Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy Attorneys in Boca Raton

Admitting that you’re struggling financially can be hard. Many people delay reaching out to a bankruptcy law firm because they worry about being judged or feel embarrassed about their money problems. But don’t let fear stop you from seeking help, especially if you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida. The sooner you talk to a bankruptcy attorney near you, the quicker you can get back in control of your finances and ease the stress and worry caused by overwhelming debt.

As bankruptcy attorneys with over 20 years of experience, we understand that numerous circumstances can bring about extreme financial difficulties. Job loss, severe illness or disability, or the death of a loved one are just a few of the reasons why people are unable to meet their financial obligations. We can help you get back on your feet.

Table of Contents

Section One:

Best Bankruptcy Lawyers in Boca Raton

Best Boca Raton Bankruptcy Attorneys

Filing for bankruptcy can bring a sense of relief, but the whole process can also be quite overwhelming. When you’re choosing a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s important to have confidence that you’ve picked the right attorneys to handle your legal matters.

So, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Start by doing your research. Here are seven crucial qualities to consider when looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Boca Raton.


At the very least, a bankruptcy lawyer should have completed law school, successfully passed the Florida bar exam, and hold membership in the United States Federal Bar. This allows them to practice in the US Federal District Court in Florida.

Free Bankruptcy Consultation

A caring bankruptcy lawyer goes the extra mile by providing a free consultation. During this initial consultation, they’ll sit down with you, carefully examine your financial situation, and offer valuable insights as part of their services.


Your financial future is super important, so don’t pick a lawyer without experience. You need a lawyer who knows what they’re doing to get the results you want. An experienced lawyer can avoid making costly mistakes and save you time and money.

No matter which type of bankruptcy you’re filing, make sure the lawyer knows all about it. When you talk to them for the first time, ask about their experience with bankruptcy cases, how long they’ve been doing bankruptcy law, and if they’ve worked on cases like yours.

Fair Rates

Given your financial challenges, it’s natural to worry about legal fees. Avoid the temptation to go for the cheapest attorney, as this can lead to losses, including your assets. Instead, choose an attorney with fair fees based on their experience.

Reputable law firms will explain their fees upfront, provide a written fee agreement, and stick to its terms throughout your case. Also, check if they offer zero-money-down Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


Bankruptcy can be really confusing if you’re not familiar with it. It’s easy to feel lost. That’s why it’s important to find a bankruptcy lawyer who talks to you in a way that’s easy to understand and stays in touch regularly. Before hiring a bankruptcy lawyer in Boca Raton, make sure they have a clear communication plan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as:

  • How often will they contact you? Under what circumstances?
  • What is their preferred method of contact?
  • If you contact them, how quickly will they respond?
  • Is their communication policy guaranteed?

You should also know who you’ll be talking to regularly. Find out if it will be a paralegal, attorney, associate, or partner. If your regular contact isn’t an attorney, can you still speak to one if you want to? A reliable bankruptcy attorney will have a system in place for you to discuss your case with the person who knows it best when necessary.


It’s important to have a bankruptcy attorney who values your time. If they’ve set up a meeting or phone call with you, it’s reasonable to expect them to be on time and well-prepared. Attorneys should also be punctual when it comes to filing deadlines and court appearances because any delay or oversight can seriously affect your case, possibly causing delays or even dismissal. So, seek an attorney who promises to be on time and makes it a priority.


When choosing a bankruptcy lawyer, people often focus on qualifications, experience, and fees but overlook an equally crucial factor: personal and professional compatibility with the lawyer. Having a lawyer who aligns with your style is essential for a positive experience.

During bankruptcy, you’ll share a lot of personal information with your lawyer. It’s vital to have someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing everything with. If you’re not at ease, you might withhold important details due to embarrassment or discomfort, potentially harming your case.

Before hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, consider whether their approach matches your preferences and needs for effective communication and trust.

Questions to Ask A Bankruptcy Attorney

Before your first meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer, make a list of questions to keep you on track. Along with the ones we talked about earlier, here are some more questions you might want to add:

Is filing bankruptcy right for me?

Bankruptcy is not the answer for everyone. Ask your bankruptcy lawyer to explain why bankruptcy is the best choice in your circumstance. 

Which type of bankruptcy should I file?

For most people, there are two important kinds of bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 7, you might have to give up some of your property that isn’t protected by the law in exchange for getting rid of your debt. In Chapter 13, you don’t lose any property, but you have to follow a three-to-five-year plan to repay your debts. A good lawyer should be able to explain these types of bankruptcy in simple terms and tell you which one is best for your situation and why.

What alternatives to bankruptcy should I consider?

If bankruptcy isn’t right for you, ask what other options you should consider. Some bankruptcy alternatives may include debt consolidation, negotiating with creditors or establishing a repayment or debt management plan. Remember to ask the bankruptcy lawyer how much experience they have in handling these issues.

How much does filing for bankruptcy cost? 

Your lawyer should clearly and carefully explain how they charge for their services and give you a written agreement that spells out all the costs involved. Make sure you grasp not just the lawyer’s fees but also any filing fees and additional expenses you’ll need to cover. Take the time to talk about how and when you’ll make payments. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if anything about the fees or billing is unclear to you. Your lawyer has a duty to make sure you fully understand these financial aspects.

What is the bankruptcy process?

Since you’ll be deeply involved in the bankruptcy process in the coming months, it’s crucial to have a clear idea of what’s ahead. Your bankruptcy lawyer should be able to explain each step in simple terms and let you know when they plan to file your case. This way, you’ll have a clear starting point for the  bankruptcy timeline.

What will a bankruptcy lawyer require from me?

You will also have some work to do during the bankruptcy process. Your lawyer will need certain documents from you, such as tax returns, pay stubs, real estate documents, and more. The materials you’ll have to produce will vary depending on the specifics of your case. You should also expect to fill out some paperwork and turn it over to your lawyer to review.

Do bankruptcy lawyers help rebuild credit scores afterwards?

After going through bankruptcy, your credit score may suffer, but it’s possible to rebuild it. Some bankruptcy attorneys can help by checking your credit reports for accuracy and suggesting steps to improve it.

At Klein Law Group, we take it a step further. We’re currently the only firm in South Florida offering this unique program. We provide you with the opportunity to rebuild your credit through our “7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score” Program, which is an online credit improvement course included at no extra cost for all our bankruptcy clients. Don’t forget to inquire whether your attorney offers this valuable service.

If you have any questions about bankruptcy or want to set up a free initial consultation with our experienced bankruptcy lawyers contact us today!



Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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You’ve probably heard of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy but may be uncertain about it. Let’s clarify. We’ll provide a detailed explanation of this type of bankruptcy, helping you understand what it involves, what to expect, and whether it suits your situation.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, also called liquidation or straight bankruptcy, is a legal process that lets you wipe out most of your unsecured debt. This means you can start fresh and take control of your financial future.

However, Chapter 7 isn’t as easy as hitting a reset button. It involves selling some assets to pay your creditors. To navigate this process effectively, you need an experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer who can protect your assets and rights.

Advantages of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help people who have a lot of debt in many ways. The biggest benefits are:

1. Instant Relief. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, an “automatic stay” kicks in. This stops most legal actions and debt collection efforts against you, giving you instant relief. Creditors can’t harass you, your home can’t be foreclosed, your wages can’t be taken, and utility companies can’t shut off your service.

2. Speed. Florida bankruptcy courts usually discharge debts within four months of filing.

3. Accessibility. You can file for bankruptcy regardless of how much debt you have. There’s no specific minimum or maximum debt amount needed to do so.

4. Freedom. After the process is done, you won’t have to pay most of your debts anymore, and you can keep the money you earn in the future. This gives you the chance to make a fresh start!

5. Finality. When a court gives you a discharge, you’re done with your old debt. You don’t have to follow any required payment plan.

6. Generous Exemptions. In Florida, you can usually keep your car and home after bankruptcy. Florida has rules that protect your home, but if you have a mortgage, you still have to pay it; otherwise, you could lose your home.

7. Starting Fresh. Since you usually don’t owe money after bankruptcy, you can use your income for new expenses and begin fixing your credit. Creditors might give you a credit card after bankruptcy because they know you can only file Chapter 7 once every eight years.

Disadvantages of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida

Naturally, this type of bankruptcy comes with a few drawbacks as well.

1. You may lose some valuable assets. In a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can protect important things like your car and home. However, there are some things that aren’t protected. The court might decide to sell these non-protected items and give the money to creditors who have filed claims. This means you could lose items that are valuable both in terms of money and personal meaning, like property, jewelry, art, or other personal belongings.

2. Some debts aren’t dischargeable. Chapter 7 won’t eliminate certain types of debt, including:

  • Student Loans (although dischargeable if you can prove a hardship)
  • Family Law Support Obligations, such as Alimony or Child Support
  • Certain Tax Debts
  • SEC Violations
  • Fraud Claims
  • Criminal Fines and Penalties

3. Bankruptcy appears on your credit report. Reference to the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to ten years.

4. Co-signers to debt will still be liable. If you have a debt with someone who isn’t filing for bankruptcy, they still have to pay it even if you don’t. This can lead to problems in your relationship.

5. You can only file every eight years. The rule that says you can only file Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every 8 years means you should be sure you’re going to get rid of a lot of debt when you file for bankruptcy. If you know you’re going to have a big bill, like medical expenses, soon, it might be better to wait until you’ve received those bills before filing for bankruptcy.

In the end, you have to weigh the pros and cons of a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney They can help you make the right decision and get answers to these four important questions:

  • Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminate enough debt to be worthwhile?
  • Will I lose property that I want to keep?
  • Does bankruptcy make financial sense for me?
  • Will bankruptcy give me peace of mind?

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually simple. Most of the hard work happens before you actually file for it. To give you an idea of how it works and how long it takes in Florida, we’ll explain the nine main steps of the process.

1. Take the Florida “Means Test”. To see if you can get Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your lawyer needs to figure out if you can pay back some or all of your debt. You can qualify for Chapter 7 if your income in the last six months (when looked at like it’s for a whole year) is less than the median household income levels in Florida.

If you don’t pass the means test, don’t worry. Chapter 13 bankruptcy or another option might work better for you. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer near you to explore what’s best for you.

2. Gather and Complete Bankruptcy Paperwork. Before you file for bankruptcy, you need to gather all your important financial papers like tax records, credit card bills, bank statements, pay stubs, loan papers, property documents, and more. Your bankruptcy lawyer will use these papers to fill out the bankruptcy forms and other papers the court needs. At this time, you’ll also talk to your lawyer about what you want to do with any property that can’t be protected in bankruptcy.

3. Obtain Credit Counseling. Federal law requires that before you file for bankruptcy, you have to take a credit counseling class. It’s usually a 30-minute class that you can do online, on the phone, or in person. After you finish, you get a certificate to show you completed it, and you have to include this certificate when you file for bankruptcy. You can find a list of government-approved credit counselors here.

4. File the Bankruptcy Petition. Next, you have to file the bankruptcy petition and other relevant documents with the clerk of your local bankruptcy court. If you live in Palm Beach or Broward counties, you’ll probably file in the Southern District of Florida.

5. Receive Court-Appointed Bankruptcy Trustee. After you have filed the petition, the bankruptcy court will choose a person called a bankruptcy trustee to handle your case. These trustees check your papers to make sure everything is correct. They might sell any property that can’t be protected and give the money to your creditors fairly.

Trustees also have the power to take legal action against you to undo certain transfers of money or property that happened just before you filed for bankruptcy. This can be when you paid some creditors more or tried to hide stuff. The trustee can ask for that money or stuff back so it can be shared fairly among all your creditors.

6. Attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors. Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, the court will tell your creditors about it and invite them to a meeting called the “341 meeting of creditors.” This meeting happens about 20 to 40 days after you file. At this meeting, the trustee and any creditors who come can ask you questions under oath about your money matters. If they don’t finish in one go, they might schedule another meeting. Most of the time, creditors don’t show up, but you have to be there.

7. Prepare for Asset Seizure. After the trustee checks that your papers are right, they can start selling stuff that can’t be protected and give the money to your creditors. They might also take you to court if they think you did tricky things to keep stuff from your creditors.

At this point, having a skilled lawyer is very important. Your lawyer will make sure the trustee is only going after things that can’t be protected. If there’s a court case, your lawyer will strongly defend what you did.

8. Take a Financial Management Course. Before your debts are canceled, you have to take a money management class from a government-approved agency. You can do the class in person, online, or by phone within 60 days after the 341 Meeting of Creditors.

9. Receive Order of Discharge. At the end of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the court will give you a document called the “discharge order” if creditors or the trustee don’t have any problems with your case. This document means you’ve done everything you needed to do according to federal and Florida bankruptcy laws. You don’t have to pay back the debts that can be canceled anymore.

My Chapter 7 bankruptcy is complete– now what?

Once your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is done, you can move forward with your life. That means learning how to manage your money better and start fixing your credit.


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Chapter 13 is another kind of bankruptcy, and it’s the second most common one after Chapter 7. To help you figure out which one is better for you, let’s go through a detailed explanation of both types.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a legal way for people with regular incomes to pay back their debts to both secured (like a car loan) and unsecured (like credit card) creditors. It’s often called “debt reorganization” or “a wage earner’s plan.” With Chapter 13, you can keep stuff you own but might have to sell in Chapter 7. You make a plan to pay off your debts in three to five years.

