Our firm specializes in helping individuals and small businesses experiencing financial difficulty and which prevents them from being able to pay some or all of their debts.  Below is a very high-level summary of each of the types of bankruptcies we normally handle.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Liquidation

Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief – also called liquidation – can be used by both individuals and businesses.   Individuals whose debts are primarily consumer debts, have a gross yearly income equal or below the median income of a Florida household of the same size, and are willing to part with any nonexempt property in exchange for a discharge of some or all of their debts are excellent candidates for this type of bankruptcy.  Individuals whose debts are primarily business debts can also file for Chapter 7 relief, but unlike individuals whose debts are primarily consumer debts, these debtors do not have to meet an income requirement to qualify for this type of bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is also a good option for corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) that are going out of business and would like a simple and orderly process for liquidating the business and settling with creditors.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Reorganization

While Chapter 11 relief is also open to persons not engaged in business in the traditional sense, most of our Chapter 11 cases involve businesses trying to reorganize and continuing to function.  A reorganization may involve an extension of time for the repayments of debts or a total restructuring of the business.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy – Voluntary Repayment Plan for Family Farmers or Fishermen

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is largely based on Chapter 13, but it includes some elements of Chapter 11 and some special provisions designed to make it suitable for smaller operations conducted by a family farmers or fishermen either in their capacity as natural persons or in the form of family-held corporations.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – Voluntary Repayment Plan for Individuals with Regular Income

Individuals who receive regular income and who have secured and unsecured debt below certain amounts can elect to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.  Normally, Chapter 13 is used by individuals who are behind on mortgages, homeowner association fees, or car loans and want time to catch up and repay any amounts in arrears and keep the underlying asset.  That said, Chapter 13 is also used by debtors who are deemed to make “too much” income to qualify for Chapter 7 relief and can afford to repay some of their debts.