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April 2016 Archives

Don't be scared of losing everything in a Florida bankruptcy

Being in debt is scary, and you might be doing everything in your power to avoid dealing with the situation. However, you don't have to let fear drive your decisions and control your financial life. Instead, you can educate yourself to take the mystery out of your situation and regain control.

Debtor in Chapter 13 dismissal must pay attorney fees

If Florida debtors file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, their case is dismissed without confirmation, and the attorney fees are returned to the debtor by mistake, the attorney may be able to recover those fees. This was the April 14 ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the 1st Circuit. In doing so, the BAP concluded that a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said plan payments for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy held by a trustee must be returned to the debtor if the case was converted to a Chapter 7 does not apply in this case.

Refinancing a mortgage after filing for Chapter 13

After filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and starting on the required repayment plan, some Florida residents may wonder how soon they might be able to apply to refinance the mortgage on their homes. Some people want to do so while they are still in the repayment plan period. For others who have completed it and have had their final discharges, they may want to know how long a period different programs require to elapse before approving refinancing.

9 signs you are the victim of creditor harassment

Anytime a debt collection agent contacts you, it can feel like harassment or abuse. After all, if you have debt, the last thing you need is to feel hounded to make payments you just can't make. To make matters worse, creditors are aggressive and they can be relentless when it comes to seeking payments.

Research being done on individual Chapter 11 filings

Florida residents who have a lot of debt and the ability to earn future income may decide to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Though Chapter 11 is typically used by businesses, it is available to consumers as well. A preliminary report by the American Bankruptcy Institute's Task Force on Individual Chapter 11 found that somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases are filed by individuals.

Differences between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy filings

Florida residents thinking of filing for personal bankruptcy might like to know the difference between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. The majority of people select Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13. In fact, for 2015, of more than 800,000 personal bankruptcy filings that occurred during 2015, almost two-thirds were Chapter 7 and about one-third was Chapter 13.

Options for avoiding foreclosure

Although the overall economic climate in the United States has improved from what it was during the financial crisis, the need to stop foreclosure remains a pressing issue for many homeowners. Some parts of the country have communities in which 20 percent or more of the homes have market values that are below the secured debt their owners owe to the holders of the mortgages. However, there may be some relief for Florida residents facing foreclosure.

How much can creditors take with wage garnishments?

If you're deep in debt and behind on your payments, you could also be facing a lawsuit from a creditor. This lawsuit is likely to seek judgment against you, which, if granted by a judge, will give a creditor the ability to then garnish your wages for the purposes of paying off debts.

How bankruptcy affects credit scores

People in Florida who are unable to pay back all of their debts may consider filing for bankruptcy. The process can eliminate most unsecured debts that are owed or help debtors to establish a repayment plan that they can afford. While there are many benefits to filing for bankruptcy, one of the drawbacks is that bankruptcy will lower a person's credit score.

Eligibility requirements filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13

Filing for bankruptcy may be an option for Florida residents looking for a way to stop debt-related lawsuits. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop wage garnishments and repossessions while allowing debtors to reorganize their obligations through a manageable payment plan. As a general rule, as long as a person makes the payments as required, creditors cannot pursue collection proceedings.

Personal bankruptcies decline as commercial filings soar

Florida residents may not be surprised to learn that bankruptcy filings have been falling in recent years after surging in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Figures for the first quarter of 2016 from the American Bankruptcy Institute show a 5 percent drop in bankruptcy filings compared to the same period in 2015, but a 6 percent drop in consumer filings conceals a possibly alarming increase in the number of commercial bankruptcies.

Financial windfall may not keep you out of bankrutpcy

Money problems that lead to the need for bankruptcy protection usually do not occur overnight. A sudden cash influx is a dream of many facing dire financial issues. While it may provide immediate relief, spending habits must change.

Filing for Chapter 13

Florida consumers who wish to file for bankruptcy protection while keeping their assets may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Their debts are repaid over a period of up to five years unlike Chapter 7 cases that may be settled within months. Payments are made under a court-approved plan that is overseen by a bankruptcy trustee. Prior to filing, individuals will need to take a credit counseling course that has been approved by the federal government.

Let our law firm help get you out of medical debt

Our firm is dedicated to getting our Florida clients out of debt so that they can get on with their lives. We understand that with today's skyrocketing medical costs and high-deductible insurance plans, many Americans are left struggling to pay off their medical debts. Even one trip to the hospital because of a heart attack, stroke or other medical emergency can be financially catastrophic for many people, even those with decent jobs. Such massive debts can also have a bad affect on a person's credit rating, which may then hinder the ability to obtain a mortgage or car loan.

The role of a bankruptcy trustee in Florida

When an individual files for bankruptcy, his or her property is put into what is known as a bankruptcy estate. This estate is a separate entity from the individual who filed for bankruptcy protection. The person charged with overseeing this estate is called the trustee. What the trustee actually does depends on the type of bankruptcy cases. In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee is charged with inventorying and liquidating non-exempt assets.

How to buy a car during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

A Florida resident who files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will enter into a repayment plan lasting between three and five years for the debts that are owed. The repayment plan is overseen by the bankruptcy trustee, and any new debt that the filer wants to incur during that time must first be approved.

Is there an ideal time to file for bankruptcy protection?

Constantly dealing with debt can be emotionally draining. Just when you think there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel of debt, it is only an oncoming train loaded with more expenses that you are not ready to deal with. The continuous creditor phone calls, the warnings in the mail and the threat of further creditor action may make you wonder if bankruptcy is right for you.

Benefits of business bankruptcy in Florida

Most people think of bankruptcy as a scary thing that should be avoided at all costs. However, for some small businesses, bankruptcy may be a way out from under crushing debt and limited income. By filing, it may be possible to retain some or all of a business owner's property while also keeping the company running. The form of entity that the business is and whether staying in operation is possible depends on the type of filing made.

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