What is Bankruptcy?::
Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows most people that we see, keep their personal property and home, and eliminate all unsecured debts. If you own a house, and are making the mortgage payments, you would simply keep making those payments and nothing will happen to the house. (there are some exceptions to this depending on how much equity you have in the house).
The same would apply to vehicles that are financed. You would keep making the payments and in most cases nothing will happen to the vehicles. Again there are some exceptions to this depending on how much equity you have in the vehicle.
Certain retirement accounts are “exempt” meaning that you can keep them regardless of their value. Veterans benefits, social security benefits, alimony and child support, public employee retirement benefits etc. These are just a few examples.
What Debts can I eliminate?::
Most debts can be wiped out in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which is the chapter of the Bankruptcy code that the vast majority of the public file for. For example, credit cards debts, medical bills, unsecured loans, personal debts from friends or relatives, old IRS debts, old debts in which a creditor is now suing you. Even a judgment already obtained against you can be wiped out in a chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Why would I file Bankruptcy now::
Most people file Bankruptcy to prevent one of two situations. To stop a creditor, like an old credit card company from taking legal action against you, like suing you and garnishing your wages or seizing your assets.
The other situation where there is no legal action going on but every time you apply for a loan you are turned down because of older outstanding debts. A Bankruptcy in this situation will “clean up your credit” and eventually your will be able to get the credit you want.
Huge medical bills are also account now for about 10 per cent of all bankruptcies that are filed.
How do I start applying for Bankruptcy?::
That is very simple. Just call us and make an appointment or simply speak to us on the phone. You can make a down payment on the bankruptcy and begin to refer those creditors to us as soon as you have retained our office.
Is it true that I have to go to Court and be grilled by a judge?::
In 99 percent of cases there are no court hearings and you will never see a Bankruptcy judge. You will see and speak to a trustee who works for the Bankruptcy Court and he or she will ask you questions about you income and assets. You will also have to attend a short hearing with one of our lawyers who is present also. The hearing is conducted by the same trustee who is assigned to your case and the trustee will ask you if the statements you have made on your Bankruptcy Petition are truthful and accurate.
Will somebody come to my house and take all our personal goods?::
In the vast majority of cases nobody will come to your house and take anything. Most people we see can exempt all or nearly all of their household goods. If you have an unusual amount of household goods that are worth more money than the average person you can always pay the trustee assigned to your case money that exceeds your exemptions and “buy back” your household goods without selling anything.
Will I ever be able to get credit again?::
The simple answer is yes. The fact that you have filed for Bankruptcy and received a discharge of debts means that you do not have much debt but might have a decent income. Most of our clients are able to establish good credit within 2 years and many of them are able to finance a car as soon as the Bankruptcy is discharged!
Is there a minimum amount of debt that you need to file Bankruptcy?::
There is no minimum debt amount to file Bankruptcy. The fact that you cannot make all your ongoing living expenses and pay all the other debts as well is really why most people file Bankruptcy. In reality, most people that file Bankruptcy have a varying amount of debt. What might seem a small amount of debt to one person is a large amount of debt to another.
Is it true only “deadbeats” file for Bankruptcy?::
Absolutely not. Most people who file for Bankruptcy are good, honest, hard working people who have experienced life problems that seriously affect their living standards. Most Bankruptcies are caused by one or more of the following factors.
- Loss of a job
- A business failure
- Excessive medical bills
- Loss of a job and employment at a significantly lower level
- Ongoing illness
Examples of some famous people who have filed Bankruptcy: Donald Trump, Larry King, Burt Reynolds, Wayne Newton, President Truman (before he took office), the list is endless.
I have heard that my wages cannot be garnished in Florida, is this true?::
Not true. Once a creditor obtains a judgment against you and garnishes your wages from your employer, only a bankruptcy will stop the garnishment. Garnished bank account and wages account for a significant number of bankruptcies that are filed.
These answers are general in nature and if you have specific questions please call as every person’s situation can be slightly different. However the are true and accurate in the majority of situations.
I have heard I can do my Bankruptcy “on my own” without a lawyer. Is that true?::
Yes it is. However, I would not advise you to do your own bankruptcy. This is a time in your life that you are going to need accurate and truthful advice. The cost of not using a lawyer could be far greater than using a lawyer if you make a mistake. Make this the one and only time you need a lawyer!
What is bankruptcy all about?::
The first question you might ask yourself, is what is bankruptcy all about? Most people have heard the word bankruptcy and many people get information from friends or relatives. Although this might be a convenient way to discuss what bankruptcy is, it is not the best way to find the facts.
Bankruptcy is simply a legal procedure that was written into the constitution that guarantees the rights of individuals and businesses to either “wipe out” their debts, or to reorganize their debts to pay them back.
The vast majority of people who file bankruptcy through our office file what we call a chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In most cases these individuals pay nothing back to any creditor and eliminate all the debts that they want to eliminate. The debts that you want to keep like a car or a house you must pay on a timely basis. The other debts you do not pay. Certain debts cannot be wiped out. Some of the debts that you must pay are recent IRS debts, child support obligations , alimony, Governmental fines, debts obtained by fraud, etc. However, for the mast majority of the public most debts that they have can be wiped out forever.
The next question that most people ask is, “Is bankruptcy for me”? This is a more difficult question and can only be answered by yourself. However, there are certain factors that seem to come to play in most bankruptcies that I have seen. The main reason is a drop in income on a permanent basis and or a divorce. Many people once they lose a job never fully recover and are “underemployed” on a permanent basis. They simply cannot get back to the financial position they once were in and are consumed by debt.
Other factors that tend to push people towards Bankruptcy are credit card debt and medical bills. Approximately ten per cent of all bankruptcies that are filed are related to a medical illness. Credit card debt is probably the number one reason when combined with a loss of income, as to why the bankruptcy filings are so high on a national basis.
If you are borrowing form one credit card to pay another credit card , Or if every month you a re borrowing on credit cards to make ends meet then you should consider filing Bankruptcy.
If you wages are being garnished or your bank account has been frozen by a creditor then you should have filed bankruptcy yesterday! Don’t wait to file Bankruptcy to stop this type of activity.
Having your wages garnished is no fun. It is embarrassing to you and a burden for your employer. Having your bank account frozen and seized by a creditor is just as bad. Fortunately you can still file bankruptcy in both of these situations.
Bankruptcy is never an easy decision for anybody. However, once you make that decision to take charge of your life and confront your situation you will feel better. It’s as simple as that.
Call us today at (352) 502-1160 or toll free 1-877-870-5342. We allow you to make payments on the bankruptcy and we consider our fees to be very reasonable and competitive with other lawyers in the area.