The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. Offices | Fort Lauderdale and Miami

3101 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 609,
Oakland Park, Florida 33306

*Licensed in England and Wales, Florida and Washington D.C.

Fort Lauderdale

754-332-2101

Miami

305-399-3832

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FL bankruptcy lawyerIf you are struggling financially, you may be wondering whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right solution for your situation. While you are considering that option, there are steps you can take to help protect your assets from creditors. The following is a brief overview of those steps. For more specific information about your situation, consider speaking with a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney from Elliot Legal Group.

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Many of our clients find that debt can be a vicious cycle. Borrowing money creates debt and then situations arise that force people to have to borrow more money to try to get ahead of the debt. The more you borrow (or charge on credit cards), the worse your financial situation gets, and creditors are now calling on a weekly basis looking for their money.

If you are at the point where you are seriously thinking about bankruptcy, you want to stop borrowing money, whether through lines of credit or credit cards. Do not purchase any large ticket items – such as a car or jewelry – or otherwise try to run up credit cards any more than they are right now.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

While it is true that bankruptcy may not be for everyone, the two types of consumer bankruptcy do allow for plenty of options within them. People who cannot afford a payment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are usually afraid to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they worry that foreclosure might result if they own a house. However, depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get the clean slate of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without losing your home to foreclosure. In Florida, it is possible to keep your house even if you file for a Chapter 7 discharge of all consumer debts. 

Chapter 7 Versus Chapter 13: Keeping Your House

Most bankruptcy attorneys will advise you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you meet the following criteria:

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Surfside bankruptcy attorney

The thought of filing for bankruptcy typically only comes to mind when it is your only option. Rarely do people fully understand what filing for bankruptcy entails and what this financial decision can actually do for you. Filing for bankruptcy is much more common than you think, and contrary to popular belief, it does not leave you financially destitute. Before you make a decision regarding your financial situation, it is important to have a true understanding of what this legal process will do for you and be aware of the common misconceptions associated with bankruptcy.

The Types of Bankruptcy

You have two different options when filing for bankruptcy, known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and depending on your financial situation, you will qualify for one or the other. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as “liquidation bankruptcy” because some of the filer’s assets can be sold to repay their outstanding debts. Once this is complete, the remaining debts will be discharged. This form of bankruptcy is reserved for those who earn less than the median income for the state of Florida. Those above this financial level will file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer will propose a repayment plan to pay off their debts within a three- to five-year period. It is always advisable to turn to a bankruptcy attorney before beginning the filing process to ensure that you do indeed qualify for that particular chapter.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

This past year has been filled with ups and downs, leaving many Americans in financial disarray. Millions have lost their jobs, taken a pay cut, or have had to reduce their spending to survive the ongoing pandemic. Although it may not have seemed like the best time to relocate, many have left large cities or moved to another state to reduce their cost of living and gain the necessary distance from others to avoid contracting COVID-19. If you have relocated to Florida and are still struggling financially, you may be at the point where filing for bankruptcy is one of your only options. Newfound Floridians are still able to file for bankruptcy after relocating, but they should be aware of the implications that their move can have on the legal process.

Beginning the Bankruptcy Process

Depending on how new you are to the state, you may need to wait before filing. Bankruptcy law is federal law, meaning that a federal court will need to hear and review your case. Generally speaking, you are required to have lived in the state where you are filing—in this case, Florida—for at least 91 days. The court will verify your claimed state of residency in your official bankruptcy paperwork, typically through an apartment lease agreement or utility bill, before moving forward with the process. It is a good idea to hold off on filing until you meet this 91-day requirement; otherwise, you may be able to file in your previous state, although this would require significant travel between Florida and your previous home state.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

The past 10 months have undoubtedly been some of the most challenging in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the nation in early March and has continued to rage ever since. Shutting down society for public safety has led to numerous repercussions, including leaving businesses struggling to stay afloat as well as renters and homeowners scrambling to make their monthly payments. While aid was initially provided by the U.S. government, many Americans have been left to fend for themselves now and have considered filing for bankruptcy since the last previous stimulus check was provided. Months of stalemate and negotiations by Congress has finally led to a new relief package to welcome the country into the new year.

Obtaining Financial Assistance

In the last week of 2020, Congress has struck a deal on approximately $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, with the goal being to assist families and businesses struggling from the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the four leaders of the House and Senate finalized an agreement late on December 20. Many Americans will receive direct payments from the government, including stimulus checks of up to $600 per person for those earning $75,000 or less per year in addition to $600 for each child dependent. This is reflective of the country’s initial stimulus package months prior.

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