“Bankruptcy” is a scary word for many, but it does not have to be. Often times, a bankruptcy can be advantageous if used as strategic move to get a hold on your financial future.
If you’re seriously considering filing for bankruptcy, start off by asking yourself these important questions:
1) Will I pay off my current debt within the next 3 to 5 years?
2) Am I falling behind on my bills and other payments?
3) Have I recently lost my job or main source of income?
4) Am I facing a foreclosure on my home?
If you answered “yes” to any of these basic questions, then a bankruptcy may be an option to help you get a fresh start. The bankruptcy process can be complex and overwhelming. Before making any decision to file bankruptcy in Florida, consult an attorney who can help you decide whether bankruptcy is a good fit for you.
The two main types of bankruptcy that most individuals declare in the state of Florida are a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (repayment plan). Usually, household income and your long-term goals will determine which chapter is best for you. In a Chapter 7, you can work to eliminate all of your unsecured debt. With a Chapter 13, you will make payments over the course of 3-5 years towards your debt. At the end of your payment plan, your debt may be forgiven.
It is important to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your assets and dischargeable debts. Dischargeable debts fall in to two categories; unsecured and secured debts. Unsecured debts are debts such as personal loans, credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard, vehicle leases, civil judgments and medical bills. These are easily dischargeable in bankruptcy. Secured debts are debts with a security interest in your property to guarantee payment such as a mortgage, car loan, or loans from finance companies secured by household items like furniture, computers or electronics. There are a few types of debts which are not generally dischargeable in bankruptcy such as tax debts, alimony, child support and student loans.
In the event you decide to file bankruptcy, you will not be left without the necessities. Florida has liberal bankruptcy exemptions which may protect some assets from the bankruptcy such as your homestead, retirement accounts, and vehicle.
If your non-exempt asset values are high, or your debt level is low, then bankruptcy may not be your best option. An attorney will be able to assist you in evaluating your overall financial picture to help steer you in the right path.
To find out whether bankruptcy is an option for you, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Initial bankruptcy consultations are complimentary.
If you want to continue the fight save your home without a bankruptcy, you may have options with foreclosure defense. Our firm offers representation to defend a foreclosure case, representation to the lenders in requesting a loan modification and foreclosure representation in connection with a bankruptcy.
If you are seeking to keep your home, or to stop the bleeding from a foreclosure case, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Initial foreclosure consultations are complimentary.