Category Archives: Debt

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.

Litigation Attorney serving Brevard County

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.


    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

    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.


      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

      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


        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

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

        Important Questions to Ask About Your Business Debt

        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.

        questions bus debt pic

        Business Debt and Your Business

        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.

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


          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

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

          Is There Anything I Can Do About a Default Judgment?

          If you have been sued by a creditor and you did not appear or file a timely answer with the court, it is likely a default judgment has been entered against you. Many people just “give up” when this happens and believe there is nothing that can be done about it. However, many times there are good excuses for why you failed to appear or file an answer. If this is true for you, we can help you seek to have the default judgment set aside.

          Default Judgment | Bankruptcy Attorney Melbourne, FL

          There are two primary types of “good cause” for failing to respond to a lawsuit, which are (i) there was a defect in the process that led to the default judgment, or (ii) you have a “reasonable excuse.” Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate that you have valid defenses to the plaintiff’s claims against you.

          Substantial Defect

          If there was a procedural defect or an irregularity in the proceedings which caused the default, it can constitute sufficient good cause for failing to appear. For example, if you were not properly served with the summons and petition or complaint. Common examples of improper service include leaving the court documents with a minor at your residence who fails to give them to you, serving somebody with your same name and you never receive the papers, or mailing the papers by certified mail to an improper address.

          Reasonable Excuse

          There are a variety of reasonable excuses that may have prevented you from participating in the lawsuit against you. For example, if you were in a serious car accident on the way to attend your hearing, the judge will find that to be a reasonable excuse for setting aside the default judgment against you.

          Defense

          You must also be able to inform the court that you have valid defenses against the plaintiff’s allegations in order for the default judgment to be set aside. This means that you must be able to explain why you should be granted another day in court. Let one of our attorneys help you determine if you have valid defenses to the collection case.

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

          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.


            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

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

             

            What You Need to Know About Credit Card Debt in Bankruptcy

            Credit card debt is one of the most common factors that contribute to individuals filing for bankruptcy protection.

            Credit Card Debt Relief | Melbourne, FL | Faro & Crowder, PA

            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.

            Questions About Bankruptcy Protection?

            If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy protection, we have the answers.

            Credit Card Debt Relief Melbourne Florida

            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.

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


              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

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

              Your Credit Rating after a Negative Event

              One of the main concerns people have when they are facing bankruptcy or another negative financial event is whether or not they will ever be able to own a home again. You may have heard that it is not possible to buy a home after you have experienced an adverse financial event, such as a foreclosure or bankruptcy, but this typically is not true.

              Credit Rating | Credit Report Search

              Bankruptcy Attorney serving Cocoa Beach, Florida

              Before you give up hope consider the following:

              • It takes time. You may not be eligible to qualify for a mortgage immediately, but give it time. For example, if you completed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you have good credit afterward, you may be able to get a home loan after one year. However, after a foreclosure, you will need to wait seven years before you qualify for a conventional loan that can be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There are also several time frames between these two. The point is, don’t assume that filing for bankruptcy will prevent you from every owning a home again. It will take time and hard work, but you might be surprised at how quickly you can qualify for a mortgage again.
              • Work on your credit score. After a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale, it is important that you work on improving your credit score. This means making payments on time and showing financial responsibility. Additionally, you should review your credit report on a regular basis to ensure it is correct. If you discover any errors, you should immediately have them corrected.
              • Plan ahead. It is essential to understand what the consequences are of filing for bankruptcy protection or foreclosure or short sale of your home. A seasoned attorney can help you understand what to expect and to assist you in obtaining the necessary financing when you are ready to buy a new home.

              If you have questions regarding how a foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale will impact your ability to buy a new home in the future, contact Faro & Crowder today.

              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.

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


                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

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

                Can Bankruptcy Reduce Your House Payments?

                Preventing Home Foreclosure

                A previous post discussed some of the general aspects of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. For a homeowner who is delinquent their mortgage, the amount to be repaid may be substantially lower than the amount the moneylender claims that you owe.

                Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney | Melbourne, FL

                Mortgage Company Reasonableness

                Most mortgage companies are upfront and evenhanded when dealing with their customers. However, it is not uncommon for mortgage companies to charge some outlandish fees, such as:

                • Processing fees
                • Underwriting fee
                • Excessive application fees
                • Property inspection fees

                Be on the lookout for such fees, and question them if they pop up. An attorney may also be able to argue that such fees are not reasonably related to the mortgage transaction, and have these fees stricken from the delinquency amount.

