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Do you have too much debt? Chapter 7 Bankruptcy might be an option.

Many Americans simply have more debt than they can afford to repay.

Despite what you hear, it is rarely due to irresponsibility.  No one sets out to accumulate $7,000 in credit card debt, but a temporary job loss, sudden illness or other financial emergency can quickly drain savings and force people to charge normal living expenses.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys proudly serving Palm Bay, Melbourne and Brevard County

Bankruptcy Attorneys serving Palm Bay, Florida

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy options – Palm Bay and Melbourne, Florida

When coupled with student loans, signature loans, payday loans and other unsecured loans, consumer debt in America tops $3 trillion. Since most people can expect negligible wage growth and have little savings, credit card debt can easily push a family over its own fiscal cliff.

Even if the debt was not your fault, the bills are still due and something must be done. If paying the bills is not an option, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be the answer.

Learn more about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In just a few short months, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can wipe out most unsecured debts including credit cards and medical bills. All that time, your creditors may not take any action against you unless they get special permission from the Bankruptcy Court. After the bankruptcy is over, you still get to keep your house, retirement account, and other valuable exempt assets.

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA today to learn about your Bankruptcy Options

We represent individuals, families, and businesses in Palm Bay, Melbourne, the Space Coast and Brevard County, Florida.  Contact us at our office in Melbourne, Florida to learn more about debt-elimination programs.  We offer a free initial consult for bankruptcy to help you learn about your debt relief options and moving forward.


Weighing the Pros and Cons of Filing Bankruptcy

Before Filing Bankruptcy: Weigh All of Your Debt Relief Options

Before you jump into a personal bankruptcy filing, it is important to carefully weigh all of your debt relief options. There are pros and cons to filing a bankruptcy and you must understand both the good and the bad consequences of your decision to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Although each bankruptcy case is unique and you should have one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys review your individual finances, the following are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of a personal bankruptcy:

Brevard County Florida Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy Attorney serving Rockledge, Florida

Pros:

A personal bankruptcy is the most comprehensive means for dealing with your debt. All of your creditors must be included in your filing, so when you receive your discharge order, it truly provides you with a fresh financial start. Additional benefits include:

  • The majority (if not all) of your debts will be eliminated and you are no longer legally obligated to pay them.
  • The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as your bankruptcy petition is filed, which means that all collection activity against you will stop.
  • In many cases and depending on which chapter you file under, you probably will be able to keep possession of all of your assets.
  • If you file a Chapter 13 and you must repay all or a portion of your creditors, you can create a manageable repayment plan and spread out your payments over three to five years.
  • You may qualify to remove inferior mortgage liens from your home. This means that the inferior mortgage will be treated as an unsecured debt which is typically paid mere pennies on the dollar owed.
  • As soon as you obtain your discharge of debt, you can immediately begin working to rebuild positive credit.

Cons:

Nobody wants to have to file for bankruptcy protection. However, due to our economy and the vast number of people that have had to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, it is not as embarrassing as it once was. Other negatives regarding bankruptcy include:

  • Your credit score will be negatively impacted. For many debtors who have already damaged their credit rating with late payments, collection lawsuits, garnishments, foreclosures or asset seizures, the effect on their score is not significant.
  • Having a bankruptcy notation on your credit report can make it harder for you to qualify for a mortgage loan until your credit score improves
  • Depending on what type of bankruptcy case you file and your individual situation, there may be a small risk that some of your assets will be used to pay creditors
  • In order to take advantage of your fresh start, you must live on a budget and change any irresponsible spending behaviors
  • Once you have filed a bankruptcy and received a discharge, you cannot file for bankruptcy relief again for several years

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA to schedule your Bankruptcy Consultation

To learn more about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection, contact Faro & Crowder to schedule an appointment. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across Brevard County including Palm Bay, West Melbourne, Titusville, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach.


Important Questions to ask about your Business Debt

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Being a business owner is a lot of work. You invest your time, money and effort into making your business a success. But if your entity is struggling, it can have a significant impact on your personal finances. If your company is not making a profit, you are likely trying to figure out how you can deal with your business debt. Below are a few important questions to ask yourself:

Can I save the business?

If you have run the numbers or you’ve been struggling to make ends meet for a long time, it may be time to face the hard truth that the business cannot be saved. You may want to avoid having the business file for bankruptcy protection, but not at the expense of your own personal financial stability. Before depleting personal funds to save your entity, confer with us so we can explore all of your available debt relief options.

Can I lower my expenses?

You might be surprised at how much you can help your business by cutting back on your expenses. If you are unable or unwilling to use personal funds to keep your business afloat, consider the ways you can reduce your costs. Many times this requires you to be creative or take certain steps that are unattractive, but if the cutbacks help you keep the doors to your business open, they are likely worth it.

Can I increase sales?

Most business owners do everything in their power to increase their sales. If your company’s exposure has been limited to one market, consider ways to expand. With the use of the internet, there are a variety of ways to get your company’s name out there at very little cost. And don’t forget the customers or clients you already have – contact them and offer incentives for them to give you repeat business or to pay you quicker. It may even be beneficial to confer with your suppliers and negotiate discounts and/or payment plans.

If your business has been sued for fraud or breach of contract, the legal team at Faro & Crowder can help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve businesses across the State of Florida.

Have Credit Card Debt? Debt Forgiveness vs. Bankruptcy

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Many individuals contact us because they are drowning in debt and don’t know which debt relief option is the best for them. We commonly get questions regarding having debt “written-off” by lenders and how it impacts them. Typically, a lender will write-off your debt (also referred to as charging-off your debt) if you have been delinquent on your payments for a long period of time. In fact, many companies have an internal accounting procedure that automatically performs this function because it permits the lender to deduct the loss as an expense. What does it mean to you? If your debt is written-off, it is important to understand that you are still liable to pay it.

For example, if your credit card company writes-off your debt, it can still continue its collection activity against you. The original lender can attempt to collect it from you or, more commonly, your delinquent account will be sold to a collection agency or a debt-buyer. When a debt-buyer purchases your debt, it is for a substantially lower amount than what is owed. Because your account was purchased at a discount, the collector may be willing to spend the money to file a collection lawsuit against you. If you fail to respond to the lawsuit (which the collector is hoping will occur), a default judgment will be entered against you. Once the collector has a judgment, it can file a garnishment of your bank account and/or wages, as well as take advantage of other collection tactics.

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should be sure to include your debts that have been written-off. As soon as your bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect and all collection activity against you must cease. This includes the harassing telephone calls, lawsuits, garnishments and other similar efforts.

If you are hesitant to file for bankruptcy and you have collection lawsuits pending against you, it is important to contact us for help. Do not ignore the lawsuits because they will not just disappear! We can file an answer on your behalf and prevent a default judgment from being granted by the court against you. You may have several defenses available to you as well. We can use this time to negotiate with your creditor and attempt to reach a settlement for a significantly lower amount that what you owe.

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.

Options to Consider when a Judgment is Entered Against You

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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!

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.


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.


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