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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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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

Those who are unfamiliar with the details of bankruptcy, which typically includes anyone who has not filed for bankruptcy, may incorrectly believe that all of your debts disappear upon filing. While bankruptcy is meant to help rid you of significant debt, the process will still require you to pay off most of your debts. The details of this financial breakdown vary depending on the type of bankruptcy that you file as well as the depth of your debts. Many filers do, however, get some form of a break, known as a discharge. Before moving forward with the bankruptcy filing process, it is important to understand what exactly you are responsible for and which of your debts will be forgiven without full repayment.

What Is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

A bankruptcy discharge is a legal term for debt forgiveness. In other words, a discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for a number of specified debts, not requiring him or her to pay back the discharged debts. A discharge is a permanent legal order that restricts the debtor’s creditors from taking action to obtain money for the outstanding debts. A bankruptcy discharge does not, however, cancel out any liens that a creditor may have against a property, meaning that a creditor is still able to enforce a lien and recover the associated property.

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Dania Beach bankruptcy attorney

It is no secret that the economy has taken a significant hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. As stay-at-home orders initially went into effect back in March, the unpredictability of the virus has many restaurants and other businesses slowly opening as cases fall, only to reel back their services as cases rise again. The uncertainty regarding when things will go back to normal has forced many American businesses to make tough decisions about their workforce, including filing for bankruptcy. Although the entire country has taken a hit from COVID-19, Floridians are seeing some of the most significant financial distress in the country.

Looking at the Numbers

WalletHub conducted an economic analysis of all 50 states to determine who has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. According to their research, Florida ranks as the fifth-worst state when looking at the financial situation of its residents. The analysis was done by looking at credit scores; the number of people whose financial accounts are in forbearance or have deferred payments; the change in the number of bankruptcies filed in January versus July; and search trends for the term “bankruptcy” within that state. It was found that approximately 1.16 million Floridians were unemployed in July, resulting in an 11.5 percent unemployment rate for the state. The location for most of these unemployment numbers? The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area with just over 402,000 residents unemployed that same month.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

When your credit card bills begin to build up and your pockets are feeling empty, you may be unsure of how to handle the situation. Debt can accumulate quickly, and without additional income coming in, you may not be able to pay off your debts by the date that your creditors are requesting. Filing for bankruptcy may be in the back of your mind, but you are likely considering your other options before fully making your decision. There are a number of bankruptcy alternatives, many of which do not fully solve your problems. Debt settlement companies are often considered by those who are deeply in debt and are avoiding filing for bankruptcy. While you may be avoiding bankruptcy, the risks of debt settlement companies are rarely worth taking.

What Is a Debt Settlement Company?

Debt settlement companies have the same goal as bankruptcy -- helping you rid yourself of insurmountable debt. However, these debt settlement programs are typically for-profit companies. The company or program will attempt to negotiate with your creditors to allow you to pay a “settlement” to resolve your debt. This settlement will typically be a lump sum payment that is less than the total amount that you owe. In order to build up this lump sum, the company will request that you set aside money each month into an account that holds your funds for paying off your debt. This savings account will eventually build up to the settlement that the company negotiated for you and you will pay off the debt with that saved money.

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