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Bankruptcy

The decision to file for bankruptcy is often one of the hardest choices that a person has to make in his or her lifetime. Filing for bankruptcy should generally be a last resort, and should only be done when all other methods of satisfying one's financial obligations have been exhausted. It is our focus to help you make the decision whether to file and clearly evaluate all your options.

If your situation has become so severe that you are in danger of foreclosuregarnished wages or repossessions, or are facing debts that you are unable to repay, putting off the inevitable can have devastating consequences. Procrastination can cost you your car, your wages, and even your home. Filing your case in a timely fashion may spare you these losses. 

Filing a bankruptcy petition can be beneficial in a wide range of circumstances:

  • If you are close to a foreclosure sale on your home, declaring bankruptcy may stop this from going forward, possibly establish a payment structure that will help you pay off your arrears or provide you an opportunity for mediation with the lender to modify your loan.
  • Bankruptcy may allow you to take back an automobile that has been repossessed by a creditor.
  • Bankruptcy can help reduce or even wipe away your medical bills.
  • Bankruptcy can stop creditors from harassing you, especially if they are being unfairly pushy or unreasonable or fraudulently attempting to take more than you owe.
  • If your utilities have been shut off, bankruptcy will help restore services so you do not have to live in darkness.
  • Although most student loans will not disappear, bankruptcy may help you to consolidate those debts and pay them off in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Bankruptcy can end wage garnishment, which means you will be able to afford life’s necessities.  

If you are currently facing one or more of these issues, bankruptcy may be the best and most logical way to get a fresh start on your financial future.  Contact our law firm to assess how filing bankruptcy can impact your individual situation. 

There are four types of consumer bankruptcy cases provided under the law: 

  • Chapter 7 is known as “straight” bankruptcy or “liquidation.”  It requires an individual to give up property which is not “exempt” under the law, so the property can be sold to pay creditors.  Generally, those who file chapter 7 keep all of their property except property which is very valuable or which is subject to a lien which they can not avoid or afford to pay. There is generally an income limitation for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • Chapter 11, known as “reorganization,” is used by businesses and a few individuals whose debts are very large.
  • Chapter 12 is reserved for family farmers and fishermen.
  • Chapter 13 is a type of “reorganization” used by individuals who earn a regular wage to pay all or a portion of their debts over a period of years using their current income. 

Most individuals filing bankruptcy will want to file under either chapter 7 or chapter 13.  Either type of case may be filed individually or by a married couple filing jointly. More information on bankruptcy is available using the links on this website.


Recommended Links

Consumer Bankruptcy (FL Bar)This Florida Bar article discusses bankruptcy, the process to file, the types of bankruptcy options and other general information.  If you have questions contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Answers to Common Bankruptcy Questions - Bankruptcy can be a complex and emotional decision.  This document attempts to answer some of the most common questions.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Myths about BankruptcyThis article from Bankrate.com is intended to help set your expectations for what bankruptcy can and cannot do for you.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Debt Calculator – This tool is intended to help you understand how much debt you have and how long it will take to pay it off.  If you have questions contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Bankruptcy Filing Fees – The US Federal Bankruptcy Court sets fees that those filing for bankruptcy must pay prior to the case being filed.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

How to Choose a Bankruptcy Attorney – This article from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) is a guide.  We invite you to come for a no charge consultation to meet our knowledgeable and compassionate team. 

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – This article for consumers from the Federal Trade Commission explains your rights and responsibilities.  If you feel that a debt collector is in violation of the act or if you have questions contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Bankruptcy Debtor Education Requirements When filing for bankruptcy, you will be required to take 2 education courses.  This article from the Federal Trade Commission will help you understand this requirement.  If you have questions contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Bankruptcy Documentation Requirements– In addition to your bankruptcy questionnaire, which is used to generate your Bankruptcy Petition, several types of personal documents must be supplied by you.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge.

Bankruptcy Questionnaire – This is required to be filled out by you in order to draft your Bankruptcy Petition, the legal document submitted to the court to initiate your bankruptcy.  It is essential that you be completely honest and complete in filling out this document as you will be signing an oath attesting to this when you sign your Bankruptcy Petition.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge. 

Florida Exemptions from Creditors – Certain assets are exempt from bankruptcy, meaning that you will most likely not lose them in bankruptcy.  Each state’s exemptions may differ slightly so it is important to understand the specifics for the state in which you file bankruptcy.  If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss whether bankruptcy is a viable alternative for you, contact us for an initial consultation at no charge.

341 Review Meeting - This a mandatory meeting for you to attend with the Bankruptcy Trustee appointed to your case by the court.  You will discuss the assets and debts that you reported on your Bankruptcy Petition and answer whatever questions the Trustee may ask.  Your bankruptcy attorney will attend this meeting with you.

Consultation Request

Patrick Neale & Associates serves clients throughout Southwest Florida and has office locations in Naples and Marco Island.

Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.



© 2017 Patrick Neale & Associates | Disclaimer
5470 Bryson Court, Suite 103, Naples, FL 34109
| Phone: 239-642-1485
(By appointment) 950 North Collier Blvd., 4th Floor, Marco Island, FL 34145
| Phone: 239-642-1485
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 9440, Naples, FL 34101-9440
| Phone: 239-642-1485

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© 2015 Patrick Neale & Associates | Disclaimer
5470 Bryson Court, Suite 103, Naples, FL 34109
950 North Collier Blvd., 4th Floor, Marco Island, FL 34145 (hours by appointment)
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 9440, Naples, FL 34101
Phone: 239-642-1485 | Fax: 239-642-1487
Practice Areas | About Us | Important Links & Forms | Blog | Consultation Request | Contact Us

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative

A NACBA Member Website