Immigration, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues

Offices: Fort Lauderdale – Orlando – Jacksonville

Chapter 7: Bankcruptcy

Debt Liquidation Attorneys serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Orlando and surrounding areas

Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy Lawyers

If you are struggling to keep up with credit cards and other monthly payment obligations, find yourself with seemingly unmanageable debt, and are looking for a solution, we invite you to contact us for a free case evaluation. We understand that each case is different and take the time to understand your personal financial situation and inform you on what options are available.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is commonly referred to as a “straight” or “liquidations” bankruptcy the process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months and collection activity from creditors cease when your case is filed. During the bankruptcy process the trustee may also liquidate property and assets to pay your creditors. When your bankruptcy case is discharged the bankruptcy trustee cancels your qualified debt. Individuals that have filed a bankruptcy within the last six to eight years (this depends on what type of bankruptcy previously filed) will not be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Choosing to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be carefully considered. Many people are drawn to bankruptcy for the prospect of debt resolution and creditor protection, though many (if not all) of your debts will go away, chapter 7 bankruptcy does create some challenges and has a few drawbacks for filers. A few of these adverse effects include: bankruptcy remains on your credit report for several years and has an adverse effect on your ability to obtain credit, some debts may not be erased, and bankruptcy is a legal proceeding and becomes public record.

Szabo Law Group is committed to assisting individuals through their financial obstacles. Aron Szabo personally meets with every client and spends time listening and understanding your particular circumstance. Szabo Law Group will take the time to review your particular financial circumstance and provide a solution either through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or another form of resolution. To schedule consultation contact the Szabo Law Group today at (954)210-6054.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chapter 7

Can a Bankruptcy wipe out a judgment I have against me?

Most likely. It depends on the type of judgment entered against the Debtor and the assets that secure the judgment if a certified copy has been recorded. Yes, you can wipe out or reorganize most credit cards and medical bills.

Can a Bankruptcy wipe out taxes I owe to the IRS?

It depends on several factors including, the type of tax owed, the date the return was filed, if the return was filed on time, whether a lien has been recorded, and several other factors. Typically, federal income taxes that are at least 3 years old and were filed on time may be subject to the bankruptcy discharge.

Can I file a Bankruptcy to keep my home from being sold at a foreclosure sale?

In most instances, yes, you can file for bankruptcy protection to save your property from a foreclosure sale.

Can I give up (surrender) my car in Bankruptcy?


Generally, what is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, also phrased as a liquidation, typically wipes out most of a Debtor’s general unsecured debts, including credit cards and medical bills, without the need to repay any of the debts. However, if a Debtor has any unexempt assets, those assets may be sold by the trustee to pay their Creditors. If a Debtor has limited assets, such as an older or fully encumbered car, it is possible they will be able to keep the car and still wipe out all the dischargeable debts without losing that asset. The outcome varies depending on each Debtor’s unique situation.

How do I know if I qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

There are many variables which can affect whether a Debtor qualifies for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or whether a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the best option. Often, the Means Test under the Bankruptcy Code can be the determining factor. Typically, if the gross annual income of a Debtor is under $48,000 as a single member household and under $58,960 as a two-member household then the Debtor(s) is presumed to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The annual salary amounts are adjusted each year.

Is Bankruptcy an option if I fall behind on my monthly mortgage, and/or homeowner’s association, and/or auto loan payments?

Bankruptcy is an excellent option for Debtors who are experiencing hardships that result in falling behind on monthly mortgage loan payment(s), homeowner’s association payments, auto loan payments and/or secured debts.

1. If a Debtor cannot afford to keep their property or does not want to keep their property, they may qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and be able to Surrender the property and eliminate all their debts while eliminating the chance for the Bank to obtain a deficiency judgment after a foreclosure/repossession occurs. Debtors still must qualify to be able to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Debtors can also surrender their property in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

2. If a Debtor wishes to keep their property and can afford to make payments sufficient to reinstate their loan(s) over a 60-month term, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a powerful tool. A Bankruptcy plan in which a mortgage is reinstated, consist of monthly mortgage payments plus the mortgage arrearage spread out over a 60-month period. Additionally, plan payments will include any other secured debt the Debtor wishes to reorganize, tax, child support arrearage, and other priority claims, trustee fees and often a pro-rata dividend to the allowed unsecured creditors.

Depending on certain factors, it may also be possible to cramdown (reduce) or entirely wipe out homeowner’s association arrearages, mortgages on investment properties, under-secured liens, certain auto loans, non-purchase money security debts, judicial liens, and various other secured debts.

What is a Debtor?

A Debtor is a person or entity who owes a person or institution money. The person or institution that a Debtor owes money to is a Creditor. When you have a car loan you are the Debtor and your auto loan lender is the creditor. If you have credit card debt, mortgage debt, personal loans, or any other type of debt, even if you are current with your payments, you are a Debtor, as are more than 80% of Americans, who has a debt owed to a Creditor(s).

What will happen to my Credit Score when I file Bankruptcy?

After filing Bankruptcy, a Debtor’s Credit Score will likely decrease. Bankruptcy is a legal right to wipe the slate clean, eliminate debt, and get a fresh start on your credit. A Bankruptcy filing will start the clock ticking for removing negative items from your credit report and allow you to begin working on reestablishing good credit.

When can I apply for new Credit Cards after obtaining a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Results vary but we recommend opening a Secured Credit Card at a local Bank or Credit Union immediately after obtaining a discharge in Bankruptcy. Use it often to pay bills and make sure that the balances are paid on time. After 3-6 months, begin applying for regular unsecured Credit Cards. Using a credit card to pay normal living expenses and making payments on time will help to reestablish good credit.


Szabo Law Group is committed to providing personalized legal help to those in need of immigration services in Ft. Lauderdale and throughout Florida and the continental US. As an immigrant from Hungary himself, our principal attorney- Aron T. Szabo- empathizes with fellow immigrants, and understands how troublesome it can be to face an unsure residency or work status. Our firm provides individualized counsel for all immigration needs. Szabo Law is a dedicated advocate for our friends and neighbors in the immigrant community.

Immigration, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues