Tag Archives: Chapter 7

Can You Afford to File for Bankruptcy?


When you are barely making ends meet and you are considering filing a personal bankruptcy, you are likely concerned with how much a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will cost you. We understand that it can be stressful to come up with the money to file for relief from your debt, but working with the “right” lawyer is crucial to having success in your bankruptcy case.

Afford to File For Bankruptcy | Melbourne and Palm Bay, Florida

Bankruptcy Lawyer Brevard County

Afford to File For Bankruptcy

Having an attorney in your bankruptcy case can actually save you money and help ensure that you keep possession of as many assets as possible. It is common for individuals who are facing money struggles to be tempted to retain the cheapest lawyer they can find, but you sometimes get what you pay for. In other words, you don’t want to hire an attorney that is inexperienced or unreliable to handle your case.

Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

In an effort to save money, many individuals also consider hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer to assist with their bankruptcy filing. Although a bankruptcy petition preparer’s fees may be less, the only help you will receive is assistance with completing the paperwork needed to file your case. A bankruptcy petition preparer is not allowed to give you legal advice or to otherwise represent you as your case proceeds. This means that if any complications arise in your filing, you’re on your own.

Preparing Financially for a Bankruptcy Filing

Bankruptcy lawyers understand your financial struggles, so the fees they charge are typically reasonable. This is particularly true when you compare their fee to the thousands of dollars your attorney can help you discharge in your filing! Additionally, many bankruptcy law firms will assist you in finding a way to afford your filing. Consider the following:

  • To prepare for your bankruptcy, start putting aside small amounts each month. Planning your filing allows you to save the money you need to afford it.
  • Talk to friends and family members about making monetary gifts to assist you. It is essential that they understand they are giving (not loaning) the money because the debt will likely be discharged in your filing. If you desire, you can always voluntarily repay them after your bankruptcy has concluded.
  • Consider taking a loan from your retirement plan. It is important to understand the potential tax consequences of doing this. You should also read our blog titled “Is my 401K Safe in Bankruptcy?”
  • Discuss other options with your bankruptcy lawyer, including establishing a payment plan.

Remember, the small amount you pay your bankruptcy attorney is worth every penny when you discharge the majority of your debt and obtain a second chance with your financial future.

Contact a Melbourne Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

The decision to hire an attorney is an important one and should not be based on advertising alone. At Faro & Crowder, PA, we believe our reputation and track record speak for themselves, but we welcome you to ask our other clients about their experience working with us. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial bankruptcy or foreclosure defense consultation.

Assessing Your Debt

 Assessing Your Debt - Brevard County Bankruptcy

Consider your debt relief options – Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you are struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck, it is time to consider your debt relief options. Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be the first step to taking control of your debt and getting your financial life back on track. The first step in making this decision is to objectively assess your debt.

What exactly does this mean? The Internet has several different websites that can assist you with the process. Most offer a “debt quiz” that gives you questions to answer regarding your financial status. By answering yes or no to these questions, the website may provide you with suggestions on how to improve your finances. But remember, this is very generalized advice and it is not legal advice, so it should be only used as a means for helping you assess your debt.

There are also websites that provide a debt calculator, which can be helpful because it permits you to enter the amount of your debt and the applicable interest rates. A debt calculator allows you to see how your debt will continue to increase over time. Again, these websites may offer generalized advice on ways you can pay your debt off.

The most vital action you can take is to be honest with yourself about your debt. If you are facing a temporary setback due to the loss of a job or divorce that you can overcome, then it makes sense to live by a budget until you have gotten back on track. However, if you are facing overwhelming debt and you believe there is no way you will ever recover from it, you should confer with a personal bankruptcy attorney.

No website or DIY book can replace the advice and guidance of an experienced lawyer. Let one of our attorneys review your individual finances and help you understand all of your debt relief options. Discharging your debt and obtaining a fresh financial start is often the best decision for our clients. In fact, many of them tell us they wish they hadn’t waited so long!

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA today for your FREE initial bankruptcy consultation

Stop living under the weight of your debt. Let us help. Contact Faro & Crowder, PA, today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.


The Debts Your Bankruptcy will NOT Discharge

debts not discharged pic

One of the primary benefits of filing a personal bankruptcy is the elimination of debt. In a typical filing, the debtor is granted a discharge order as soon as his or her bankruptcy case has been successfully completed. The court clerk where you filed your case mails a copy of your discharge order to all of your creditors and other interested parties. However, it is important to understand that there are certain debts that are not eligible for discharge.