This type of bankruptcy can be good if you can’t do Chapter 7 and want to keep more of your things. Chapter 13 also forgives more debts than Chapter 7.

We’ll talk about the good and bad parts of Chapter 13 and how it works below. If you still have questions, just get in touch with our team of Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers in Palm Beach and Broward counties. We’re here to help you get out of debt and feel better.

Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Florida

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy might look like a quick fix for debt, some people find that Chapter 13’s payment plan is better in the long run. Here are the main reasons why:

1. Immediate Protection. Just like in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, when you file for Chapter 13, the court will put an “automatic stay” in place. This stops most collection actions against you, including things like foreclosure defense. Creditors can’t sue you, bother you for money, or take your wages. In Chapter 13, this stay also protects people who share your debt from creditors bothering them.

2. Manageable repayment plan. Chapter 13 lets you put all your debts together and make one monthly payment. This payment depends on how much are your income and expenses. You and your bankruptcy lawyer will make a plan that fits your situation. This plan can range from paying 1% to 100% of your unsecured debt. How much you pay depends on how much you earn and spend.

3. Asset Retention. With Chapter 13, you usually get to keep most, if not all, of your stuff that isn’t protected. Because you’re paying back some of your debt in Chapter 13, you can usually keep things that might have been sold off in Chapter 7. This can be great if you want to keep valuable stuff like jewelry or if you’re running a business and need to keep it going even though you’re filing for bankruptcy.

4. Broad Discharge of Debt. Once you finish your payment plan in Chapter 13, the court might cancel some debts that can’t be canceled in Chapter 7. This could include certain taxes you owe, debts from a divorce, or even things like HOA liens or second mortgages on your house.

5. Debt Reduction. Chapter 13 doesn’t make you pay all your unsecured debt, just a part of it. How much you pay depends on your situation. Your bankruptcy lawyer can help figure out the right amount and a repayment plan that works best for you.

6. Relative ease in rebuilding credit. Creditors like Chapter 13 better because you’re paying back some of your debt. With Chapter 13, you can start fixing your credit about three to four months after you file for bankruptcy. By the time you’re done and get your bankruptcy discharge, your credit score might even be higher than when you started.

Disadvantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida

1. Requires patience and discipline. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a long-term plan, so you won’t get rid of all your debt quickly. You’ll need to stick to your monthly payment, which can be tough and needs discipline.

2. Requires sufficient disposable income. Only petitioners with enough disposable income are eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

3. Debt limits. To qualify for Chapter 13, your unsecured debt must be below $394,725 and secured debt under $1,184,200.

4. Bankruptcy appears on credit reports. Even after bankruptcy, it stays on your credit report for up to ten years. But it doesn’t always stop you from getting new loans or buying a house.

To decide if Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida is a good choice for you, it’s a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer in Palm Beach or Broward County. They can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages and figure out the best option for your situation.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process in Florida

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida can be a complex process, and having an experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer to guide you is crucial. Read on to get a summary of the main steps and phases involved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

1. Obtain Credit Counseling. According to federal law, anyone filing for bankruptcy must complete credit counseling before filing. This counseling usually takes about 30 minutes and can be done online. You’ll get a certificate to show you’ve completed it, and you need to include it with your bankruptcy paperwork. You can find a list of government-approved credit counselors here.

2. Prepare the Bankruptcy Petition. Your Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer will do some important paperwork for you. They will fill out forms that tell the court about your debts, your money, and your living costs. They’ll also make a plan for paying back some of your debts. This plan depends on how much extra money you have after paying your bills and other important costs. This plan will also say how much you can pay each month. It’s based on what you earn, what you need to live, and sometimes, what valuable things you own.

3. File the Bankruptcy Petition. Your bankruptcy lawyer in Florida will file all the paperwork to the local court where bankruptcy cases are handled, which is usually in the Southern District of Florida. Once this is done, the automatic stay starts right away.

4. Appointment of the Trustee. Once the court gets your bankruptcy request, they will choose someone called a trustee to look after your case. This trustee’s job is to check your proposed debt repayment plan to make sure it follows all the rules. They’ll also be in charge of collecting your payments as per your plan and distribute these payments to your creditors fairly.

5. Begin Making Payments. The first payment is due within 30 days of filing or prior to the Section 341 creditors’ meeting, whichever is first to occur.

