Category Archives: Bankruptcy

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 Upon court approval of your motion, the lien is removed from the title on your real property and it is no longer valid or enforceable.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

bky talk with kids pic

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

credit card in bky pic

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

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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.

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?

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


Filing Bankruptcy Can Help with Foreclosure

Although the housing market appears to be on the rebound, there are still many homeowners that are struggling to pay their mortgage payments. If you have fallen behind on your mortgage loan and you believe that a foreclosure is in your near future, you should consider filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Foreclosure Defense Brevard County

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Services Brevard County

Bankruptcy can be an effective tool for individuals who are trying to avoid a foreclosure action.

Individuals who file bankruptcy most commonly file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each type of case offers its own advantages and disadvantages. One of our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys can review your unique circumstances and assist you with determining which type of filing you qualify for or will be most beneficial for you.

Chapter 7 | Liquidation Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is often referred to as the “liquidation” bankruptcy because your non-exempt property can be sold by the trustee to pay your creditors. The reality, however, is that most Chapter 7 debtors have very few (if any) non-exempt assets and they keep all of their assets.

While a Chapter 7 filing does not completely stop the foreclosure process, it can buy you some additional time in your house. During this time, we can help you try to negotiate with your mortgage lender too. In order to proceed with the foreclosure, your creditor must seek relief from the automatic stay from the bankruptcy court.

If the court grants the motion and your home is foreclosed, your Chapter 7 filing will discharge or eliminate any amount you still owe under the mortgage after the foreclosure sale. This can save you from owing thousands of dollars.

Brevard County Foreclosure Defense

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Attorney serving Brevard County

Chapter 13 | Reorganization Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 debtor must submit a plan of reorganization which sets forth how the creditors will be paid, fully or partially. Your repayment plan will last a term of three to five years, depending on your individual circumstances.

During this time, you can make small payments under the plan that are applied to the mortgage loan delinquency. When your Chapter 13 case is over, you will be current on your mortgage loan. While your Chapter 13 case is pending and you are making your plan payments, the foreclosure process is halted.

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

Don’t lose your home in a foreclosure. We offer a free initial consult for foreclosure defense or bankruptcy.  Contact us to discuss your different options for saving your home and whether filing bankruptcy is the solution.

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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.

Converting a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13

Ch 7 to Ch 13 pic

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.

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.

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.


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.”

mtg of creditors pic

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.


Can You Afford to File for Bankruptcy?


When you are barely making ends meet and you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy, you are likely concerned with how much a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will cost you. We understand that it can be stressful to come up with the money to file for relief from your debt, but working with the “right” lawyer is crucial to having success in your bankruptcy case.

Afford to File For Bankruptcy | Melbourne and Palm Bay, Florida

Bankruptcy Lawyer Brevard County

Afford to File For Bankruptcy

Having an attorney in your bankruptcy case can actually save you money and help ensure that you keep possession of as many assets as possible. It is common for individuals who are facing money struggles to be tempted to retain the cheapest lawyer they can find, but you sometimes get what you pay for. In other words, you don’t want to hire an attorney that is inexperienced or unreliable to handle your case.

Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

In an effort to save money, many individuals also consider hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer to assist with their bankruptcy filing. Although a bankruptcy petition preparer’s fees may be less, the only help you will receive is assistance with completing the paperwork needed to file your case. A bankruptcy petition preparer is not allowed to give you legal advice or to otherwise represent you as your case proceeds. This means that if any complications arise in your filing, you’re on your own.

Preparing Financially for a Bankruptcy Filing

Bankruptcy lawyers understand your financial struggles, so the fees they charge are typically reasonable. This is particularly true when you compare their fee to the thousands of dollars your attorney can help you discharge in your filing! Additionally, many bankruptcy law firms will assist you in finding a way to afford your filing. Consider the following:

  • To prepare for your bankruptcy, start putting aside small amounts each month. Planning your filing allows you to save the money you need to afford it.
  • Talk to friends and family members about making monetary gifts to assist you. It is essential that they understand they are giving (not loaning) the money because the debt will likely be discharged in your filing. If you desire, you can always voluntarily repay them after your bankruptcy has concluded.
  • Consider taking a loan from your retirement plan. It is important to understand the potential tax consequences of doing this. You should also read our blog titled “Is my 401K Safe in Bankruptcy?”
  • Discuss other options with your bankruptcy lawyer, including establishing a payment plan.

Remember, the small amount you pay your bankruptcy attorney is worth every penny when you discharge the majority of your debt and obtain a second chance with your financial future.

Contact a Melbourne Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

The decision to hire an attorney is an important one and should not be based on advertising alone. At Faro & Crowder, PA, we believe our reputation and track record speak for themselves, but we welcome you to ask our other clients about their experience working with us. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial bankruptcy or foreclosure defense consultation.

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