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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy exemptions 101

While it is true that personal bankruptcy is intended to account for substantial amounts of debt, the process is not designed to compromise the financial security and/or personal integrity of filers. As a result, Florida state and federal guidelines regarding bankruptcy exemptions are in place to allow for the reasonable comfort and independence of people that file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy differs from other forms in the way that it involves the liquidation of assets to eliminate personal debt. As a result, many kinds of personal property are subject to bankruptcy proceedings. Findlaw explains, however, that bankruptcy law policies regarding exemptions protect several types of assets. It is worth noting that bankruptcy exemption guidelines in the state of Florida do vary from those in other states. For instance, the Florida Bar Association notes that there is no cap on the value of the state’s Homestead exemption as long as the property meets other requirements.

Certain IRA accounts may be considered exempt in FL bankruptcy cases

During hard economic times, some Florida residents are compelled to declare bankruptcy as a way to gain financial freedom from uncontrollable debt. As part of the bankruptcy process, people are required to list their assets and property as well as their debt. The trustee assigned to the case has the ability to reclaim certain property items from the debtor and distribute the funds to the creditors. However, not all property is eligible for seizure.

Although the federal government has a set of bankruptcy exemptions, each state is able to set their own standards as to what can be repossessed, as well as what items are exempt. In the majority of states across the country, nonspousal inherited IRA accounts can be used to repay creditors following a bankruptcy. Yet in seven states, including Florida, IRA funds that have been inherited from a person other than a spouse are protected from reclamation.

Preventing personal bankruptcy begins at a young age

Parenting involves striking the fragile balance between teaching children effective life strategies and allowing them to make some mistakes in order to learn by experience. In fact, sometimes the most effective way to learn a lesson is to fail. Unfortunately, however, some mistakes are more difficult to bounce back from than others. The state of Florida is responding to evidence that people’s financial futures can depend largely on early education by considering legislation and teaching practices.

In considering what approach to take to promote financial literacy among high school graduates and young people, the Florida Department of Education determined that it would only cost the state approximately $140,000 to implement a one-semester high school course statewide. The “money course” would be implemented through the passage of a bill that was introduced last year, and was designed to combat the issue of the reckless spending habits and overall lack of financial awareness of high school graduates throughout the state and country.

Delinquent payments big or small cause huge issues

There are many reasons why people fall behind on bills, and many of them are no fault of borrowers. Unfortunately, however, creditors throughout the state of Florida and beyond are typically unconcerned about why people fail to pay off debts or how small those debts actually are. Understanding how and why delinquent payments can impact people’s credit ratings is important to preventing serious credit issues in the future.

A major problem for many people is that they are not familiar with the information listed on their credit reports, and therefore do not know when negative actions appear. Everything from unpaid credit cards to medical expenses can appear on a credit report, and sometimes a credit rating may reflect inaccurate information. A person’s payment history is the most significant factor in determining his or her credit score, so it’s worth checking that one’s credit report is accurate and ding-free.

An introduction to Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Many Florida residents understand that they need help to address serious financial challenges, but they may not always know what kind of assistance for legal options they are entitled to. Filing for bankruptcy is one option that has proven to be very successful for countless Americans throughout the years, but different forms of bankruptcy can be more helpful to people under specific circumstances.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in several ways, one of them being that a trust fund is established in order to pay off creditors. A person known as a trustee is charged with managing the trust, and enforces the terms of the bankruptcy plan by distributing trust funds to the appropriate parties. People that file for Chapter 13 agree to pay into the trust fund and follow the terms of the bankruptcy agreement, while being released of some of their liability as debtors.

Florida undermines personal bankruptcy protections

Filing for bankruptcy gives people the opportunity to dispel large amounts of personal debt. The process also ensures that filers are not pursued for those debt liabilities once the bankruptcy is complete. Therefore, creditors that continue to go after borrowers for debts already discharged in bankruptcy can be accused of breaking Florida bankruptcy law policies.

In response to the national recession and subsequent high unemployment rate in the state, Florida barrowed over $3 billion in federal funds to cover unemployment claims. As a result, major changes were made to the state’s unemployment program to account for the state’s debt. Governor Rick Scott, along with legislatures, increased eligibility requirements and eliminated some unemployment benefits. Beyond that, aggressive efforts were taken to recoup overpayments, which included enforcing wage garnishments and using collection agencies.

Could student loans be dispelled through personal bankruptcy?

Millions of Americans are struggling with major financial issues, and unpaid student loan debt is a major part of the problem for many. Making the decision to attend a Florida university is often based at least partly on the prospect of improving one’s ultimate earning potential, but too many college graduates are learning the hard way that employment factors and staggering student loan costs are keeping them financially strained.

The chairman of the Senate panel on education is introducing a piece of legislation that many are regarding as a glimpse at a larger, more sweeping policy on federal higher education. In addition to holding higher education establishments accountable for the employment and dropout rates of their students, the proposed bill would make college more affordable and allow some student loans to be discharged through Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The facts about inheriting financial challenges

Adults with aging parents are often confronted with a number of financial and emotional difficulties, as adult children may have to take on the role of caregiver as well as manage their parents’ personal affairs. The situation can become even more difficult when elderly parents have accumulated unpaid bills and/or a considerable amount of personal debt. Here are a few key concepts that Florida families should keep in mind when approaching the debts of a recently deceased parent.

Creditors will typically pursue a deceased person’s estate to recuperate moneys owed. As a result, the amount of inheritance that a son or daughter receives can be affected by the debt collection process. However, adult children are not normally held directly responsible for repaying their parent’s debts after they pass away. For instance, adult children should not be subjected to harassment from collection agencies and are not liable for their deceased parent’s outstanding credit card debts unless their name is on them.

Why filing for bankruptcy in FL is so important to one man

Legal troubles can quickly result in financial difficulties, as individuals are often forced to commit a great deal of their financial resources to defending themselves in court over an extended period of time. It’s for that reason that the opportunity to file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the state of Florida is taken so seriously by some of those confronted with the prospect of conviction.

Prior to the beginning of his trial over accusations of insider trading, one man understood that Goldman, Sachs, the investment bank would cover his legal expenses as long as he was cleared of all charges. Because the individual was a bank board member, Goldman is obligated to pay for his legal services through the entirety of his case; though, if his appeals bid fails and his conviction stands, the man will be forced to reimburse Goldman for around $50 million in legal fees.

One manís Chapter 7 didn't tell whole story

The process of filing for bankruptcy can be long and complicated in some cases. In fact, anyone considering bankruptcy in Miami, Florida, is advised to first consult with an experienced bankruptcy law attorney in order to determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option for them, as well as guarantee that the process is completed correctly. One case illustrates how failing to fully disclose the facts about one’s financial situation can seriously impact your personal bankruptcy case.

In order to proceed with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual is required to accurately cite the full extent of his or her debts. A list of assets is compiled and made available to the public. Failing to fully disclose one’s property can equate to bankruptcy fraud in some cases, potentially resulting in imprisonment and/or hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal penalties. One prominent restaurant investor is now having to answer for his Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims, since it has come to light that he failed to note owning a portion of several restaurants.

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