' Bankruptcy Dictionary: Terms to Know - Law Offices of Robert M. Geller
CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Bankruptcy Dictionary: Terms You Need to Know Before You File

Bankruptcy Dictionary Tampa, St Petersburg, And Pasco Florida.Bankruptcy Terminology

One of the most challenging things about filing for bankruptcy is understanding the language associated with it. It’s hard enough dealing with financial stress and having to make such an important decision about your financial future but to have to do so without knowing the vernacular is downright intimidating.

Luckily, working with a bankruptcy lawyer ensures things will go smoothly even if you aren’t always sure exactly what a word or phrase means. But it’s also important to get a handle on the terms associated with bankruptcy. The more you understand the better you’ll feel about filing.

What are some of the most common terms associated with filing for bankruptcy?

Chapter

You’ll likely hear your bankruptcy referred to in terms of its chapter. The majority of consumers file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, but there are other Chapters available. The term chapter is used to describe the bankruptcy category.

Means Test

The bankruptcy means test is less of a test and more of a way to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy and if so, which chapter is most appropriate based on your debts, assets, and income.

Petition

Your bankruptcy petition is the initial paperwork that is filed with the bankruptcy court. Petition is a commonly used legal term and in bankruptcy, it alerts the court to your desire to proceed with the bankruptcy process and it invokes the automatic stay.

Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is one of the greatest benefits of filing for bankruptcy. Officially, it’s an injunction against your creditors that restricts their ability to collect the money you owe them. The automatic stay stops creditors from contacting you and from moving forward with any attempts to collect, including foreclosure proceedings.

Schedules

This is the paperwork filed with the court in addition to the petition. Bankruptcy schedules include your financial information.

Trustee

The bankruptcy trustee is the person who oversees the repayment of your creditors through the liquidation of your assets. Essentially, this person is the legal representative of your creditors.

For more information about the role of the trustee, check out this information from The Balance.

Discharge

Possibly the most significant benefit of bankruptcy. It occurs when the court releases you of your obligation to repay the debts you owe.

Non-dischargeable

Non-dischargeable is a type of debt that does not qualify for the benefit of being discharged when you file for bankruptcy. Back alimony and child support payments, many student loan debts, and current tax debts fall into this category.

Reaffirm

Reaffirming a debt is a process that waives the discharge on a debt per the bankruptcy court and alters your obligation to pay the debt despite your bankruptcy.

341 Meeting

Sometimes called the Meeting of Creditors or 341 Meeting of Creditors, the 341 Meeting is an opportunity for your creditors to dispute your bankruptcy request. The gathering includes you, your bankruptcy lawyer, the trustee, and your creditors.

These terms include those most commonly heard in bankruptcy, but all cases are different and you might come across terms not included on this list. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer to explain a word or phrase to you. Very few people begin the bankruptcy process understanding all of the terms associated with filing and the best bankruptcy lawyers are happy to take the time to explain how the process works and what things mean.

If you’d like to discuss bankruptcy terms further or you are ready to begin the process of filing schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.

Archive

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Do I Find a Bankruptcy Attorney in Clearwater?

If you're facing financial hardships and are considering bankruptcy in Clearwater, finding the right attorney can be a critical decision....
Read More

Should I Sell My Home to Get Out of Debt?

Debt is a common modern problem. Whether it's credit cards, student loans, or medical bills, debt can cripple even the...
Read More

What to Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer

What should you ask a bankruptcy lawyer? Financial problems can be incredibly stressful. One option that many people turn to...
Read More

Is It Easy to File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals and businesses to eliminate or reorganize their debts. It offers relief to...
Read More

How to Stay Motivated to Pay Off Debt

If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. The average American has tens of thousands of dollars in...
Read More

Can I Fire My Bankruptcy Attorney?

Filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Your bankruptcy attorney plays a crucial role in navigating you through the process. Unfortunately,...
Read More

Am I Responsible for My Parent’s Credit Card Debt?

As we grow older, our parents also age. Sometimes they become dependent on us in many ways. Even if they...
Read More

How to Hide from Debt Collectors

There are many ways to “hide” from debt collectors. You can ignore their calls, not answer your door, or ask...
Read More

Is Your Spouse Responsible for Credit Card Debt in Florida?

Debt can be overwhelming, especially when you're not sure who is responsible for it. That's why it's important to understand...
Read More

What Happens If You Ignore a Debt Collector?

Debt can be overwhelming. It’s easy to let bills pile up and miss payments, and before you know it, you...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions