Experienced Florida Bankruptcy Lawyers
Assisting with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Florida Panhandle
The Sliva Law Firm is a debt-relief agency helping individuals file for debt-relief under the Bankruptcy Code. We work with you from the beginning to the end of the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that helps people who cannot pay their bills get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law. Our goal is to get you past this tough time in your life as quickly as possible.
What can bankruptcy do for you?
Bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:
- Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a discharge of debts. It is designed to give you a fresh financial start.
- Stop foreclosure on your house or mobile home and allow you an opportunity to catch up on missed payments. (Bankruptcy does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages and other liens on your property without payment.)
- Prevent repossession of a car or other property, or force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed.
- Stop wage garnishment, debt collection harassment and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
- Restore or prevent termination of utility service.
- Allow you to challenge the claims of creditors who have committed fraud or who are otherwise trying to collect more than you really owe.
What bankruptcy cannot do
Bankruptcy cannot, however, cure every financial problem. Nor is it the right step for every individual. In bankruptcy, it is usually not possible to:
- Eliminate certain rights of secured creditors. A secured creditor has taken a mortgage or other lien on property as collateral for the loan. Common examples are car loans and home mortgages. You can force secured creditors to take payments over time in the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy can eliminate your obligation to pay any additional money if your property is taken. Nevertheless, you generally cannot keep the collateral unless you continue to pay the debt.
- Discharge types of debts singled out by the bankruptcy law for special treatment, such as child support, alimony, certain other debts related to divorce, some student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines and some taxes.
- Protect co-signers on your debts. When a relative or friend has co-signed a loan, and the consumer discharges the loan in bankruptcy, the co-signer may still have to repay all or part of the loan.
- Discharge debts that arise after a bankruptcy has been filed.
What types of bankruptcy cases should I consider?
There are four types of bankruptcy cases provided under the law:
- Chapter 7 — straight bankruptcy or liquidation — requires a debtor to give up property, which exceeds certain limits called exemptions, so the property can be sold to pay creditors
- Chapter 11 — reorganization — used by businesses and a few individual debtors whose debts are very large
- Chapter 12 — reserved for family farmers
- Chapter 13 — debt adjustment — requires a debtor to file a plan to pay debts (or parts of debts) from current income
Most people filing bankruptcy will want to file under wither Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Either type of case may be filed individually or by a married couple filing jointly.
Filing bankruptcy in Pensacola, Florida and surrounding areas in the Florida Panhandle
If you need help filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call the Sliva Law Firm at 850-438-6603 or contact our firm online to set up a free initial consultation.