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Tampa Bankrupcty Attorneys FAQ 11-15 813-222-8210

TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY’S

ANSWER TO FAQ:

TAX REFUNDS IN BANKRUPTCY. Your tax refund may be property of the bankruptcy estate and you may be required to turn over all or part of your tax return to the bankruptcy trustee for the benefit of your creditors. Under Liquidation Analysis your assets are evaluated to determine if they exceed the amount of assets that you are allowed to keep during a bankruptcy without paying something to your creditors. Click here for our discussion on Liquidation Analysis in chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If your tax refund pushes you over the dollar amount that you are allowed to maintain under the Liquidation Analysis Test, than the Bankruptcy Trustee may demand that you turn over your tax refund. The amount demanded is based on the date that you file your bankruptcy and not the date of demand. If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on November 1, 10 out of 12 months have already passed. The Bankruptcy Trustee may hold your case open until you file you tax return in the next year and claim that 10/12 (5/6 or 83%) of the tax refund belongs to the Bankruptcy Estate. If you normally get a $5,000 refund you could owe $4,166 to the Creditors or the Bankruptcy Estate. Note that spending the refund or having it pre-planned to be applied to something such as property taxes is not a defense. Please call your bankruptcy attorney prior to filing your bankruptcy to discuss how your tax refund may be addressed in your bankruptcy case. A Chapter 13 is based on payments of excess or disposable income. The Chapter 13 Trustee may make a claim against the tax refund of the current year, or any year that your case is open if they determine that the refund is based on over withholding or deferred disposable income. There may be some exemptions applicable to the claims against the tax refunds, you should speak with a qualified Bankruptcy Lawyer to help determine your rights. Question of the Day: Your Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer is often asked how an employer will look at bankruptcy: May an employer fire someone for filing a bankruptcy: Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney is happy to say No an employer may not terminated, fire or penalize an employee for filing a bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code § 525(a), explicitly forbids a government employer from either denying or terminating employment because of a bankruptcy, while § 525(b), the section applying to private employers, forbids the employer from terminating employment because of bankruptcy. 11.There are various criteria to determine which chapter of the bankruptcy code applies to you and you should seek expert counsel from a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney prior to making any decision. The following questions may help you to find the correct chapter: a.Is your individual income, or marital income, above the local median as set by the Internal Revenue Service?If so you may have to file under chapter 11 or 13. b. Do your secured debts exceed $1,010,650 and unsecured debts exceed $336,900, then you cannot use Chapter 13. c.Are you trying to save a house or vehicle that you are behind on? If so you may have to file Bankruptcy under Chapter 11 or 13.A Chapter 11 or 13 Bankruptcy may allow for a modification and may include a principal reduction; a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may allow a modification but it must be independent of the Bankruptcy Court.   d. Do you have assets that exceed the exemption level that you will need to back from the estate over the next 3-5 years? If so you may have to file under Chapter 11 or 13.   12.Can my Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney protect me from the bank or the IRS after a foreclosure?   There are no guaranties, but your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney can often help to reduce the deficiency from a foreclosure or a short sale. Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney can often help reduce or eliminate tax debt from the surrender, foreclosure or short sale of a home. Currently Tampa Bankruptcy Courts are ordering mortgage holders and banks to mediation to help reduce or modify mortgages or allow short sales.   13.I have assets and income can I still file Bankruptcy?   Yes.You should contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation and evaluation of your situation. Even if you have assets, cash, or equity, you still may qualify for different chapters under the Bankruptcy Code.   14.When should I contact my Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney?   You should contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney early. Often people make serious mistakes in the financial planning, including draining equity or value from protected assets. Certain assets, such as your house and retirement accounts may be protected from your creditors.Draining the value from them may be an injustice to you and your family.Contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney today for free information.   To start the process we will need the following information Chapter 7 Questionnaire PDF WORD Chapter 13 Questionnaire PDF WORD 15.What happens and what questions are asked at the 341 Meeting of Creditors? Click here for your Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyers 341 Meeting of Creditors information sheet The Form above explains the meeting in detail. Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney wants you to understand that this should be a simple cooperative meeting where the Trustee confirms your identity, requests information to help them better understand your position, and assures that you understand your rights and responsibilities.This meeting should generally take between 3-5 minutes. The Formal definition of the meeting of creditors is found in the Bankruptcy Code: The 341 Meeting of Creditors comes from Section 341 of title 11 of the U.S Code – the Bankruptcy Code: (a) Within a reasonable time after the order for relief in a case under this title, the United States trustee shall convene andpreside at a meeting of creditors. (b) The United States trustee may convene a meeting of any equity security holders. (c) The court may not preside at, and may not attend, any meeting under this section including any final meeting of creditors. Notwithstanding any local court rule, provision of a State constitution, any otherwise applicable nonbankruptcy law, or any other requirement that representation at the meeting of creditors under subsection (a) be by an attorney, a creditor holding a consumer debt or any representative of the creditor (which may include an entity or an employee of an entity and may be a representative for more than 1 creditor) shall be permitted to appear at and participate in the meeting of creditors in a case under chapter 7 or 13, either alone or in conjunction with an attorney for the creditor. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any creditor to be represented by an attorney at any meeting of creditors. (d) Prior to the conclusion of the meeting of creditors or equity security holders, the trustee shall orally examine the debtor toensure that the debtor in a case under chapter 7 of this title is aware of – (1) the potential consequences of seeking a discharge in bankruptcy, including the effects on credit history; (2) the debtor’s ability to file a petition under a different chapter of this title; (3) the effect of receiving a discharge of debts under this title; and (4) the effect of reaffirming a debt, including the debtor’s knowledge of the provisions of section 524 (d) of this title. (e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), the court, on the request of a party in interest and after notice and a hearing, forcause may order that the United States trustee not convene a meeting of creditors or equity security holders if the debtor hasfiled a plan as to which the debtor solicited acceptances prior to the commencement of the case. Please Click here for Bankruptcy FAQ’s 1-5and here for 6-10   412 E. Madison Street *  Suite 1106 * Tampa, Fl 33602 * www.Galewski.com * 813-222-8210