Tag Archives: filing

DUI Charges in your Bankruptcy Filing

DUI Charge pic

If you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy, you may be wondering how driving under the influence (DUI) charge will be handled in your case.

The primary goal of filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is to eliminate debt. However, you should understand that not all types of debt are dischargeable. Bankruptcy law excludes specific types of debts from being eliminated in bankruptcy, including some debt associated with DUI charges. Therefore, it is imperative that you confer with one of our bankruptcy attorneys regarding any alcohol-related charges you have against you.

Below are few examples of the types of DUI-related debts that may not be eligible to be discharged in your bankruptcy filing, including:

  • Court-ordered settlement payments for monetary damages caused to another party in your DUI-related accident
  • Any amounts a court found you liable for that exceed a victim’s insurance limitations
  • Any debt associated with your DUI and driving without insurance
  • Any monetary damages you are held liable for due to an injury caused by a “violent crime,” which may include DUI
  • Any court-ordered payments you are liable to pay resulting from malicious or intentional injuries

If you are expecting to discharge your DUI-related debt, it is imperative that you discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney. You may benefit from filing a Chapter 13 because even though the debt related to your DUI may not qualify for discharge, a Chapter 13 repayment plan provides a tool for you to pay the debt over a period of three to five years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to organize, consolidate and afford all of your debt, including the debt related to your DUI charges.

If you are interested in learning more about filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how it impacts your debts, contact one of our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys to schedule your appointment.


Fixing an Error in Your Bankruptcy Filing

 

Even with all the planning and forethought that goes into your bankruptcy filing, mistakes can still happen. So, what do you do if you discover an error after your case has been closed? Typically, it is possible to reopen a case to cure a procedural error such as:

  • forgetting to name an important creditor
  • failing to file your credit counseling certifications
  • forgetting to list a valuable asset
  • the debtor receives a windfall of money or income
  • neglecting to follow the appropriate procedure to remove a judgment lien on real property
  • any other reason approved by the court

fixing an error pic

How do you reopen a case? We can file an ex-parte motion with the bankruptcy court requesting permission to reopen your case without providing notice to all of your creditors. The court may also allow the case to be reopened without holding a hearing. The motion outlines the relief that is being sought and what error will be fixed by reopening the case. If the court grants our motion, we can proceed with your case on the one issue until it is resolved.

It is critical to understand that there is no guarantee that the bankruptcy court will permit you to reopen your case once it has been closed. Therefore, it is important to make every effort to ensure that your pleadings and paperwork are correct and all-inclusive when they are originally filed.

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 Much Does a Bankruptcy Filing Cost?

When you are struggling to make ends meet and you are hoping to obtain debt relief, you are probably concerned with how much filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case will cost you. Financial struggles can be nerve-wracking and trying to come up with money to pay an attorney can feel overwhelming.

Bankruptcy Filing Cost | Brevard County | Melbourne,FL Attorney

Finding the Right Bankruptcy Lawyer

If this is your situation, it is important to retain the right attorney. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can not only help you save money, but also prevent you from losing your most valuable assets. You may be tempted to retain the “cheapest” lawyer out there, but you don’t want to put your future in the hands of a lawyer that does not have bankruptcy experience or that you cannot rely on. Thus, it is imperative that you research the attorney to ensure that he or she is knowledgeable in the area of bankruptcy and has a solid reputation for helping people in your situation.

You may also think you can save money by working with a bankruptcy petition preparer instead of an attorney. As the name suggests, a bankruptcy petition preparer helps you prepare your paperwork needed to file your case. However, he or she cannot give you legal advice or represent you during your case. This means that if any problems occur in your filing, you don’t have anyone there to help you.

Bankruptcy attorneys understand better than anyone that your finances are in trouble, so their fees are typically reasonable. In fact, when you compare the small amount you pay your lawyer to the thousands of dollars you can discharge in your bankruptcy case, you are getting quite a deal! Additionally, most lawyers are willing to assist you in finding a way for you to pay for your filing. Below are a few considerations:

  • Start setting aside small amounts of money as soon as you think it is likely you will seek bankruptcy protection. Planning ahead is the best way to prepare yourself for filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
  • Seek help from your friends and family. It is essential that they understand the money is a gift because the amount they give you will be discharged in your bankruptcy filing. If you want, you can repay the amount after your bankruptcy case is over.
  • It is generally a bad idea to borrow from your retirement savings to pay for a bankruptcy case. A loan from your 401k can have negative tax consequences and your retirement funds are exempt in your bankruptcy.
  • Discuss a payment plan with your bankruptcy lawyer.

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 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.

How will my Bankruptcy Filing Impact my Job?

Bky Impact Job pic

Many debtors are concerned with how their Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing will impact their job. It is important to understand that the law prevents your employer from firing you solely because you filed a personal bankruptcy case.

You may also be concerned with whether or not your employer will find out about your bankruptcy case. Although bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, it is unlikely that your employer will search the records and discover your filing.

The bankruptcy courts use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to manage case filings. In order for an individual to access the bankruptcy records, he or she must obtain a PACER account and pay the necessary fees. Additionally, another party could appear in person at the courthouse and request to see your file, but most people will not make the effort to do so.