The majority of consumer debts qualify to be discharged in bankruptcy. This means that when you receive your discharge order, your liability to pay the debts has been cancelled. You are no longer obligated to pay the debt and the creditor or collector is prohibited from taking action to collect it from you. However, below are examples of the types of debts that are excluded under the law from being discharged:

  • Child support and spousal support payments
  • Certain taxes
  • Most student loans
  • Debts that were incurred by fraud, embezzlement or larceny
  • Debts related to personal injury resulting from willful or malicious conduct
  • Debts that were not properly listed or included in your bankruptcy case
  • Fines or penalties owed to government entities
  • Certain homeowner’s association fees or condominium fees
  • Monetary judgments against you for personal injury or wrongful death caused by your intoxication

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, it is essential that you confer with a bankruptcy attorney regarding your individual debts. We can review your financial situation and help you understand how a bankruptcy filing will benefit you and how your debt will be impacted, including informing you of any debts that you may remain liable to pay after your case has concluded. To learn more, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.


Can I Keep my Wedding Rings in Bankruptcy?

 

Individuals who are struggling to make ends meet often turn to bankruptcy to take control of their finances. When you file for bankruptcy, the court requires you to list all of your assets. Many clients get concerned when they learn that they must list their wedding rings on the list of assets. However, the Bankruptcy Code provides numerous exemptions that can be applied to exclude certain types of property from being included in your bankruptcy estate. Wedding rings are usually covered by exemptions.

wedding rings pic

Federal law provides an exemption for wedding rings. Additionally, each state has its own set of bankruptcy exemptions and most allow a debtor to keep wedding bands and engagement rings. In fact, they are often considered fully exempt, which means you can keep them regardless of their value.

In Florida, you are required to use the state bankruptcy exemptions. Florida does not provide a specific exemption for jewelry, but it does have a general personal property exemption. It allows you to keep any type of personal property (wedding rings, clothing, furniture, etc.) up to $1,000. This amount is doubled if you are married and file a joint bankruptcy case. Additionally, if you don’t need to use the homestead exemption to protect your house, you can exempt up to $4,000 of personal property.

It is important to understand that for bankruptcy purposes, the value of your rings will be significantly lower than what you paid for them. You will use the liquidation value (what you could sell the rings for) or their replacement value. One of our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys can assist you with determining the appropriate value of your rings before you file your case.

You should also understand that in many cases, the administrative expenses associated going after a low-value, non-exempt asset is not worth it to the trustee. They understand the sentimental value of your wedding rings and are typically reluctant to seize them. Thus, unless your rings are extremely high-value, it is likely you will be able to keep them in your bankruptcy filing.

To learn more about filing for bankruptcy protection and how it will impact your various different assets, contact the legal team at Faro & Crowder for help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.

Why YOU Should File Chapter 7

When you are struggling to pay your bills and considering filing for bankruptcy protection, it is important to understand which type of filing is best for you. This blog will discuss the benefits of filing a Chapter 7. Be sure to read our next blog to learn more about the benefits of a Chapter 13 filing.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | Brevard County

Below are a few examples of some of the advantages of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

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.

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.

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.

The above are just a few examples of the benefits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To learn more or how a Chapter 7 filing would impact your debt, contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA for a free bankruptcy consultation

Don’t delay obtaining your relief from debt any longer. Call us today to schedule your free initial bankruptcy consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne on Sarno Road. We proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.

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

Is my 401K Safe in Bankruptcy?

401k pic

When you are struggling financially and being harassed by creditors, the idea of getting safe refuge in bankruptcy can be quite appealing. However, most people are afraid to take this step because they fear what will happen to their assets. A significant assets for most individuals is their retirement account. Fortunately, federal bankruptcy law provides protection for qualified retirement accounts. In fact, the law sets forth an exemption that removes a qualified 401k, pension, profit sharing or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) from being included in your bankruptcy estate. Most state bankruptcy laws have a similar exemption as well.

When it comes to protecting an IRA, the maximum amount that can be exempted is $1,245, 475 per individual. This is a substantial sum and most debtors have accounts that are well below this amount, so they are protected fully. However, if your IRA account exceeds the cap, you should consult with your bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your options.

In fact, if you are planning to file a personal bankruptcy, you should consult with an attorney to verify that all of your retirement accounts qualify for the exemption. This is also true if you have taken a loan against your 401k account. A loan against your retirement account may add some complexity to your filing, so it is important for you and your attorney to be prepared to address the issues.