6. Attend Creditor Meeting. Within 40 days of filing, you’ll attend a meeting known as the Section 341 creditors’ meeting. The bankruptcy trustee and creditors might ask questions about your debt and repayment plan, but creditors rarely show up. Your bankruptcy lawyer will be there with you. This is the only time you’ll meet the trustee or creditors in person, and it’s rare to appear in a courtroom before a judge.

7. Approval of Payment Plan. If there are no objections, within a few weeks of the 341 Meeting, the court will approve or confirm your repayment plan.

8. Discharge Order. When you’ve finished making all the payments in your Chapter 13 repayment plan, the court will give you an order of discharge. This means you no longer owe any of the remaining debts to your creditors, and your financial record is clear.

If you’re thinking about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in Palm Beach and Broward counties and have questions or worries about it, get in touch with our skilled bankruptcy lawyers right away. We’re here to help you start fresh and free from financial burdens!


Section Four

Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida

Choosing to file for bankruptcy in Florida can be a tough decision. However, it might be the right move for you. In this section, we aim to address your questions and ease your worries about bankruptcy in Florida.

I recently moved to Florida. Am I eligible to file bankruptcy in Florida?

There’s no specific requirement for how long you must have lived in the state before filing. However, if you’re a new resident, you might not be able to use Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions.

Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, to benefit from Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions, you need to have lived in the state for at least two years before filing. If you’ve been a Florida resident for less than two years, the court will use the exemptions from the state where you lived the longest during the 180 days before filing.

What are Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions?

Exemptions are like rules that decide which things you can keep when you file for bankruptcy. Florida requires bankruptcy petitioners to use Florida state exemptions.  Some examples of Florida exemptions include:

Exemption Type Exemption Description
Homestead You can exempt an unlimited amount of equity in your home or other property that meets the homestead requirement as long as the property is no larger than a half-acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere.
Personal Property You can exempt up to $1,000 in value of personal property, such as cash, art, furniture, electronics, etc.
Motor Vehicle You can exempt up to $1,000 equity in one vehicle (more if you’re married and filing jointly)
“Wild Card” If a debtor doesn’t use the homestead exemption, the debtor can claim an additional $4,000 of personal property.
Pension and Retirement Accounts ERISA qualified plans (401(k), 403(b), IRA’s, etc.) and pensions are fully exempt as are public employee, teacher, and municipal employee retirement benefits.


What fees are involved with filing Bankruptcy in Florida?

When filing bankruptcy, you’ll have to pay administrative, education and legal fees.

In the Southern District of Florida, when you file for bankruptcy, you have to pay some fees. For Chapter 7, it’s $335, and for Chapter 13, it’s $310. You might also have to pay around $50 to $100 for counseling and education, and $35 to $75 for your credit report.

The person who helps with your bankruptcy, called the trustee, gets $60 from the court for each case. If they sell any of your things that aren’t protected, they get some of the money from that sale. In Chapter 13, the trustee gets 10 percent of your payment plan.

The cost for a lawyer to help with bankruptcy can be different depending on many things, like how hard your case is, how the lawyer charges (hourly or a fixed fee), and how experienced and qualified the lawyer is.

Can I get a loan after filing for bankruptcy in Florida?

Yes. After bankruptcy, many people can work on building their credit and get new loans, like for a house or a car. The conditions of these loans might not be the same as they were before, but it’s still possible to get them.

Can I get a job with a bankruptcy on my credit report in Florida?

Yes. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against a person who has filed for bankruptcy. It should not affect your ability to get a job in the future.


As difficult as the decision is to file bankruptcy, it may also be the best thing for you and your family. Whether you opt for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protections or decide to go with a bankruptcy alternative, you can stop feeling suffocated by the weight of your debt and get the fresh financial start you need.

If you are considering pursuing a bankruptcy in South Florida, in cities like Parkland, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Dania Beach, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach, Wilton Manors, Highland Beach, Delray Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth, Greenacres, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys serving Palm Beach and Broward counties want to help you. Among other things, we can help you:

  • decide whether bankruptcy is right for you
  • determine which form of bankruptcy to file
  • file your bankruptcy petition
  • prepare a reorganization of debt and payment plan
  • ensure that your assets fall in the proper exemption category
  • help you rebuild your credit score.

We understand that this is a difficult time. It is our mission to help you through it as painlessly as possible and get you back on a sound financial footing.

Contact Klein Law Group at (561) 353-2800, or send a message today and schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

So that those considering using our services can be as informed as possible about their rights and the processes related to bankruptcy – ranging from foreclosure alternatives, documentary requirements, income source exemptions from creditors, amongst many others – we’ve answered the following questions for you.

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