                Avoiding The Lien

                Ask your attorney about some lien-reduction options that may be available. In some jurisdictions, you might file a motion to avoid the lien and dramatically reduce the past-due amount:

                • Cram-down: In some cases, you may be able to repay the current Fair Market Value of an item as opposed to the contract price. For example, if you bought a house for $100,000 but it is now only worth $80,000, you may be able to cram down the mortgage $20,000.
                • Strip-off: If there are multiple liens on a house and the FMV is too low to secure both lies, the junior lien may be subject to removal. Many people who bought real estate with an 80/20 financing package may be in this situation.
                • Statute of limitations: A Texas court has held that if a lender sends an acceleration notice but fails to foreclose within the proper time period, the lender has forfeited its right to foreclose on the note.

                A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is nearly always voluntary, meaning that you must file it yourself. To make an investment in a better financial future, contact our office in Melbourne, Florida for your free consultation.

                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.

                Consultations

                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.

                Our office is conveniently located on Sarno Road in Melbourne.


                  Faro & Crowder, PA
                  Phone: 321-784-8158
                  Address:
                  1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
                  Melbourne, FL 32935
                  Send Email

                  We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.

                  Ways Debt Collectors Violate Your Rights

                  When you fall behind on your bills, it doesn’t take long before you are being harassed by debt collectors. Whether you owe the debt or not, it is important that you understand your rights under the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an important law that prohibits debt collection agents from using unfair, deceptive or abusive tactics to get consumers to pay their past due accounts.

                  Defense Against Debt Collection - Brevard County

                  The FDCPA specifically applies to “debt collectors” which is defined as an individual or entity who routinely collects debts owed to others. This means that the statutes apply to collection agencies, lawyers who regularly collect debts and debt-buyers.

                  It is important to learn about the types of debt collection harassment.

                  According to the FTC website, the following are examples of prohibited collection actions:

                  • Harassment. A collector cannot harass a consumer by threatening violence, using profane language, or calling the debtor repeatedly to annoy him into making a payment. A debt collector is prohibited from threatening to publish the consumer’s name on a list of people who refuse to pay their debts.
                  • Unfair practices. There are a variety of ways a collector can engage in unfair collection practices. Common examples are attempting to collect additional fees that are not allowed under the contract or by law, depositing post-dated checks early, or making threats to seize the borrower’s property when the collector has no such right.
                  • Deceptive statements. A debt collector is prohibited from lying about who they are or who they work for. A collector must truthfully tell you the amount you owe. Further, the collector cannot lie about actions they can take against you or falsely claim they will have you arrested for not paying your debt. Finally, a collection agent is prohibited from providing false credit information to any other parties, including credit reporting bureaus.

                  Debt Collection Harassment Attorney | Faro & Crowder, PA

                  Consumers deserve to be treated with respect and honesty. If a debt collector is taking any of the above actions against you or is otherwise harassing you, contact the legal team at Faro & Crowder, PA, for the advice and guidance you need.

                  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.

                  Consultations

                  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.

                  Our office is conveniently located on Sarno Road in Melbourne.


                    Faro & Crowder, PA
                    Phone: 321-784-8158
                    Address:
                    1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
                    Melbourne, FL 32935
                    Send Email

                    We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.

                    Debt Collection after Bankruptcy

                    One of the primary benefits of seeking bankruptcy protection is that the automatic stay stops all collection efforts against you.

                    Once you have completed your case and obtained your discharge order, your dischargeable debts are eliminated and collectors are barred from taking any collection actions against you to recover the discharged debts. Unfortunately, this does not always mean that collectors won’t attempt to contact you. If this happens, below are a few suggestions on how to handle it:

                    • Stay calm – in many cases, the collector has made an error that can be resolved.
                    • Look over your bankruptcy pleadings and verify that the creditor was included in your filing and given notice of it.
                    • Confirm that your discharge order was entered and filed with the bankruptcy court. If you don’t know if you received your discharge, contract your bankruptcy lawyer or the court clerk for help. You should be sure to keep a copy of your discharge order with your important documents.
                    • It is important that you understand that certain types of debts are not dischargeable. You must confirm that the collector is not attempting to collect a debt that was not discharged in your case. Most consumer debts such as credit card and medical debt is dischargeable.
                    • Once you verify that the creditor was included in your bankruptcy case, the debt the collector is attempting to collect was discharged, and your received your discharge order, contact the creditor and inform them.
                    • To be safe, we recommend confirming your conversation with the debt collector in a follow-up letter and providing them with a copy of your discharge order. Be sure to keep a copy of this letter for your records.

                    The above steps should resolve the issue. However, if you take the above measures and the collector continues to contact or harass you, contact us for help. A creditor or collector that continues to ignore your bankruptcy discharge can be held liable by the court. 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.

                    Debt Collection Melbourne | Bankruptcy Attorney Brevard County

                    If you live in the Palm Bay or the Melbourne area and are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment.  Our office is conveniently located on Sarno Road in Melbourne.  We offer free initial consultations for bankruptcy and foreclosure defense.

                    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.


                      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.

                        Contact Us For A Free Consultation








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