Should You Fear Bankruptcy?
As experienced South Florida bankruptcy lawyers, we are continually surprised by how afraid many of our clients were at the thought of filing for bankruptcy. Some of them admitted that they should have called us years ago but were too afraid to pick up the phone. Others stated that they would do almost anything to avoid bankruptcy.
Although declaring bankruptcy is not something that you should do lightly, it is not the scary event that many people expect. It is possible to regain your peace of mind and start taking productive steps for a more secure financial future.
Bankruptcy Provides Immediate Relief from Lawsuits and Harassment
Once you declare bankruptcy, any creditor taking a legal action against you must stop. This include a lender trying to repossess your car or even a landlord trying to evict you. The “automatic stay,” as it is called, swings into effect immediately as soon as you file for bankruptcy protection.
Furthermore, your creditors cannot contact you once the stay is in place. This means no phone calls, letters, emails, or visits at the door. The automatic stay is in effect typically for the duration of your bankruptcy.
You Can Rebuild Credit after Filing
It simply is not true that once you file for bankruptcy you’ll never own a home or get a car loan. Thousands of people go on to do that every year. The key to rebuilding credit is to start small and use what you have wisely. Many people start with secured credit cards, which they pay off in full each month.
We do not pretend that rebuilding your credit is easy. But living under constant stress and money worries isn’t easy, either. There is definitely life after bankruptcy.
You Will Probably Not Lose Your Home
Florida has a generous homestead exemption that exempts the full value of your home in Florida if it is your primary residence. You also must have resided in Florida for 1,215 days before you can claim the full value. Even if you just moved here, you can still exempt up to a certain amount of your home’s value.
Much Online Information is Biased
If you’ve been surfing the web and reading about bankruptcy, you might have come across stories written to persuade you not to file. There’s usually a simple explanation. Many of the companies behind these websites actually run debt settlement services.
With debt settlement, you stop paying your debts so you can use money to build up a lump sum. After a certain amount of time, you approach your creditor and offer to pay a certain percentage of your debt in exchange for the rest being forgiven. The debt settlement agency then usually takes a cut of the amount you managed to save.
This probably sounds like a good deal for the debt settlement agency. In our experience, however, few consumers benefit from debt settlement. Instead, a bankruptcy is the better option since it is much faster and probably cheaper. Also, a bankruptcy’s effect on your credit score is often no worse than what debt settlement will be.
Contact Us Today
To discuss a possible bankruptcy, please call Nowack & Olson at 888-813-4737. One of our Plantation bankruptcy attorneys can meet for a free, no-risk initial consultation.