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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:

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Bankruptcy Attorney serving Rockledge, Florida


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.


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.

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.

negotiate with creditors pic

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.

Why You Should File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Hopefully you have read our prior blog discussing the various benefits of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

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This blog will focus on the advantages of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In most instances, filing a Chapter 13 provides you more flexibility in restructuring your debt and the following benefits:

  • Automatic stay. As soon as you file a bankruptcy case, the automatic stay is effective. It prohibits creditors from taking any collection actions against you while your bankruptcy is active. The stay halts all collection calls, lawsuits and garnishments.
  • Debt consolidation. Your Chapter 13 plan allows you to reorganize your debt and consolidate it into one monthly payment that you make to the trustee, who then disburses the funds to your creditors as set forth in the terms of your plan.
  • Elimination of debt. Your unsecured debt, such as credit cards and medical bills, is paid a percentage of what is owed under your repayment plan. The percentage depends on your income and debt, but most debtors pay pennies on the dollar owed, if anything at all.
  • Cure delinquencies. If you have fallen behind on your mortgage loan payments or your vehicle loan payments, you can include small payments in your Chapter 13 plan to be applied to curing your delinquencies. A Chapter 13 case lasts three to five years, which typically gives you plenty of time to cure your payment defaults and get your secured loan back on track.
  • Lien stripping of inferior mortgages. If you have a second or third mortgage on your home, you may be able to “strip” the lien and treat it as an unsecured debt. To qualify, the value of your home must be less than what is owed on the first mortgage. To learn more about lien stripping, please read out blog titled Stripping Off Junior Mortgages in Bankruptcy.”

The above are just a few examples of the benefits offered by filing a Chapter 13 case. If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment.

What Happens to My Inheritance if I File Bankruptcy?

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If you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy, there are many factors that should be considered. The more time and planning you put into your filing, the greater your chance of success.

One factor many people do not consider is whether they will be receiving an inheritance in the near future. If an inheritance is a possibility, it is important to understand how the timing of your bankruptcy case could impact it. The date your bankruptcy is closed and the date the estate of your loved one is settled will not impact you. In contrast, your bankruptcy petition date and the date the deceased died are important.

If you inherit money or assets from the deceased within 180 days of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the inherited money or assets can be included in your bankruptcy case. In other words, the inheritance may be administered and used to pay your creditors.

In a Chapter 13 case, your inheritance will be handled differently. A debtor that inherits within 180 days of filing the bankruptcy petition will have the inheritance considered by the court in determining the amount the debtor must pay into the Chapter 13 plan to pay your creditors. In some instances, an inheritance that is received after the 180 day time period has run may still be considered property of your bankruptcy estate.

The above is a general summary of what should be considered in determining the best time to file your bankruptcy case. If you believe you may be inheriting a substantial amount in the near future, it is imperative that you contact us to consider all of your legal options.

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.

Is It Time for You to File Bankruptcy?

When you file bankruptcy it can help you obtain a fresh financial start. However, it can be difficult to know when the best time to file your case is. There is no magic formula for pin-pointing the best time to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, but there are many warning signs that a bankruptcy filing should be considered.

File Bankruptcy | Melbourne, Florida - Brevard County and the Space Coast

A few examples of warning signs that a bankruptcy filing should be considered include:

  • Your mortgage lender is threatening foreclosure of your home
  • Your car, boat, ATV or other assets are being repossessed by creditors
  • Collection lawsuits are pending against you
  • You do not have insurance and your medical bills are overwhelming you
  • Your wages and/or your bank account is being garnished
  • You are being harassed by debt collectors
  • You are delinquent on your taxes
  • Most of your debt is unsecured (such as credit cards)
  • You do not have an emergency fund or any savings
  • Excluding your secured loans (mortgage, vehicle loan, etc), you cannot pay your total debt in full within five years

It May Be Difficult to Figure out the Best Timing to File Bankruptcy

Deciding whether to file a personal bankruptcy case is difficult, but figuring out the best timing can be even harder. The above list is just a few examples of the situations that may warrant filing for bankruptcy.

Collection Efforts Will Stop When You File a Bankruptcy Case

The good news is that whatever your circumstances, if you decide to file a bankruptcy case, the collection efforts against you will stop. The automatic stay is immediately effective when you file your petition, which prohibits any further collection activity against you. We can review your finances and decide if bankruptcy can provide you the debt relief you need.

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

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of Brevard County and the Space Coast.

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
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.

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