Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start

If you have faced a financial storm for months, even years, now is the time for a fresh start. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called the "fresh start" bankruptcy because it gives many people facing overwhelming debt the opportunity to start anew with a blank financial slate.

I am Sam Pennington, a bankruptcy lawyer in Tavares and Orlando. Over the past 25 years, I have guided thousands of people through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process and toward a better future.

Will I Lose My Property Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

People put off declaring bankruptcy because they are afraid they will lose their property. In fact, many people walk away from bankruptcy without losing anything at all — except their debt.

Under Florida law, you can keep up to $1,000 in personal property (such as clothes). The court will use the current market value to determine how much your property is worth, often looking at how much each piece would get at a garage sale or other public sale. You can also keep a car worth up to $1,000 in equity (if you owe $10,000 and the car is worth $11,000, you have $1,000 in equity) and, typically, your home.

If you do not have a house, you can keep an additional $4,000 in personal property per person under what is called the Florida wild-card exemption. There are many other exemptions, such as retirement plans, which you can learn about by visiting my page on property exemptions.

Is Chapter 7 The Best Option For Me?

Whether filing for Chapter 7 makes sense for you depends on your financial situation. If you have significant assets, you may end up having to buy your property back from the bankruptcy trustee or giving your property to creditors. If you have significant income, you might not qualify for Chapter 7 under the "Chapter 7 means test." In these cases, filing for Chapter 13 might be the better option.

Yet, for those with few assets who have significant debt, Chapter 7 is often the best choice. It allows you to start fresh within just a few months of filing for bankruptcy.

Through The Storm, To A Better Tomorrow

The sooner you file for Chapter 7, the sooner you will see sunlight again. As your bankruptcy attorney, I'm here to help. I will do more than just guide you through the Chapter 7 process; I will be there to answer your questions and will take the time to understand the challenges you face. You will feel like you have a true advocate and friend on your side. Why? Because that is what I would want if I were walking in your shoes.

To speak with me in a free and confidential consultation, please call 407-278-7776 or 352-508-8277 or contact me online.

Pennington Law Firm, PA, is a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.