Claiming all of the applicable exemptions to safeguard your assets is essential to having a successful bankruptcy case. When you have your initial consultation with your bankruptcy attorney, you should provide all of the records regarding each of your retirement accounts to confirm that the funds will be protected.

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.


Bankruptcy: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy protection is a difficult decision. There are numerous factors that must be considered and it is important for you to understand all the pros and cons of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. Although no two cases are the same, below are a few things you should be aware of before filing your bankruptcy petition.

Bankruptcy Attorney Melbourne, Florida

Bankruptcy: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good When Filing Bankruptcy

  • All, or almost all, of your debts will be eliminated (discharged)
  • All collection activity (harassing calls, lawsuits, garnishments, etc.) against you will immediately stop
  • Bankruptcy is the most comprehensive means for dealing with your debt because all of your creditors are included
  • Depending on what chapter of bankruptcy file, you probably will be allowed to keep all of your assets
  • If you file a repayment plan, you can make your payments over a period of three to five years
  • You may be allowed to remove or “strip” inferior liens from your home
  • You emerge from bankruptcy with a fresh financial start and you can immediately begin rebuilding your credit score

The Bad When Filing Bankruptcy

  • Until you have had time to rebuild your credit and improve your credit score, you may have a difficult time qualifying for a mortgage or other loan after bankruptcy
  • You will need to learn from your financial mistakes because you cannot file another bankruptcy for several years
  • There is a small risk the trustee will seize your non-exempt assets to pay creditors

The Ugly When Filing Bankruptcy

  • Filing for bankruptcy protection will negatively impact your credit score, but in most cases, the debtor’s credit is already damaged by past due payments, lawsuits and other negative financial events

The above is a very brief outline of the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection. Let us review your individual circumstances and provide you with an honest assessment of how filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would impact you.

Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

The legal team at Faro & Crowder is ready to help. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.

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.

Professional Licenses in a Bankruptcy

When you hold a professional license, it is a significant asset and you want to do everything you can to protect it. Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, realtor, CPA, or some other type of professional, your license is essential to your livelihood. When you file a personal bankruptcy, it is important to understand that your license is considered an asset.

prof license in bky pic

Your Professional License is Considered an Asset When Filing Bankruptcy

Pursuant to section 525(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a government agency is prohibited from denying, revoking, suspending or refusing to renew a license to an individual who has filed for bankruptcy protection, solely due to the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing. This means that although your professional license is an asset with value, your bankruptcy filing will not prevent you from practicing your profession.

It should be noted, however, that filing a personal bankruptcy will not shield you from losing your license for other reasons. If you are in violation of the standards or ethics of your profession and the governing body is taking action against you, filing bankruptcy will not stop the revocation or suspension of your license.

The “Good Moral Character” Provision

The Bankruptcy Code contains a broad “good moral character” provision. If you hold a professional license and you have concerns, you should confirm that you are in compliance with the standards and requirements of your profession to ensure that no issues arise in your case. Although this is rarely an issue in personal bankruptcy filings, it is always better to confer with your attorney about anything that worries you before your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is filed.

Contact a Brevard County Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

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.

Areas We Proudly Serve

We provide services throughout Central Florida and the Space Coast including Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie. Contact our office in Melbourne today to set up a free consultation with a bankruptcy relief attorney.

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.

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 Chapter 13 is Better than Chapter 7

Hopefully you have read our blog titled “How Chapter 7 is Better than Chapter 13,” to learn more about the advantages of a Chapter 7 filing. This blog will focus on the many benefits of a Chapter 13 case.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Brevard County

Debt Consolidation in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 filing is a reorganization process which allows you flexibility in how to deal with your debt. A Chapter 13 debtor creates a repayment plan that sets forth how you intend to pay your creditors, either fully or partially. You make one monthly payment to the Chapter 13 trustee who then pays your creditors as set forth in your plan.

Unsecured Debts

Your unsecured debts will be included in your Chapter 13 repayment plan and you are required to pay a percentage of them (0 to 100%), depending on your finances. In most cases, the debtor only pays a very small percentage of the unsecured debts owed, including credit card and medical bills.

Secured Debts

If you are delinquent on your mortgage or car loan payments, you can make small payments through your Chapter 13 plan and get caught-up on your secured loans. Since your plan lasts three to five years, the smaller monthly payments can be applied to the past due amounts.

Lien Stripping in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You may be able to eliminate a second or third mortgage in a Chapter 13 filing by using the lien stripping process. To learn more, please read our blog titled Stripping Off Junior Mortgages in Bankruptcy.”

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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