Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Can I Use My Credit Cards After Bankruptcy?

Reestablishing their good credit score is a top priority for most debtors. One way to do just that is by paying your current obligations on time: your mortgage, your car note and any other secured debts that you may have. Responsible use of credit cards is another good way to raise your credit score.

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Before Filing Bankruptcy

Be aware that many creditors cancel a consumer’s credit card upon a bankruptcy filing, even if there is little or no outstanding balance. Also be aware that if you make any large purchases on credit in the 90 days prior to filing, such purchases may be presumed fraudulent. The creditor still has to prove fraud in court; in other words, the creditor must prove that you intended to file bankruptcy when you bought that big-screen HD TV or charged your way to and from the Bahamas.

Also, if there is a card you want to keep, consider reaching out to the creditor before you actually file. The moneylender may cancel the card anyway, but you have a much better chance of keeping the account open if you warn the creditor in advance.

After Filing Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7, there is legally nothing that prevents you from using your existing credit cards or even obtaining new ones. Practically speaking, that may not be possible or practical, for financial reasons.

In a Chapter 13, you generally need the trustee’s permission to take on additional debt. That permission is usually forthcoming as long as you have a legitimate need for the item and the payments fit comfortably within your existing budget.

After Discharge You May Be Inundated with Credit Card Solicitations

Especially after a Chapter 7, you may be inundated with credit card solicitations after discharge. That’s because the creditors know that you generally cannot file a Chapter 7 for at least six years. To make sure you don’t wind up in bankruptcy court again, resist temptation and continue to use credit sparingly.  Financing consumables is a recipe for disaster.

You can put a new transmission on a credit card and pay it off in a reasonable time according to a plan.  You can also put your groceries on a credit card if you paid cash for the transmission and are therefore a little short this month, and pay the balance in full from your next paycheck.  However, if you put your groceries, gas, utilities, or other consumables on your credit card regularly and pay less toward you bill each month than you charge, unless you increase your income, you will eventually build up a balance you cannot afford to service, and you will be right back in bankruptcy.

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

If you are interested in learning more using credit cards after filing bankruptcy, 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.

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Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
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The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Your Bankruptcy Roadmap

The Chapter 13 plan essentially puts you on an allowance for a period of time, to help you catch up on your bills, start rebuilding your credit score and get on with your life free of creditor harassment.

Bankruptcy Roadmap | Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney

The Plan

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as the “wage-earner plan” or “repayment plan bankruptcy.”

Just like your petition was voluntary, you also have the first chance to put together a Chapter 13 plan. Depending on your income, the plan period may be either three or five years; generally speaking, a higher income means a longer plan, because the law assumes that you have more ability to pay back your debts.

At a minimum, the plan must account for current payments on secured debts, the total arrearage on secured debts and the trustee’s fee. Bear in mind that the “total arrearage” is not necessarily the amount the moneylender demands that you pay.

The plan must also be feasible. If you are behind on your mortgage, you must demonstrate the ability to pay off the total arrearage amount within the plan period. It is possible to go back and modify the plan later, should your income or expenses change significantly.

Automatic stay

Creditors are prohibited from contacting you for the entire time that your bankruptcy is pending. As a practical matter, moneylenders often communicate to your attorney, who then forwards the information to you. While cumbersome, this process gives your attorney the opportunity to negotiate with moneylenders right from the start. It also gives you the freedom to check your mail without that sinking feeling that there will be more bills in the box than you can possibly pay.

A bankruptcy plan is a fairly complicated document that can put you back on the right path. To take the first step towards financial freedom, contact our office located in Melbourne, Florida.

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.

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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

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Too Much Debt

Many Americans simply have more debt than they can afford to repay. A chapter 7, or liquidation bankruptcy is an option to clean up your debt.

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.

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.

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 us to learn more about  debt-elimination programs.

Speak with an experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA 321-784-8158

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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

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

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.

 

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 today

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.

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

We offer a free initial consult for bankruptcy, debt relief, credit card debt and foreclosure defense.  Contact our office to schedule your consultation and discuss your debt relief options.

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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.