Finally, some states still publish bankruptcy filing notices in legal publications, but these notices are typically only read by lawyers. Additionally, these notices only list the debtor’s last name, the case number, and when a hearing is scheduled. This minimal amount of information would require an interested party to conduct further investigation to learn more about your bankruptcy case.

It should be noted that all of your creditors will be provided written notice of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing. This means that if you owe money to your employer, your employer will be given notice of your case. Also, if you file a Chapter 13 and you your repayment plan payments are made by automatic deductions from your paycheck, your employer will learn about your filing.

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.


Who Finds Out About Your Bankruptcy Case?

If you are thinking about filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you may be wondering who will find out about your filing. While a bankruptcy case is a matter of public record, the reality is that most people will never know you filed a bankruptcy unless you tell them. Your filing is not published in the local newspaper and the online court filing system requires the user to have an account and password set-up, which typically only attorneys have in place.

Bankruptcy Case | Faro & Crowder | Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney

The bankruptcy court provides notice of your filing to your creditors or anyone who you owe money to, including family or friends. However, it is important that you do not attempt to pay any debts owed to friends and family to avoid them receiving notice of your filing. The trustee could consider this a preferential payment because all creditors are supposed to be treated the same and paying your family member ahead of your filing is showing a preference. The trustee can pursue the repayment of preferential transfers.

Many people are worried about their employer finding out that they filed bankruptcy. If you file a Chapter 7 case and you do not owe your employer any money, it is unlikely your boss will find out about your filing. The same is true for a Chapter 13, unless you fund your plan payments through payroll deductions. In this case, the court will put your employer on notice that the appropriate deductions must be made from your paycheck. Additionally, a potential employer could discover your bankruptcy filing if a credit check is run on you.

While it is normal to want to keep your bankruptcy filing private, it is important to understand that many people across the nation have sought bankruptcy protection. There is no longer the same stigma that there used to be. In fact, you may discover that others are more understanding that you expected.

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 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.

Hazards of Filing Bankruptcy Without an Attorney

If you are struggling financially and considering filing for bankruptcy protection, you may be trying to decide if you really need an attorney. Many people assume they will save a significant amount of money if they do not use a lawyer to represent them in their bankruptcy case. This is referred to as filing “pro se” or without being represented by a lawyer. In many pro se cases, the debtor ends up losing significantly more money than if they had hired an attorney.

How does this happen? Bankruptcy law is confusing, plus court procedures and rules are strict. There is a reason lawyers spend years in school learning how to represent you! Although the Internet is full of websites claiming they can help you “do it yourself,” nothing can replace an educated human standing by your side and prepared to handle your unique circumstances. Many websites and books are not updated regularly or do not comply with your jurisdiction’s specific requirements. Plus, a local bankruptcy lawyer is known by the trustees and judges that will be supervising your case, which can help ensure that your case goes smoothly.

Below are a few general areas where pro se debtors typically make errors in their filing:

  • Means test. The means test is not really a “test.” It is a formula used by the bankruptcy court to decide whether or not you qualify to file a Chapter 7 case. The formula is complex and has numerous factors that must be considered. If you do not apply the means test correctly, it could result in you not being able to file a Chapter 7 or your case being converted to a Chapter 13 case, which means you will end up surrendering five years of disposable income. The debtor does not have a right to dismiss a case under Chapter 7. You can file a motion to dismiss a Chapter 7 case, but the motion will probably be denied on the trustee’s objection if you had non-exempt assets or were a good candidate for a Chapter 13. It is important to remember that once you have filed for bankruptcy relief you are no longer driving, the Court is, and the trustee is navigating. The destination is you being debt free, but the trustee is tasked with finding the route that gets your unsecured creditors paid as much as possible.  Chapter 13 is a tremendous tool to save property that has been pledged as security for debt, but if you have no such property and are forced into it, it can feel like indentured servitude. Good bankruptcy attorneys can determine whether you will qualify for Chapter 7, or would be better served by a Chapter 13, or would be better off not filing at all. It is important to have the information necessary to make that decision before you file and surrender control.
  • Deadlines. There are a wide variety of deadlines that must be met in your bankruptcy filing. The deadlines can vary between jurisdictions, but missing a deadline typically has serious consequences. It is common for a pro se debtor to miss strict deadlines that result in their case being dismissed.
  • Exemptions. Federal and state laws provide exemptions that protect your assets from being included in your bankruptcy estate. However, you must properly claim the exemptions in order to take advantage of them and to keep possession of the exempt assets. Failure to properly exempt an asset may result in it being seized by the trustee to pay your creditors. A knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer will help ensure that all of the applicable exemptions are properly claimed in your case, which maximizes the amount of your assets that are kept safe.
  • Saving Money?       Many people think they will save money by not hiring an attorney. If you have non-exempt assets you will surrender them to the trustee. If you use non-exempt assets to pay a bankruptcy attorney, you are paying the lawyer with money you would have surrendered anyway.

If you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy case, contact us for a free consultationto learn how we can save you money and help you avoid the numerous obstacles that pro se debtors often encounter.

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 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.

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