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New Bankruptcy Laws

On October 17, 2005, new bankruptcy laws went into effect in the United States.
The new bankruptcy laws were enacted on a federal level, which means they apply to all states, including Florida.

Contrary to popular belief, most people are not adversely affected by new bankruptcy laws. The most noticeable change in new bankruptcy laws is that filers with higher incomes are not allowed to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but instead will be required to repay at least part of their debt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

To learn how new bankruptcy laws relate to your situation, please contact us for a free initial consultation with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer. In the meantime, here are some key points for new laws on Florida bankruptcy:

To file a Chapter 7 or "clean start bankruptcy" under new laws, you must pass the "means test." The means test measures your income against your state's median income. For example, if your income as a Floridian falls below the median income for Florida, you would be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you earn more than your state's median income, and the means test concludes that you can afford to pay at least $100 per month toward your debt, you would have to repay a certain amount of your debt through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Under the new law, most bankruptcy filers have to pay for, and receive, government-approved financial management education before they are allowed to file bankruptcy, and also before their debts are erased.

There are several other changes enacted by new bankruptcy laws such as fewer "automatic stay" protections. In addition, new bankruptcy laws are considerably more complicated than previous laws, making a bankruptcy attorney even more crucial to a favorable outcome in your case.


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