Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Will Filing Bankruptcy Stop ALL Lawsuits?

Personal Bankruptcy – Brevard County

Bankruptcy Attorney Melbourne Florida

If you have lawsuits filed against you, it may be time to consider filing a personal bankruptcy case. A personal bankruptcy case can be an effective way to eliminate certain collection lawsuits. However, it is important to understand that not all types of litigation are halted or eliminated in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Below are a few examples of suits that are not stopped by your filing:

Family law matters

When you are involved in a case that involves a determination of child support, spousal support, or the establishment of paternity, your bankruptcy filing usually will not stop the family law court from proceeding with its case.

Criminal proceedings

Filing for bankruptcy protection cannot halt a criminal proceeding. However, if the charges against you include a debt that is related to your criminal charges, that portion of the case against you may be halted by the automatic stay.

Tax proceedings

The law provides that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the ability to continue pursuing certain audits, issuing tax deficiency notices, demanding tax returns, or issuing tax assessments against a debtor in bankruptcy. The automatic stay will prevent the IRS from issuing tax liens, repossessing property, or seizing your income will your bankruptcy case is pending.

Pension loans

A debtor is allowed to have funds withheld from his or her wages to repay a loan from certain types of pensions.

If you are planning to file a bankruptcy case and you have lawsuits or forms of legal proceedings filed or pending against you, contact us to discuss what will or will not be affected by the automatic stay. We can review all of the cases pending against you and make sure you understand what your bankruptcy filing will mean in each matter. We can also confer with the other parties involved if necessary so everyone is on the same page regarding your case.

Speak with an experienced Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA 321-784-8158

The above are just a few examples of the types of legal proceedings that are not halted by the automatic stay. If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt or the lawsuits pending against you, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment.  Our office is located in Melbourne, Florida.  We serve all of Brevard County and the Space Coast with Bankruptcy and Debt Relief services.

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Briefly Describe Your Legal Concern

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.

Tips for Finding the “Right” Bankruptcy Attorney

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If you are past due on your bills and creditors are harassing you night and day, filing for bankruptcy is a good option to consider. One of the most important decisions you can make in filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is selecting the “right” attorney to represent you. Below are a few tips on how you can find the lawyer that is the best to handle your case:

  • Investigation. There are numerous sources available for researching a lawyer or law firm. The internet has a variety of websites that allow you to not only verify an attorney’s credentials, but also to see how other clients have ranked them. For example, Martindale.com, Avvo and the applicable state bar association websites can be searched to discover if the attorney is in good standing and how he or she has been rated by his or her peers. You should also read the lawyer’s own website to determine how much of his or her practice is focused on bankruptcy. It is a red flag if the attorney’s website does not list bankruptcy as a primary area of practice. You should find it comforting if the lawyer has written blogs or articles regarding bankruptcy topics. This is evidence that the lawyer is familiar with bankruptcy law and has the ability and willingness to explain it to others.
  • Referrals. Ask your family, friends and co-workers for recommendations on good lawyers. If somebody you trust refers an attorney, it is a good starting place. Don’t just take the other person’s word for it though. You should always meet with the lawyer and see if you “click” before retaining him or her to represent you.
  • Consultations. Once you have narrowed down the list of potential lawyers you believe will be a good fit for you, see if they offer a free initial consultation. If so, take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the attorney in person. It is important to retain somebody that you trust and feel comfortable working with on your case.

Choosing the right attorney to handle your bankruptcy filing can be the difference between successfully discharging thousands of dollars and wasting your time and money! A little of time and effort to ensure you are working with the right attorney is worth it in the long run.

The legal team at Faro & Crowder is ready to help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across the State of Florida.

Can Bankruptcy Eliminate My Judgment Liens?

When an individual borrower falls behind on paying their bills, creditors start filing collection lawsuits in order to a obtain court judgment. Once the judgment has been granted in favor of the creditor, the collection efforts begin.

A Creditor May Place a Judgment Lien Against Your House

One common collection tool used by many creditors is to place a judgment lien against your house or other real property. This type of lien can help ensure that the creditor will eventually get paid what it is owed, even if it years down the road. How does this occur? The borrower cannot sell his or her home without paying the creditor from the proceeds of the sale in order to remove the lien.

Judgment Liens, Bankruptcy Attorney | Brevard County

Simply Obtaining a Discharge Order Will Not Automatically Eliminate the Judgment Liens Filed Against Your Home

If you have judgment liens filed against your home, filing a personal bankruptcy may be the best option for removing them. Before you implement this strategy, however, it is essential that you confer with a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer. You should be aware that simply obtaining a discharge order will not automatically eliminate the judgment liens filed against your home. In some cases, you can “strip” an inferior mortgage lien. For more information on lien stripping, please read our blog titled “Stripping Off Junior Mortgages in Bankruptcy.” There are also certain types of liens, such as tax liens, that are not avoidable.

Judgment Liens Can Be Found by Searching County Records Where You Own Real Property

Generally, a judgment lien can be discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f). You can discover if a judgment lien has been placed against your property by searching the records in the counties where you own real property. Many debtors get confused at how judgment liens are handled in their bankruptcy case because the underlying debt can be eliminated but the lien remains intact unless specific action is taken to remove it.

