Bankruptcy in Florida, Part 3
Continued from Bankruptcy in Florida, Part 2
Florida bankruptcy courts
As evidenced from the statistical data presented in Part 1, Florida has three U.S. bankruptcy courts:
- Northern District of Florida;
- map and counties served
- Gainesville Division
- Panama City Division
- Pensacola Division
- Tallahassee Division
- Middle District of Florida;
- Southern District of Florida;
- the Southern District's site is not as well designed as those of the other two districts; for maps and locations, on its homepage, scroll to the bottom and click on either Claude Pepper Federal Building (Miami), U.S. Courthouse (Ft. Lauderdale), or Flagler Waterview Building (West Palm Beach).
FAQ from the Florida bankruptcy courts
Following are selected Q & A from the Northern District's FAQ:
Where can I find the forms to file bankruptcy?
We have a link on our website to allow downloading and printing the most commonly used forms. The Forms page is located here. Here you can access both the National Bankruptcy Forms, the forms required for filing bankruptcy, and the local forms, which are forms required only by this court. Be advised that the Clerk's Office is not allowed to tell you which forms you must have for filing bankruptcy under each chapter. For more information about what is required, you may refer to our "Guidelines & Requirements to Assist Pro se Debtors."
Will filing bankruptcy stop creditors from calling me?
In most instances, the filing of the bankruptcy case will stop certain collection and other action against the debtor and the debtor's property. Under certain circumstances, this protection, called an "automatic stay" or "stay," may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the court can request the court to extend or impose the stay. You should consult an attorney to determine your rights if a creditor attempts to collect a debt or take other action in violation of the Bankruptcy Code.
Can employees of the Clerk's Office help me fill out my bankruptcy forms?
28 U.S.C. § 955 prohibits the staff of the Clerk's Office from giving legal advice or assisting with the preparation of forms.
Here's a couple of selected Q & A items from the Middle District's FAQ page:
What is the difference between a chapter 7, 13 and 11?
Chapter 7 In a Chapter 7, Debtors are permitted to retain certain exempt property, while the remaining assets are liquidated by the trustee. The trustee will distribute the funds from the liquidation to holders of claims (creditors) in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Accordingly, potential Debtors should realize that the filing of a petition under chapter 7 might result in the loss of non-exempt property.
Chapter 13 Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income to repay a portion or all of their debt over an extended period of time. Chapter 13 may be appropriate for Debtors who seek to retain certain assets through a repayment plan.
Chapter 11 Chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and certain individuals who do not qualify under Chapter 13, to reorganize without having to liquidate all assets. As in a Chapter 13, the Debtor (called the debtor-in-possession because a trustee is not normally assigned) is required to present a repayment plan. If the plan is accepted by the creditors and subsequently approved (confirmed) by the Court, this allows the Debtor to reorganize his/her/or its personal, financial, or business affairs.
NOTE: For further information on these Chapters, click here: General Information.
Next, Bankruptcy in Florida, Part 4: BAPCPA and the "Means Test."
Consider free case evaluation
We can help: If youre interested in learning more about the power of bankruptcy protection, please, browse our site for more information; if you need help filing for bankruptcy protection for yourself, consider signing up for a free case evaluation.
Share this article with a friend