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Avoiding bankruptcy

Florida residents who are struggling with large amounts of debt may feel overwhelmed and confused about how to manage their situation. While many realize that bankruptcy may be an option, they are often reluctant to go that route. This is due to a number of factors including negative feelings about bankruptcy, concern about what a bankruptcy will do to one's credit score and a reluctance to having to work within the court system.

As a result, some individuals develop strategies for reducing their debt so that bankruptcy is not necessary. These include taking on extra jobs, negotiating with creditors and adhering to a stricter personal and household budget. Another option is to work with a professional credit counselor who can assist in developing better budgeting skills and a long-term debt repayment plan. In time, these individuals may be able to address their financial issues, reduce their debt load and avoid having to declare personal bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, there are some cases in which these efforts simply do not work. This may be because the amount of debt is extremely high or the debtor experiences additional financial setbacks, such as job loss. In such cases, debtors may feel that they need to reconsider the possibility of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a way of stopping creditor harassment and debt-related lawsuits.

Chapter 13 is designed for debtors who have a steady and reliable source of income. Debts are reorganized and payments on them made over a court-approved plan that lasts for either three or five years depending in part upon the debtor's income. An attorney can describe the eligibility and other requirements associated with this chapter.

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