Categories: Bankruptcy

Filing for Bankruptcy with No Assets

Many people who need to file for bankruptcy and are eligible for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy end up not filing simply because they feel that they can’t afford it. Instead they go on depleting their assets, spreading their paycheck as thin as it will go trying to keep up, or they allow debts to go to collection and garnishment. Even if you have no assets, Van Horn Law Group can help.

In the Hole and Getting Out

Being deep in debt and having no assets to rely upon aside from a paycheck can be a demoralizing and depressing situation. However, by failing to file for bankruptcy, you remain on the hook for your debts even though you have no hope of paying them. Additionally, you are being overwhelmed by trying to keep a roof over head, food on the table, get to work each day, and provide for your needs and those of your family. You may think that you could never possibly afford to file bankruptcy, never navigate the paperwork, and never afford the legal help that you would need to do so.

It is possible to file for bankruptcy, even with no assets, and that would put a stop to all collection actions including collection agency phone calls and letters, garnishments and repossessions, lawsuits and judgments. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy has some qualifications, but in this bankruptcy is the chance to start over. Starting over is easy, but neither is straining month after month to keep up with payments and still losing ground. Filing for bankruptcy is the first step of getting out of that hole.

What is an Asset and How Does It Apply to Bankruptcy with No Assets?

The description of an asset when it pertains to filing for bankruptcy is anything that you personally own that the trustee could sell to pay off your debts. Assets and exempted properties are detailed in the Florida statutes that govern bankruptcy. Bankruptcy exemptions vary from state to state even though bankruptcy is in the federal jurisdiction. It can include stocks and bonds, other financial instruments, real estate, or even a valuable comic book collection. However, when you have no assets and file for Chapter 7 the trustee will declare that there are no episodes available therefore your chapter 7 is a “no asset bankruptcy.”

In the case of a spouse filing for bankruptcy alone, the other spouse’s separate property and share of any joint property are not included in the other spouse’s bankruptcy estate. However, if the property is nonexempt joint property, the trustee may decide to sell the entire asset to pay your creditors but must compensate the non-filing spouse or partition the asset to sell only your share. You may also have moved to put assets only in the name of the spouse not filing for bankruptcy, but if this has not been a long-standing arrangement then it may look to the trustee as if you were trying to hide assets from your creditors.

“Now That I Know What an Asset Is, I Can Tell You That I Don’t Have Any!”

Then we can move on to filing bankruptcy with no assets. Upfront, it looks like a very simple process.

  1. File the paperwork for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  2. The automatic stay goes into effect.
  3. The trustee declares a no-asset bankruptcy.
  4. The bankruptcy is discharged (completed).
  5. You walk away with your exempt property and paycheck intact.

If it were actually that easy, there would be no need for bankruptcy lawyers. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of us around. Bankruptcy and debt in general are specialties within the legal system, especially when it comes to filing with the federal courts – and bankruptcy is adjudicated in federal bankruptcy courts.

The first thing you need to know is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no assets is not a sure thing. There is a means test imposed under which all filers must qualify. If you can’t qualify, and this is part of the filing process, then your bankruptcy will be converted to a Chapter 13 wherein your nonexempt property will be attached under the rules explained in the previous section and sold to pay your creditors.

“But I Still Don’t Think I Can Afford This!”

Bankruptcy is never something to be considered lightly, or done on the spur of the moment. It is a life-changing experience that will be on your credit report for some time. That can make things more difficult when it comes to obtaining credit, renting an apartment, or conducting much of the business that we take for granted. However, running just to stay in place or to slowly lose ground is exhausting. It takes a toll on both mental and physical health, as well as relationships. You’re constantly worried, living from check to check, knowing that one domestic disaster, one automobile accident, or one illness could push you over the edge.

When you look at it that way, can you afford not to file?

Talk to Us About a Zero-Down Bankruptcy

At Van Horn Law Group, we do a lot of things that other bankruptcy attorneys don’t do. While filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no assets might seem like an insurmountable obstacle, we specialize in the tough stuff. In the first place, your first consultation will be free – just bring your paperwork to our Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices. You can make an appointment, or just walk in. Were even open on Saturdays to make it convenient for you to visit us – and you won’t lose time off work.

The other special thing that we do is the zero-down bankruptcy. We really do care about your well-being and filing for bankruptcy is a constitutional right. Once the automatic stay goes into effect, you will have some cash available to pay for your bankruptcy. It might seem were going about it backwards, but we are one of the most effective and best rated bankruptcy attorneys in Florida. Get in touch with us and let us help you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no assets.

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Filing for Bankruptcy with No Assets
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The first thing you need to know is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no assets is not a sure thing.
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Van Horn Law Group
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Chad Van Horn

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