America's economic down turn has lead to an increase in the number of individuals and married couples filing for bankruptcy. People are filing bankruptcy for a variety of reasons like extended unemployment or under employment and even foreclosure. The bankruptcy rate for the area that Miami is districted to experienced a sharp increase in the number or filing from 29,182 in 2009 to 39,659 in 2010, this was an increase of 36%. The stigma that was once associated with the filing of bankruptcy is now becoming non-existent. So how does one go about filing for bankruptcy?
The decision to file bankruptcy should be well considered and though out before processing. Even though the stigma of bankruptcy itself has been removed there can still be several pit falls. Bankruptcy is handled at the federal government level as opposed to the county or state level. Several counties are grouped in to districts. Florida has three districts for bankruptcy. They are the Northern, Middle and southern Districts. To file bankruptcy in Miami one would file their petition with the US Bankruptcy Courts Southern District of Florida. Your bankruptcy petition may be filed in Miami at the Claude Pepper Federal Building. The bankruptcy process like almost any court process can take a lengthy amount of time to complte.
There are a series of bankruptcy steps to follow. The first step is filing your initial petition to begin the process. There are specific bankruptcy forms and processes to follow The US Bankruptcy Courts Southern District of Florida website is located at http://www.flsb.uscourts.gov/ . This site provides the necessary link to bankruptcy laws and bankruptcy forms. Different types of bankruptcy filings require different bankruptcy forms. There will be bankruptcy forms that list your assets and your debts as well as your creditors information. There are also fees associated with filing your bankruptcy petition that must be paid at the time of filing. There are some exemptions of the filing fees for those who are at or near the federal poverty level. Once all the necessary bankruptcy forms have been filed your court case will proceed with hearing before a judge. At the end of the process the judge will make his or her ruling. There are also certain rules that prevent the refilling of your petition within a specified time frame.
An individual may choose to file by their self or with the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. . This leaves the individual to read through many complexly written documents and laws. The local District courts also have their own local rules. Most of the local bankruptcy laws are procedural in nature. Court officials, staff and judges are not permitted to give you any legal advice so using the services a bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy lawyer is a recommendation to make the entire process less difficult. There are many complex forms and documents that would be best served by the assistance and guidance of a bankruptcy lawyer. There are many Miami bankruptcy lawyers willing to provide their services for the bankruptcy process.