A debtor must remove the judicial lien of a non-priority creditor to the extent the lien encumbers the value of the debtor’s exemptions in the property. This means that if the value of the equity in your home would be exempt even without the lien, you can file a motion seeking to avoid the lien. Upon court approval of your motion, the lien is removed from the title on your real property and it is no longer valid or enforceable.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you have judgment liens filed against your home and you are interested in learning more about removing them in bankruptcy, call us today to schedule your initial consultation.  We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Tips for Discussing Bankruptcy with your Children

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It is a natural reaction for parents to attempt to shield their children from dealing with financial troubles. However, if you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy case, it is wise to discuss it with your entire family, including your children. You can tailor the conversation to fit the age of your children, but it is important that they hear it directly from you.

So, how should you go about discussing filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case with your kids? There is no magic formula, but below are a few considerations:

  • You should be open and honest about your financial situation. This may mean different things depending upon the age of your children, but the primary focus should be on how the bankruptcy filing will be beneficial for the family. It is essential that your entire family understand how adjustments in your finances will need to be made.
  • One of the most important ways you can make your family feel secure while going through bankruptcy is to have a plan for your housing situation. When your kids know that they have a safe place to live, it makes them feel more secure. Thus, even if you intend to surrender your house back to your mortgage lender during the bankruptcy case, having a plan for new housing will help the family feel more comfortable about your circumstances.
  • Try your hardest to keep your normal schedule and routine while your bankruptcy case is pending. Children feel secure when they know what to expect. The less you disrupt their daily lives, the better they will feel about the process.
  • Finally, if possible you should strive to keep your kids in the same schools. Having to change schools, especially in the middle of the school year, can be very disconcerting. However, if it is necessary for your children to switch schools, be sure to make an effort to keep them in-touch with their established friends.

We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be stressful for everyone involved. We assist families every day in obtaining the debt relief they need in the least disruptive way possible. Let us help you get the financial help you need and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

The legal team at Faro & Crowder is ready to help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals, families and businesses across the State of Florida.


What you need to know about Credit Card Debt in Bankruptcy

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Credit card debt is one of the most common factors that contribute to individuals filing for bankruptcy protection. If you are overwhelmed by your credit card bills, filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may be the solution. In a typical Chapter 7, the majority (if not all) of your credit card debt will be discharged or eliminated. In a typical Chapter 13, you will pay a percentage (typically a very low percentage, if anything at all) of what is owed on your unsecured debts.

It is important to understand, however, that there are exceptions to the general rule. Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §523(a), there are a few exceptions to the rule of dischargeability. The two most common types of credit card debt to be excluded from discharge, include:

  • Credit obtained by lying. When a debtor puts false information on his or her credit application in order to qualify for the credit card, the lender can seek to have all of the purchases made on the credit card to be non-dischargeable. If the court agrees with your lender, you will remain liable to pay the debt even after your bankruptcy case has concluded. The most common occurrences of lying to obtain credit include significantly over-estimating income or under-estimating debt.
  • Fraudulent purchases. Many people incorrectly believe that they can make purchases on their credit card in the days leading up to their bankruptcy filing and discharge the debt. Any charges that are incurred by fraud or false representations can be held to be non-dischargeable. If the court holds that you used your credit card to buy items with no intent to pay for them, you will remain liable to pay the debt. Additionally, if a debtor buys frivolous items, maxes out the limit on the credit card, or even drastically increases credit card use just prior to filing bankruptcy, the creditor can challenge the dischargeability of the debt.

If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy protection, we have the answers. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.


How the Automatic Stay is Impacted by Multiple Filings

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy protection and you are considering filing another case, it is important to understand that there are certain guideline for when and how you can do it.

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The court looks at what type of case you filed the first time and whether you received a discharge of your debts to determine whether you qualify to file a second bankruptcy case,. In the majority of the cases, you can file a new bankruptcy case at any time if your prior filing was dismissed and you did not receive a discharge order from the court.

If your first case was a Chapter 7 and you obtained a discharge order from the court, you can:

  • file another Chapter 7 case and receive a discharge after 8 years from the petition date of your first case.
  • file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and receive a discharge order after 4 years from the petition date of your first case.

If your first case was under Chapter 13 and you received a discharge from the court, you can:

  • file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a discharge order after 6 years from the petition date of your first case.
  • file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy after 2 years have passed from the time you filed the petition in your first case.

You should also be aware that if you have filed two or more bankruptcy cases that were dismissed within one year, the automatic stay will not be effective upon the filing of a subsequent case in the same year. This means that although you have filed bankruptcy, collection actions against you can continue until you have met certain requirements.

It is important to note, however, that there are consequences for filing more than one personal bankruptcy. A little-known penalty is that if you have had two or more bankruptcy filings dismissed within one year, the automatic stay does not go into effect in a subsequent case filed in that same year. In other words, none of your creditors are barred from continuing their collection efforts against you….at least until you meet certain conditions. To learn more, please read our blog titled “Serial Bankruptcy Filers – What You Should Know.”

