The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida serves the greater Tampa area as well as other populated parts of Central Florida.
Since bankruptcy is a federal proceeding, those who file it will have to file their cases in the bankruptcy court for the Middle District of Florida.
In 2020, the number of overall bankruptcies have been down throughout the Middle District when compared to 2019. As of July of this year, there have been 12,818 bankruptcies filed throughout the District in 2020. This time last year, the number was 15,606.
Not surprisingly, the majority of these bankruptcies have been under Chapter 7, with just over 10,000 filings in 2020 thus far. By contrast, the District has seen only 170 Chapter 11 filings and 2 filings under Chapter 12.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the best alternative for struggling families
It’s not for everyone, but the reason so many people choose to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is because it is their best alternative for getting a fresh financial start after struggling under the weight of debt.
Filing a Chapter 7 is still a complicated court process, but many Florida families will find it relatively straightforward.
After completing the proper paperwork completely and accurately, an official called a trustee will hold a sworn examination, called a meeting of creditors, in which the debtors answer questions about their property.
The trustee will take control of and sell all the debtor’s non-exempt property, that is, property that is not protected from creditors under the law. Typically, debtors will have little or no non-exempt property to surrender.
If all goes as expected, the court will grant the debtor a discharge at the end of the process, meaning that, with a few exceptions, the debtor has no obligation to pay back his or her debts.