Probably you have heard that bankruptcy should be the ‘last resort’ for someone facing serious financial crisis. Well, this piece of advice is oversimplified because you can lose your legal rights by delaying. It is important, according to The Benenati Law firm, to get timely legal counsel regarding bankruptcy if you intend to use the bankruptcy procedure to save your car or home.
While bankruptcy can help you prevent foreclosure or repossession of assets, it can’t help once the selling process is complete and your property interest in the asset has been terminated under the Florida law.
The constitutional authority over bankruptcy cases
In Florida, federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. That means you can only file for Bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Courts. These are units governed by the Federal District Court system, an institution that oversees all bankruptcy cases.
Generally, the US district court system has 94 federal judicial districts. Each state has one or more districts. Note that the Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, Guam and Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico also have district courts created to hear bankruptcy and federal cases. In Florida, there are three federal district courts. These include;
- The United States District Court for Northern District of Florida
- The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
It’s worth mentioning that the federal government establishes the bankruptcy laws in accordance with the United States Constitution. But it wasn’t until the 1800s when the US Congress validated a few statutes that granted jurisdiction to federal courts to handle bankruptcy cases.
In 1800, Congress voted in favor of the first bankruptcy statute that offered federal jurisdiction. In 1803, Congress passed a similar statute, repeated it in 1841 and 1843. Lastly, Congress passed a similar act intended to govern federal bankruptcy up to 1878. This act granted the district court jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases in the United States.
About six decades later, the district courts were overloaded bankruptcy cases. Congress recognized the need to establish independent bankruptcy courts to help handle the district court’s caseloads. Note that all bankruptcy case, whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, are handled federal courts in Florida.
Seek legal help
The process of filing for bankruptcy in Florida isn’t as easy as most people think. You must have an in-depth of the bankruptcy law, prepare all the necessary paperwork, and file the bankruptcy case with the right court within a specific time frame. Whether or not you have the basic understanding of the bankruptcy law, the chances are that you will make mistakes that, in worst cases, might render your case invalid.
This is the primary reason you should hire an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law. These professionals have studied bankruptcy law for many years, handled numerous bankruptcy cases, and can help you make the necessary preparations, file the case in time, and represent you in court.