Can I file Bankruptcy if I am Unemployed?

Filing Bankruptcy While Unemployed

If you have recently lost your job or you have been unemployed for a while, you are probably  delinquent on your bills and debt collectors are harassing you. If you have considered filing for bankruptcy protection but you are concerned that you won’t qualify if you don’t have a job, it is important to understand that now may be the ideal time for you to file a case.

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Bankruptcy Attorney serving Brevard County

Every individual’s situation is unique, so it is essential to have an experienced attorney review your circumstances to determine the best strategy for you to take. While you are unemployed, you may be “judgment proof.” This means that you do not have any non-exempt assets or funds that a creditor can attack in collecting the debt from you. As a result, your creditors may not be taking any collection actions against you.

The Means Test

However, while you do not have a job you will likely pass the means test and qualify for a Chapter 7 filing. The means test is a mathematical formula used by the bankruptcy court to ensure that you are not abusing the bankruptcy process in attempting to discharge your debt. The means test looks at your income from the prior six months to determine whether or not you have the ability to repay your creditors. If you have been unemployed for several months and show no income during that time, you may be eligible for a Chapter 7 filing when you otherwise would not qualify.

Your future income may be considered by the trustee even if you pass the means test. In other words, if the trustee thinks you are capable of paying your creditors, he or she has the ability to object to your discharge of debt. However, if you are not receiving any income, there is a very small likelihood that the trustee will file this type of objection.

If you are unemployed and read to obtain relief from your overwhelming debt, let us help. We can review your individual finances and determine whether or not a bankruptcy filing or other form of debt relief would benefit you.

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA to learn about your Bankruptcy Options in Brevard County FL

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, families and businesses across the State of Florida.  We also offer free initial consultations for foreclosure defense and defense against debt collection.

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.

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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.

Are Payday Loans Dischargeable in a Chapter 7?

Payday loans are generally dischargeable without any arguments in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, because these loans are unsecured debts. There are, however, a few special cases.

Payday Loans

Fraud

If you borrowed money within 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy, there is a presumption of bankruptcy fraud. Simply stated, the law presumes that you never intended to repay the money and that you used your bankruptcy filing as a sword instead of a shield. In such a situation, the payday lender may file an objection to discharge and a motion to remove the stay.

Many bankruptcy judges do not like payday lenders, believing that these lenders charge usurious rates and take advantage of consumers. Whether that perception is true or false is not the point. Because of this attitude, some judges may require the payday lender to prove fraudulent intent. Intent is particularly hard to prove if the actual loan was originally taken out more than 90 days prior to filing, and the consumer had to keep renewing the loan.

Postdated Check

Some payday lenders may require you to surrender a postdated check. After you file, they may attempt to cash the check, arguing that they deposited the instrument in the normal course of business.

But the automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking any action against you, and the payday lender is clearly a “creditor” at that point.

Vehicle Title Loan

Many people place title loans and payday loans in the same category. For non-bankruptcy purposes, this classification may be appropriate. But, by accepting cash and putting up your car title as security for repayment, the vehicle title loan is a secured debt. The debt itself may be dischargeable, but the lender’s lien on your car title is still valid.

One option is a cram-down. If you borrowed $3000 but your car is only worth $1000, you may be able to pay the $1000 and keep your car. Another option is a conversion to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, when the automatic stay stays in effect much longer, giving you time to pay off the loan.

To find relief from your creditors, contact us in Melbourne, Florida for your free consultation.

Contact Faro & Crowder, Pa to Learn About Your Bankruptcy Options

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment.

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

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Briefly Describe Your Legal Concern

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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

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

 

Small Business and Bankruptcy

If you are the owner of a small business, your personal finances are probably closely linked with your business. Most small business owners invest a large amount of their time and money in trying to ensure their entity is successful. However, when the business faces financial struggles, it means the business owner is likely to experience financial troubles too.

Small Business and Bankruptcy | Law Firm Melbourne FL

It is common for an owner to obtain business loans by providing the lender with a personal guarantee. It is also likely that you have used personal credit cards or personal savings, including loans from your retirement account, to help keep the business afloat. This can result in you accumulating an overwhelming amount of personal debt, as well as the business debt.

