Law Office of Eric - Tallahassee Bankruptcy Law Lawyer

Bankruptcy General Information

Tallahassee, Quincy, Crawfordville and Monticello Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

At the Law Office of Eric I provide comprehensive bankruptcy protection representation. I understand the anxiety and stress associated with credit card debt, mortgage payments and other overwhelming financial obligations.

With nearly 40 years of experience as a bankruptcy lawyer, I have a sophisticated understanding of the Bankruptcy Code. I understand how filing for bankruptcy protection can help you reestablish your financial footing. I will evaluate your situation from every angle to determine which form of bankruptcy protection is in your best interest.

Bankruptcy Basics

Filing for bankruptcy — whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 — provides immediate relief from the issuance of an automatic stay. The automatic stay prevents creditors from contacting you by mail or phone to collect a debt. The stay also stops any legal action such as wage garnishment and repossession.

Chapter 7 Protection

Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is also referred to as liquidation. If you qualify for Chapter 7 under the means test, you are able to discharge or wipe out specific unsecured debts. These debts can include:

  • Credit card debts
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans
  • Judgments

Limitations on Real and Personal Property

As part of the bargain for getting your debts discharged, the Bankruptcy Code places certain limitations on the amount of property you may keep after you file bankruptcy. You are normally able to retain your homestead, retirement accounts, $1,000 equity per person in a motor vehicle, and $1,000 per person in your personal property (furniture, jewelry, bank accounts, utility or rent deposits, etc.) These are called exemptions.

If you do not own a homestead, you are entitled to an additional $4,000 "wild card" exemption on personal property. If you go over these limitations, you usually are still able to retain all your property but must pay the excess into the Bankruptcy Court in 12 monthly payments. These funds will then be distributed to your creditors on a pro rata basis.

The costs normally incurred for a Chapter 7 are as follows:

  • Attorney fee - $1,200
  • Filing fee - $299
  • Credit report - $30 for single, $50 for joint

Chapter 13 Protection

Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, also referred to as a debt repayment plan, is designed for individuals whose income puts them out of range for Chapter 7. The repayment plan provides three to five years for you to resolve your debt issues. As a dedicated Tallahassee bankruptcy attorney, I understand how to create a repayment plan that is both affordable to you and acceptable to the court. Chapter 13 may be an effective way for you to:

  • Catch up on your mortgage arrears
  • Protect your home from foreclosure
  • Pay off income tax debt
  • Protect property from repossession

The costs normally incurred for a Chapter 13 are as follows:

  • Attorney fee - $3,500
  • Filing fee - $274
  • Credit report - $30 for single, $50 for joint

In most cases, I am willing to have $2,500 of my attorney fees paid through the Chapter 13 Plan. Therefore, only $1,000 would have to be paid prior to the filing. However, for emergency filings (bankruptcy prepared and filed within three days) I will require the entire $3,500 in attorney fees paid prior to the filing.

The Law Office of Eric provides comprehensive bankruptcy, family law and probate representation throughout Tallahassee, Florida, including Leon County, Wakulla County, Gadsden County, Jefferson County, Jackson County, Franklin County, Calhoun County, Liberty County, Taylor County and Madison County, as well as the communities of Quincy, Marianna, Monticello, Crawfordville, Perry and Apalachicola.