Estate Planning Law Office of Attorney Joseph F. Pippen, Jr. & Associates
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  1. What is the Difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
  1. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets, which usually results in a full discharge of all unsecured debts, except for certain types of debts.  Any assets that you have which are not exempt will be liquidated by the bankruptcy trustee to pay creditors. A chapter 13 Bankruptcy results in a repayment plan, and allows you to keep all of your assets as long as you can afford to make payments into the plan.
  1. I have no assets.  Can I file a Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13?
  1. It depends.  Several years ago, the bankruptcy laws changed, and there is now a “means test” which stops people with certain income levels from filing Chapter 7.  An attorney can review your individual situation and expenses to see if you qualify to file Chapter 7.  Otherwise, you might be eligible to file Chapter 13.
  1. Can I transfer my assets into someone else’s name before filing bankruptcy?
  1. This is a really bad idea.  Keep in mind that when you sign your bankruptcy petition, you are doing so under oath and under penalties of perjury.  Whatever assets you are trying to protect are not worth going to prison!
  1. If I file Chapter 13, can I keep my house?  What happens to my investment properties?
  1. Again, it depends.  We will meet with you and assess the situation, and you will need to have a very clear idea of your income, assets, and what you can afford.  It is unlikely that you will keep your investment properties, but under many circumstances, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a viable solution which will allow you to keep your primary residence.
  1. My creditors are calling me all day long.  What can we do to stop them?
  1. Once you have retained our firm, you can tell them that you have hired an attorney for bankruptcy.  Many creditors will stop calling you, and will then call our office for updates.  However, some will continue to call you. When we actually file the bankruptcy petition, your creditors will be forced to stop calling you because of an Automatic Stay which is like a court order.  Your creditors could face serious penalties if they call you, harass you, or take any action to collect a debt pending the bankruptcy!
  1. What is the next step for me to get help?

A.  Call our office at (813) 282-7410.  We have offices throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas County




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