If this is the situation you are facing, it may be time to consider filing a business bankruptcy and/or a personal bankruptcy. If the business is an incorporated entity, it can file its own case. Depending on the circumstances, a Chapter 7 or 11, or a state-court supervised dissolution could allow the business to reorganize its debt and obtain a fresh start, or it could assist with providing an orderly liquidation and closure of the business.

Bankruptcy can also benefit the business owner with eliminating personal debt incurred in connection with the business, in addition to any other personal debt such as credit card and medical bills. If the business is a separate legal entity and it does not file for bankruptcy protection, the owner’s filing typically will not impact the business and it can continue normal operations. It is important to understand, however, that the value of an owner’s stock interest in the business is considered an asset, which means it must be disclosed in the personal filing. Usually a trustee has no interest in the business assets when the business owner files bankruptcy, but it is vital that you seek legal counsel to determine if or how your filing could affect your business.

If you are a business owner and have questions regarding how bankruptcy could benefit you and/or your business, contact us for a free consultation.

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

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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

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Filing Bankruptcy Can Help with “Emergencies”

A financial emergency may occur due to a sudden job loss or overwhelming medical bills.  When you are struggling to pay your bills and considering filing bankruptcy, it is important to understand which type of filing is best for you.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and breakdown how the automatic stay works in an bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy can wipe out your general unsecured debt.

Comprehensive debt relief. Most, if not all, of your unsecured debts will be discharged or eliminated in a Chapter 7. The most common unsecured debts are credit card bills and medical debt.

Protection from creditors. As soon as you file your bankruptcy, the automatic stay is effective. The stay prohibits most collection activity from continuing against you while your bankruptcy is pending.

Timely debt relief. A typical Chapter 7 filing lasts four to six months, which is a relatively short period of time when compared to the three to five years a Chapter 13 case lasts.

Assets protected by exemptions. While a Chapter 7 filing is often called a “liquidation bankruptcy,” the reality is that most debtors do not lose their assets. Under the law, there are numerous exemptions that protect certain assets from being included in your bankruptcy estate.

Examples include protections for your home, vehicle, qualified retirement account and other types of valuable assets. In fact, it is common for a Chapter 7 debtor to discharge all of his or her debt while maintaining possession of all of his or her assets.

Affordable. A Chapter 7 case is generally less expensive than filing a Chapter 13 case. A Chapter 7 doesn’t last as long, so your lawyer’s fees and costs are usually lower.

 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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 Automatic Stay

One of the benefits of filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is the automatic stay.

The stay is immediately effective upon your bankruptcy filing and it prevents creditors from taking any further collection activities against you. This can be very helpful when you are facing a financial emergency:

  • Foreclosure of your home. Whether your mortgage lender is threatening to foreclose or you already have a foreclosure lawsuit filed against you, a bankruptcy filing can halt (at least temporarily) your lender’s actions. At a minimum, your filing will allow you to have more time in your house.
  • Eviction from rental property. Depending on where you are in the eviction process, a bankruptcy filing may allow you to delay it.
  • Account or wage garnishment. If a creditor has a judgment against you, it is likely that a garnishment of your paycheck or your bank account has been filed against you. As soon as you file your bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay stops all garnishments. Additionally, it is possible the debt linked to the garnishment can be discharged or eliminated in your filing. In fact, it is possible that the creditor will be ordered to refund a portion of the funds previously garnished.
  • Disconnection of utilities. Even if your electricity has been turned off, a bankruptcy filing may allow you to get it reinstated. This can be a real advantage if you are in the middle of summer or a terrible winter and you do not want your utilities to be turned off.

 

If your financial struggles have put you in one of the above situations or a similar circumstance, it is time to consider your debt relief options. We can help you understand how filing a bankruptcy case will benefit you. We can also explain your other debt relief options. Call us to schedule a free consultation today.

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

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Briefly Describe Your Legal Concern

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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

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

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.

bky talk with kids pic

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.

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

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.

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Briefly Describe Your Legal Concern

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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

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

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