The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

Bankruptcy has long been the last option for honest debtors to obtain a fresh start. A Chapter 7 can eliminate most debt, and in many cases the debtor can retain all of his or her property without repaying unsecured debt. Most consumers are aware that the bankruptcy act changed effective in October with Congress's passage, but many have misconceptions about their current ability to file bankruptcy.

Although there are several substantive changes to the act, bankruptcy remains an option for most people. A family of four who earns less than $59,798 can still obtain Chapter 7 protection, while the income limit for individuals who seek Chapter 7 relief in the State of Florida is $35,883.00. Families and individuals who earn more than these amounts can seek protection under Chapter 13 to avoid foreclosure or wage garnishment. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, will require that regular payments be made to the court.

Although the process of filing a bankruptcy has become more complicated and expensive, many of the same benefits are still available to individuals or families in financial distress. Thus, the assistance and advice of an attorney is more important than ever for those considering bankruptcy.

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