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy relief and you are considering filing against, let us help. The legal team at Faro & Crowder is ready to help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across the State of Florida.


Should I Negotiate with my Creditors or File Bankruptcy?

People who have an income but still cannot pay all of their bills have several debt relief options available to them.

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If you are trying to determine whether debt negotiation or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you, we can help. We can review your individual circumstances and help you make an educated decision, but below are a few tidbits of advice to consider:

  • Cost. Obtaining debt relief can be expensive, so you must consider what it will cost you. Typical Chapter 13 filings cost somewhere between $2500 and $4000. While this amount seems expensive, your lawyer’s fees can be included in your Chapter 13 plan, which means you can pay the bulk of this amount over a three to five year period. The cost of settling your debt is often 10% of the total amount of the debt that is being settled, but it usually must be paid in advance. There may also be monthly fees that you must pay.
  • Taxes. Debt relief options can have negative tax consequences, so you want to make sure you fully understand and are prepared to handle them. Fortunately, there are no tax consequences to obtaining relief from your debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In contrast, however, when you settle debt and the creditor “forgives” a certain amount, the forgiven amount will result in tax liability. When the forgiven amount is more than $600 it is considered income to you and you will be sent a 1099c tax form.
  • Time. You must understand the time commitment it takes to resolve your financial problems. Chapter 13 cases last three to five years. Although this is a long time, you also obtain a fresh financial start when it is over. Bankruptcy allows you the most comprehensive means for dealing with your debt. Although debt negotiations can occur quickly, they can also take a long time. If you only have on creditor to negotiate with, the process is easier and quicker. However, if you have several accounts with different creditors that need to be negotiated, the process gets more complicated and takes longer.
  • Credit score. Both bankruptcy and debt settlement will negatively impact your credit score. Your Chapter 13 filing will remain on your credit report for seven years. Debt that is reported as uncollectible or forgiven can also remain on your report for seven years. It is important to understand, however, that you can immediately begin rebuilding your credit score and, with time and patience, you can get your financial life back on track.

Don’t delay any longer. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.


Converting a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13

When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you are committing to a payment plan that will last at least three years. If you should experience an unforeseen financial change which negatively impacts your ability to make your plan payments, you should contact us to discuss whether you are eligible to convert to a Chapter 7 case.

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If you qualify for conversion, the procedure for converting your Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 is fairly straightforward. We will prepare and file the Notification of Conversion, pay the required fee and, the majority of the time, your case is converted to a Chapter 7 within a few days.

The court will appoint a Chapter 7 trustee to supervise your case. You will have a new meeting of creditors scheduled as required by 11 U.S.C. §341. There are a few additional documents that must be filed in order to meet the requirements for a Chapter 7 filing. For instance, you must file a Statement of Intent which sets forth what you intend to do with your secured loans. This means you must state whether you will surrender the asset pledged as collateral or keep it and continue to pay for it. You may also be required to amend your schedules and statement of financial affairs to tell the court about the financial changes that have taken place since you filed your Chapter 13 case and the date you converted to a Chapter 7.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are currently struggling in your Chapter 13 and you need help, contact us to discuss converting to a Chapter 7 and avoiding having your bankruptcy case dismissed by the court. Call the attorneys at Faro & Crowder today to learn more about the conversion process and how it can benefit you.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Your Meeting of Creditors….Don’t be Intimidated

When you file for bankruptcy protection, you are required to attend a meeting of creditors. This meeting is required by 11 USC §341, so it is also commonly referred to as the “341 meeting.” It is normal to feel nervous about attending this meeting. For guidance on what generally occurs at the 341 meeting, please read our blog titled “The “Meeting of Creditors” in Bankruptcy.”

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Meeting of Creditors

The reality is that you should look forward to attending your meeting of creditors. Consider the following:

  • In a typical personal bankruptcy case, the 341 meeting does not last long. In fact, most debtors answer routine questions asked by the trustee assigned to the case that takes approximately 10 minutes. It may take longer for you to have your case called than it does for you to actually answer questions!
  • It is common for very few, if any, creditors to attend the 341 meeting. Even though the meeting is designed to allow the trustee and your creditors to ask you questions under oath, the more sophisticated creditors understand how their debt will be treated in your filing. Thus, they do not spend the time or money to attend the hearing. If you should have creditors attend, your attorney is there to assist you.
  • An experienced bankruptcy attorney has handled hundreds of meetings of creditors. Thus, he or she will likely have anticipated any issues that may arise. It is our practice to ensure that you are fully prepared for your 341 meeting and that you know what to expect in advance.
  • Most debtors only have to attend one meeting of creditors. Thus, once your 341 meeting is over, you probably do not have to go back to the courthouse for the remainder of your case. You can sit back and wait to receive your discharge order.

Most of our clients tell us that their meeting of creditors was “no big deal” or much easier than they had expected. Don’t waste time stressing over your 341 meeting and have the peace of mind that your bankruptcy lawyer will ensure that you are prepared.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy protection, we have the answers. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the Brevard County and Space Coast area.


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