R. Jason de Groot, P.A.
Attorney at Law

335 Debary Avenue

Debary, FL 32713

Send Jason an e-mail

Call 386-337-8239

Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Probate

Have creditors been harassing you?  Do you need to legally erase debts? Bankruptcy protection is available, you are not alone, and I can help immensely.  My goal is to provide you and your family with immediate relief and the least amount of damage to your lifestyle, to get you a clean slate and a fresh start so that you can build a better financial future. Basically, if you are an individual or a family and your expenses exceed your income, you have the ability to file either a Chapter 7, known as a “liquidating estate”; or a Chapter 13, known as a “reorganization estate.”

In both types of bankruptcy a Trustee is appointed to oversee the case. In a Chapter 7, the Trustee’s job is to find any assets you have which are not exempt and sell them. In a Chapter 13, the Trustee’s job is mainly to make sure you follow a plan that you have make to pay your creditors a percentage of what you owe. The goal in both types of bankruptcy cases is to get you out of debt.

When you file a bankruptcy, a Federal law comes into play which basically prevents your creditors to from contacting you and trying to get money from you. They cannot file suit against you or proceed with a suit that has already been filed, without approval from the Bankruptcy Judge in your case. In the last few years, many people have found themselves in foreclosure. One way to stop a foreclosure sale is to file bankruptcy. This brings the Federal automatic stay into effect, and a sale of your home cannot take place unless and until the bankruptcy Court says so.

Changes in federal bankruptcy law which came into effect in October of 2005, have made it a bit harder to file bankruptcy for those people above a certain income level, depending upon the median income of the state that the debtor resides in. In Florida, for instance, a single wage earner as of May 1, 2012 can make up to a little over $40,000 yearly and still file a Chapter 7. For a family of 4, the income can be just under $65,000.00. Indeed, for a vast majority of people, the affect of the new laws will require them to get a certificate from a consumer credit counseling agency that they have taken a course, before they file , and a personal financial management course, after filing.

In Florida, homestead property is what I call sacred. No one can force a sale of your home except the mortgage company. A creditor who has a judgment against you obtains what is known as a charging lien on any property you own. The Constitution of Florida protects your home plus $1,000 of personal property, $2,000 if you are married. In addition, the statutes in Florida protect any retirement funds you may have, annuity contracts, any pre-paid college funds, and up to $1,000.00 in a single motor vehicle. If you do not have a homestead, you can claim up to $4,000 in personal property.


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