are three major credit bureaus, and none has ever publicly disclosed the formula they use to generate credit scores, there is no concrete answer to this question.

However, it's important to remember that all of the negative information that had been affecting your credit score will disappear and your credit report will refresh with a Bankruptcy Filing. Even with a credit score around 650, chances are very good that you will be able to secure an auto loan as well as new credit card accounts from some lenders. The best course of action is to pay off your balances every month (thereby also eliminating the accrual of any interest charges) as using a high percentage of your available credit lowers credit scores.

We want to hear from you. If there's a bankruptcy-related question on your mind that you'd like to see the firm address on a future FAQ page, kindly e-mail us! We'll review all submissions and try to address as many as possible to help better educate the Fort Lauderdale community about the process of bankruptcy.