Our economy can be tough and uncertain, or sometimes life just throws us curveballs. If you are struggling to pay bills and make ends meet, and your debts are piling up, there is a way out. Bankruptcy offers you a lifeline and resolution to your situation. You have a right to file for bankruptcy under federal law and it will be handled within the appropriate United States District Court jurisdiction. As soon as you file bankruptcy your creditors as prevented from collecting the debt owed, at least until the process has been sorted out. 


There are four most common forms of bankruptcy are:


  • Chapter 7 - Straight bankruptcy or liquidation

Available for individuals, married couples, or companies to resolve debts by selling assets and using proceeds to pay creditors. However, you will not necessarily lose all of your property depending on what may be exempted by law.

  • Chapter 11 - Reorganization

An opportunity for a business to reorganize restructure some of its secured debt and discount its unsecured debt in a way that allows the business to climb out of its financial situation. Also, some individuals can file for Chapter 11 when debt levels exceed those allowed for a Chapter 13.

  • Chapter 12 -   Family farmer or fisherman

This is a special form of bankruptcy for farmers and fishermen. Individuals or married couples that own a commercial farming or fishing business are the only ones eligible to file for Chapter 12. The total amount of debt owed cannot exceed $1,924,550 for fisherman, while, for farmers, the debt limit is $4,153,150. If you are a farmer, a minimum of 50% of your debts must be from your farm, or, if you are a fisherman, 80% of your debts must be from your fishing operation. Also, in some instances, corporations and partnerships could qualify for Chapter 12.

  • Chapter 13 - Debt consolidation

Unlike the liquidation of assets in Chapter 7, Chapter 13 seeks to reorganize and restructure debt under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court. Most importantly, if the plan agree upon by the court is satisfied you will not be endanger of losing your property while repaying your debt over time. Chapter 13 is only available to individuals or married couples.

Our firm understands that filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but you are not alone. The first step in deciding whether or not to file is to assess your financial situation and to speak with an attorney to explore your options. If you are ready to discuss your bankruptcy options schedule an appointment directly on our website, call our office toll-free at 1-800-368-8449, or email us at

Law Office of J. Frederick Emert, P.A. 


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Saint Petersburg, Florida 33702


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The information provided on this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. We attempt to provide quality information, but the law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. An attorney-client relationship should not be implied from reviewing or responding to the website. Nothing on this website is intended to replace the advice of an attorney; therefore, if you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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