Tag Archives: bankruptcy

Tips for Combatting Foreclosure

Foreclosure Attorney serving Brevard County, Florida

When you are seriously delinquent on your mortgage payments and foreclosure is imminent, do not ignore the problem! The faster you take action and contact us for help, the more likely you are to obtain a positive result. There are several options available for avoiding foreclosure of your home, which can preserve your ability to re-establish your credit score. In fact, you may even qualify to buy another home in the future.

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Below are a few tips to consider when you first believe that your home is vulnerable to a foreclosure action:

  1. Sell your house. Selling your home on your own prior to it being auctioned off by your mortgage lender is not only better for your credit score, but it may also allow you to keep any equity that remains in it. Where possible, you should take action to make your home appealing to potential buyers, even if it means reducing the asking price to below what you need to pay your mortgage loan in full. We can help you understand what a short sale requires or if paying the remaining deficiency is manageable for you.
  2. Negotiate better payment terms. It never hurts to discover whether your mortgage lender is willing to work out a deal with you. This may include negotiating to reduce the applicable interest rate and/or to lengthen the term of your loan to lower the amount of your monthly payments.
  3. File Chapter 7. When you file a Chapter 7 case, the foreclosure activity against you must cease, at least for a little while. During this time you can negotiate with your lender. If you decide to surrender your home in your bankruptcy filing, you can usually discharge any deficiency balance that is remaining on your debt after your home is sold at auction.
  4. File Chapter 13. If you have a steady source of income and you want to keep possession of your home, filing a Chapter 13 case can allow you to catch-up on your past due payments. You can make small payments in your repayment plan that are applied to your deficiency so when you successfully conclude your Chapter 13, you are current on your mortgage loan.
  5. Short sale. In order to short sale your home (sell it for less than what is owed on your mortgage), your mortgage lender must be involved and approve the sale. Many lenders will agree to this type of sale in order to avoid the time and cost of the foreclosure procedure. It is important that verify that the short sale of your home will be considered full satisfaction of your mortgage debt. Otherwise, you will remain liable for the deficiency balance.

Let us review your unique financial situation before you pursue any of the above options and help you understand which strategy is the most beneficial for you. We can make sure you understand the tax consequences, if any, of your decision as well as the other advantages and disadvantages.

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.

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.


Options to Consider when a Judgment is Entered Against You

Options when a judgment is entered against you - Brevard County Bankruptcy

Responding to a Judgment – Brevard County Bankruptcy

Many people who fall behind on their bills feel overwhelmed when creditors start filing collection lawsuits against them. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to simply ignore the lawsuits and hope they will simply go away. This tactic never works! As soon as you are served with a petition or complaint against you, confer with an attorney so you understand all of your options.

Once a creditor has obtained a court judgment against you, it is important to understand there are still different ways to deal with it. While no two cases are identical and you should always seek legal advice regarding your specific situation, below are a few options to consider:

Personal bankruptcy. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debt, filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to discharge or cancel a collection judgment entered against you. Again, you should consult with a debt relief lawyer to confirm that the type of judgment entered against you will be discharged, but this could save you thousands of dollars!

Wait and see. If you are reluctant to file a personal bankruptcy, you may consider waiting and seeing what actions the creditor pursues after obtaining the judgment against you. Of course, there is substantial risk involved depending upon your unique situation. In fact, this course of action (or inaction) is only suggested if you are considered to be “judgment proof.” In other words, you do not own any non-exempt property or other means for the creditor to be able to collect the judgment from you. Additionally, if the creditor fails to take any action to enforce or renew its judgment against you, the judgment will eventually expire.

Negotiate and settle. Don’t make the mistake of believing your settlement options are over once a judgment has been entered against you. Many creditors are still willing to settle your debt post-judgment in order to avoid incurring the expenses associated with trying to collect from you. Thus, you may be able to pay off the judgment for less than the full amount. In some cases, you may be allowed to set-up a payment plan to satisfy the judgment. Just remember, you must obtain a court-stamped satisfaction of judgment in order for the unpaid judgment notation to be removed from your record!

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA today for a free initial consultation

Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne on Sarno Road, but we proudly serve individuals 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.


Read This BEFORE you sign a Reaffirmation Agreement

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If you are planning to file a Chapter 7 case and you have secured debts, you should be prepared to disclose to the court how you intend to handle your secured loans. In other words, you must decide whether you will surrender the asset you pledged as collateral (house, vehicle, boat, etc.) to the lender, or if you will keep the asset and continue to pay for it. If you want to keep the asset and pay for it, your lender may request that you execute a pleading called a “reaffirmation agreement.”

A reaffirmation agreement is a new contract signed by the debtor and the lender. It often sets forth new contract terms and the debtor agrees to pay all (or an agreed-upon amount) of the debt, even though the debt could have been discharged in the bankruptcy filing. This means that if you sign a reaffirmation agreement, you are giving up your right to discharge the debt that otherwise qualifies to be discharged in your case. Thus, if you sign the reaffirmation and later default on your payments, your secured lender has the legal right to repossess the collateral.

The applicable statute for reaffirmation agreements is found at 11 U.S.C. §524(c). A standard reaffirmation contract sets forth that the debtor can keep possession of the collateral as long as he or she makes timely payments as set forth in the new agreement.

The lawyer for your lender typically drafts the reaffirmation agreement. The terms may remain the same as the original loan or they may be changed. You should be aware that reaffirmation agreements can have blanks that the debtor is required to fill-in, such as the financial information needed by the court to understand whether or not the debtor can afford to reaffirm the debt. Also, the debtor and your attorney are required to sign the reaffirmation.

Deciding whether or not to sign a reaffirmation agreement is very important. You should confer with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to discuss your unique circumstances. Waiving your right to discharge a debt is a big decision that should only be made after conferring with your legal counsel.

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

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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.


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