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Family files for bankruptcy after television home remodel

Florida residents may be familiar with the reality television show ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” This television program features stories about families that win the chance to have their homes remodeled. While the free house remodels may seem like gifts at first glance, the increased property taxes and electric bills that result from these makeovers can cause financial strife for some of the families that have been featured on the show.

A family that appeared on ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in 2011 recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, the family members have stated publicly that the higher housing costs from the home remodel they received were not factors in their decision to file for bankruptcy. Members of the family say that their Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition was mainly based on financial problems that were caused by unemployment, disability and personal loans.

Since having their house remodeled, the family’s electricity bill and property taxes have more than doubled. Despite the increased expenses, the family members said that they have no intention of selling their home. In fact, the newly remodeled home and fresh start provided by the bankruptcy has helped the family to make the decision to host a foster child.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a good option for some homeowners who have overwhelming debt. Unlike in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to hold onto their valuable assets while working on settling their outstanding debts in repayment plans that usually last for either three or five years. If debtors are unsure what form of bankruptcy would benefit their situation the most, they may want to discuss their cases with a lawyer.

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