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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Law Blog

Are medical debt struggles particularly prevalent in Florida?

One would hope that, after dealing with a major health problem, a Floridian wouldn't also have to deal with medical debt struggles. Unfortunately, a recent report indicates that struggles with medical debt may be particularly common here in Florida, along with Texas, as compared to other large states here in the U.S.

The report was done by the Commonwealth Fund and it looked into a variety of different things regarding medical insurance and medical costs in four large states: Florida, Texas, California and New York. 

When a family business is facing debt troubles

Some individuals here in Florida own a family business. For many of those with family businesses, their family business is a truly major part of their life. Thus, when a family business goes into financial trouble, the owner's whole life can be thrown into disarray.

Consequently, a family business owner can have some very serious worries on their mind if their business runs into problems with debt. For one, they may be worried about the business itself. Will the business be able to overcome the debt problems in a way that allows it to have a strong financial future? Will the debt troubles lead to the business having to be brought to an end? The shutting down of a cherished family business can be remarkably hard on a person.

What things can disqualify a person from Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

There are some bankruptcy and debt relief options a given person who is facing difficulties with debt might not have access to. This is because some options have strict eligibility requirements attached to them. An example of this can be seen in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are several different things that could make a debtor ineligible for receiving Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

One such thing is their bankruptcy discharge history. Under bankruptcy law, a person cannot get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have had debt discharged under a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy within a certain time period. The time period is the previous six years when it comes to debt discharged through Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the previous eight years when it comes to debt discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Bill would change how some student debt is treated in bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can have many benefits for individuals who are deep in debt. One is that a person may be able to get quite a bit of debt discharged in a bankruptcy. An important thing to note though is that there are some kinds of debt that are, generally, non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. One such kind of debt is student loan debt.

Under current federal law, getting student loan debt discharged in a bankruptcy, whether it be private student loan debt or debt regarding government-issued student loans, is extremely difficult. A bill that was recently introduced to Congress proposes changing this when it comes to private student loan debt.

What is the maximum debt limit for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

One debt relief option out there is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good fit for a given person who is facing difficulties related to debt depends on a great range of factors. One is whether they would be eligible for this type of bankruptcy.

There are some things that can disqualify a person from Chapter 13 eligibility. One is if they have too much debt.  This is because, under U.S. bankruptcy law, there is a maximum debt limit for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

Underwater mortgage levels falling in Miami-Dade, though still high

Miami-Dade County is experiencing a drop in underwater mortgages, according to a recent report on underwater mortgage levels in 2014's final quarter.

According to the report, there were over 30,000 fewer homes in the county where the property's value was less than the mortgage balance for the property in last year's fourth quarter than there were in 2013's fourth quarter.

Real-estate-related debt troubles not limited to just mortgages

Troubles with real-estate-related debts can lead to a person facing some major financial troubles, including the possibility of foreclosure. Thus, a person can have some pretty big concerns when they are experiencing struggles with a real-estate-related debt. Will I lose my home? Will I have to leave my community? Will I be ruined financially? Will I be able to financially recover from this?

Our firm understands what a stressful and troubling situation facing real-estate-related debt difficulties can be and we work hard to help our clients who are in such situations understand what debt relief options they have and pursue the options they ultimately decide on. 

U.S. seeing bigger and bigger credit card debt increases

It appears that, lately, U.S. consumers are turning more and more to credit card debt in their financial actions. A recent study, issued by CardHub, contained statistics regarding consumer credit card debt in the country in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The statistics indicate that, over this three-year period, there has been quite a bit of growth in credit card debt.

All three of these years saw an increase in credit card debt in America. Furthermore, the increase size got bigger and bigger over the course of this time period. The 2012 increase was $36.7 billion, the 2013 increase was $38.8 billion and the 2014 increase was over $57 billion.

Drawbacks of short sales

One of the mortgage-debt-related difficulties some homeowners face is having negative equity. A homeowner has negative equity if their home is worth less than the mortgage debt they have on the home. According to RealtyTrac estimates, having mortgage debt that exceeds their home's value by at least 25 percent is a situation that around 7 million homeowners here in the U.S. are in.

A negative equity situation can be remarkably tough on a homeowner, particularly if they are also facing other financial difficulties. Thus, those in a negative equity situation may be looking for ways to address their situation. One option such individual sometimes think about is reaching a short sale arrangement with their mortgage lender. A short sale is an arrangement in which a home is sold and the proceeds of the sale go towards the mortgage debt, but the selling price is less than the mortgage debt.

What things does an automatic stay not stop?

As we discussed in our previous post this week, the automatic stay in a bankruptcy can put a halt to quite a few different types of proceedings. There are, however, some proceedings that an automatic stay has no effect on. Today, we will point out some of the things that an automatic stay is not able to stop.

As we mentioned last post, wage garnishments generally are halted by an automatic stay. One type of wage garnishment that an automatic stay does not block however is a wage garnishment that is done to get repayment on a loan that was taken out against a pension.

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