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How A St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help Married Couples File for Bankruptcy Protection
Advice you need now from The Coleman Law Group
The Coleman Law Group can assist you with caring and aggressive representation in matters of divorce and spousal desertion. We are experts in situations involving child custody and support, as well as abuse. Call us today for a free consultation at 727-214-0400.
If you are drowning in debt, then bankruptcy may be the only way out. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a debtor initiates by filing a petition in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy is also an option if you are facing foreclosure. A St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney can help you file for bankruptcy protection if you are located in Tampa Bay or surrounding areas of Pinellas County.
Bankruptcy and the Married Couple
In Florida married couples can file for bankruptcy either as individuals or file a joint petition in a bankruptcy court. The federal bankruptcy code allows married couples to file a joint bankruptcy petition. An experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney can assist you determine if you should file a joint petition or an individual petition. To file a joint petition, you must be legally married. Merely staying together will not count. If you file a joint bankruptcy petition, it will be treated as a single filing and you will have to pay the filing fee only once.
An experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer will explain to you that the biggest advantage of a joint filing over individual filing is that in individual filing the non-filing spouse will not be protected by the automatic stay nor be eligible for the benefits of the discharge. If the individual bankruptcy petition is filed under Chapter 13, the non-filing spouse will be protected if he or she is co-debtor for joint consumer debts.
During your initial meeting with an experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney, the attorney will assist you determine whether to file a joint bankruptcy petition or individual petition. The attorney will consider the following factors to help you reach a decision:
- The amount of debt owed
- Joint Assets
- Individual assets
Generally an experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney will advise that you file a joint bankruptcy petition if one spouse has few resources or the financial affairs of the spouses are mixed up with the other. Another advantage of joint filing is that it can prevent situations where creditors attempt to collect one spouse's debt by going after the other's assets. The attorney will advise you to file an individual petition when the spouse in debt has most of his or her debt in his or her name alone or if the spouse who is not in debt has many protected assets or inheritances on the horizon.
The Role of a Qualified St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Attorney
An experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney will help you determine the right bankruptcy chapter based on your circumstances. If you want to file under Chapter 7, you must pass the bankruptcy test. The attorney will explain the details of the means test. If you do not pass the means test, it does not mean that you cannot file for bankruptcy. It merely means that you cannot file under Chapter 7. You can however still file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy code.
The fact that you are deep in debt should not prevent you from hiring an experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer if you are filing for bankruptcy protection in Pinellas County. The benefits of hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney are immense. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know the means test?
- How long does it take to discharge a bankruptcy?
- Do you know the Summary of Schedules?
- Do you know the Schedule D, E or F?
Unless you can answer these questions without looking elsewhere for answers, you are better off hiring the services of an attorney to file your bankruptcy petition. If you want to protect your assets, then your petition must be properly filed.
St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorneys are professionals and understand how to work with the legal system to make the process of discharging debt as quick and painless as possible. Bankruptcy lawyers have the required knowledge and skill to get you a discharge. The bankruptcy court procedures are complex and even a minor error can result in your petition being dismissed. The qualified bankruptcy advice you will get from an experienced attorney can be priceless for pre-bankruptcy planning and for chalking out a successful bankruptcy strategy. The fees you pay to an experienced bankruptcy attorney will be nothing compared to the consequences on your personal life if bankruptcy proceedings go wrong.
There are many attorneys in Tampa area but only bankruptcy attorneys understand the complex nature of bankruptcy laws. Not all lawyers are well versed with bankruptcy laws. If you are located in the Tampa area and you are considering bankruptcy filing, then contacting an experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney is your best option. Do not waste any more time.
Phone The Coleman Law Group Today at 727-214-0400
Answers to Your Questions
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