Answering Your Bankruptcy Questions

Filing for bankruptcy protection is scary for most people. Unfortunately, there are countless myths that continue to persist. Knowing what you should and should not do, however, can help relieve many of your fears about the process.

At our law firm, Merrill PA, attorney David Lloyd Merrill brings 19 years of bankruptcy experience to the table. From Chapter 7 liquidations to complex Chapter 11, 12 and 13 filings, he has represented people across Florida from all walks of life. If you contact us in West Palm Beach, we can answer questions such as:

How long does the bankruptcy process last?

That depends on which chapter you seek protection under. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can be completed in less than a year — usually in under six months. A Chapter 13 filing usually takes about three to five years. What is most important, however, is which chapter makes the most sense for you and your needs to help you get a fresh start.

Should I try to pay off all of my debts before filing? I have retirement savings I can use.

You should never take any action to pay your debts prior to speaking with our office. Some debts that seem reasonable to pay prior to filing can actually make your financial situation worse. Most importantly, your retirement savings are typically safe from creditors in bankruptcy. That means if you tap into your retirement to pay off your debts, you could still end up having to file for bankruptcy, and once you discharge your debts, you could have to work for many more years because you will no longer have a nest egg. Talk to our offices prior to doing anything on your own.

What debts can I discharge? If I can't discharge them all, why should I file?

While it is true that you cannot discharge most student loan debts, tax debts (although many can be discharged) and mortgages (unless you want to surrender your home), there are still many benefits to filing. By getting rid of debts like medical bills, credit card bills and small personal loans, you could have more financial resources to put toward paying off the debts you cannot discharge. That is still a win-win. And remember: With the right facts and a skilled bankruptcy attorney by your side, many debts that are typically not dischargeable might be. All you need to know the difference is a free appointment with our office.

I'm still working and making money. Is bankruptcy even an option for me?

It definitely may be. Remember that many bankruptcies are about reorganizing your debts to make them more manageable. Additionally, seeking bankruptcy protection may allow you to protect your savings and wages from garnishment. For instance, a Chapter 13 plan will allow you to continue to work and make payments for three to five years while getting rid of much of your debt.

You will undoubtedly have more questions, and as an experienced bankruptcy attorney, Mr. Merrill will have the answers you need. Call us today at 561-877-1111 to talk to an experienced lawyer about your options.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.