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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Law Blog

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.

What does an automatic stay do in a bankruptcy?

There are several reasons why a person who is struggling with high debt could find a personal bankruptcy helpful. For one, a bankruptcy sometimes significantly reduces a person's overall debt load through debt discharges. Also, a bankruptcy sometimes give an individual a chance to restructure their debt so it is easier for them to make their payments. Today's post will be focused on another feature of bankruptcy that can be a very big help to debtors: the automatic stay.

Generally, when a personal bankruptcy filing is made, an automatic stay is put in place. What does this stay do? While such a stay is in effect, there are a wide variety of different actions (including making direct contact) that it prevents creditors and debt collectors of the debt the debtor holds from taking against the debtor and it can push the pause button on a wide range of different types of proceedings against the debtor, such as:

  • Foreclosure proceedings.
  • Eviction proceedings.
  • Wage garnishments.
  • Utility disconnections.
  • Public benefit overpayment collection efforts.

Treating medical debt problems

Sometimes, an individual suffers an accident or illness that requires significant medical treatment. Unfortunately, in some instances, a medical treatment a person needs to help get themselves back on track health-wise ends up derailing them financially. This is because, sometimes, the expenses of medical treatments leave a person facing massive bills and problems with medical debt. 

One situation that can lead to a person facing more medical debt than they can handle is if they had a medical crisis and did not have insurance. 

What could endanger a Chapter 7 debt discharge?

Generally, when a person files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and meets the qualification requirements for this type of bankruptcy, one of the things they will receive in the bankruptcy is a discharge of debt. Now, this discharge may not apply to all of a person's debts, as there are certain debts which generally are unable to be discharged in a bankruptcy. Also, there are certain things that could jeopardize a person's ability to receive a discharge altogether. In today's post, we will cover some of the things that could lead to a bankruptcy court deciding to not grant a person a debt discharge in a Chapter 7 case.

One is if the person is found to have committed wrongful conduct, such as lying to the court during bankruptcy proceedings, fraudulently destroying or concealing assets  or committing a fraudulent asset transfer. Thus, during bankruptcy proceedings and when preparing for such proceedings, it can be incredibly important for a person to not engage in conduct that could be considered deceptive or fraudulent.  

When credit card debt outpaces savings

A recent study indicates that many Americans may be in a potentially precarious situation when it comes to their credit card debt as compared to their savings. 

In the study, released by, a survey was conducted in which individuals were asked questions about credit card debt and emergency savings. 

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