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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Get credit card debt under control

Many consumers in Florida and around the nation utilize credit cards as part of maintaining their budgets. However, the average family in the county now owes more than $8,000 in credit card debt. The total of this debt for the nation has now increased to over $1 trillion. Experts strongly recommend that individuals reduce the amount of credit card balances. Advisers from a national financial television network offered suggestions on how to eliminate credit card debt.

A key strategy is to focus on paying more than the minimum payment due each month. Interest rates on credit card balances are typically high and can end up costing someone a great deal of money. One way to avoid these high rates is to set up an automatic method to pay the balance in full each month. Another pitfall for some people is trying to maintain the same lifestyle as others. Experts say it's best to stop comparing to others on social media and to resist basing purchases on what others have.

Florida home foreclosure rates continue to improve

Being ranked number one on a list is often cause for celebration. However, Florida once topped a list where many officials were not very pleased to see the state's name. In the past, Florida was first in the country for home foreclosure activity. However, a recent report shows that Florida has made improvements in this area.

Florida now ranks seventh in the country for home foreclosures. One in every 1,140 homes was involved in some stage of the foreclosure process for May 2017. This number actually reflected an increase from April 2017, but was a decrease of 35 percent from May 2016.

Debt consolidation one way to reduce credit card debt

Many Florida residents and others around the country often use the equity in their homes to get a debt consolidation loan. Interest costs can be considerably lower, and proceeds are frequently used to pay down mounting credit card debt. While paying down debt is important, experts from a consumer financial website don't recommend using funds from a home's equity to do so.

Those who support the use of home equity loans report that interest rates are often lower than those for credit cards. Also, where the interest paid on credit cards is not tax deductible, it is for home loans. Conversely, if someone is unable to pay back a consolidation loan, a house is at risk since it was used as collateral. In addition, spending habits are not addressed by simply restructuring the amount of money owed.

Credit card debt a problem for many Florida consumers

For the average Florida consumer, credit cards are fairly easy to obtain. Companies send offers through the mail; department stores offer them with almost every purchase. While the offers may be enticing and the benefits attractive, credit card debt can prove to be a financial problem for many individuals.

Projections indicate that American consumers will add $60 billion to already existing credit card debt prior to the end of 2017. This will push the total credit card debt over $1 trillion. This increased spending coupled with decreased repayment has caused some concern for individual households struggling with credit card debt.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and other filings up in May 2017

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a decision made by some Florida residents and others throughout the nation to get a fresh start. There are two main options for consumers seeking relief: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings primarily deal with the discharge of certain debts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is focused on debt consolidation and repayment plans. According to recent reports, total filings for the country have increased since last month as well as the previous year.

A national bankruptcy institute issued a report on the number of total bankruptcy filings. The filings for May 2017 increased 5 percent over the number for May 2016. Total filings also increased from April 2017 to May 2017.

Helpful tip to better manage credit card debt

Many consumers in Florida and around the nation use credit cards every day for various financial transactions. Analysts from a financial planning website acknowledge that the use of credit cards is not a bad thing. However, credit card debt is a growing problem in the country. Experts offer advice on how to reach financial goals more quickly and how credit card usage may affect those goals.

It is generally believed that consumers should strive to pay credit card balances in full every month. If using a rewards card, purchasers could still earn the reward. However, by paying the balance, the person is not getting into debt or incurring any interest charges. It is also likely that someone is staying within budget and not overspending. Any funds not spent on interest can be put toward retirement investments.

Woman faces home foreclosure after Extreme Makeover renovation

Extreme Makeover is a reality television show viewed by many Florida residents and others around the country. The show chronicles the renovation of an existing home for a deserving family. Nine years ago, a woman in another state watched as her home was completely redone on television. However, she now faces home foreclosure and must leave her residence.

The woman's home was rebuilt by the reality show and hundreds of volunteers, following the death of her husband in 2008. The renovations on the house caused increased insurance costs and taxes, thereby resulting in higher mortgage payments each month. Following a car accident, the woman fell behind in her payments. After filing paperwork to stop a foreclosure, she learned that her mortgage had been acquired by a new servicing company.

Rules to keep credit card debt under control

Many households in Florida and around the country have a least one credit card utilized for a variety of reasons. While credit card debt in the nation is growing at an alarming rate, it is vital to be informed on how to most effectively use this common financial tool. A consumer financial website has offered advice on how to wisely make the most of the credit cards someone has.

The website reminds consumers that cards with reasonable rates are possible even for those with poor credit. Though a secured credit card may be required, it is best to shop for the best interest rates and fees available. It is also important to compare the APR for purchases and for cash advances. Many companies charge a considerably higher APR for cash advances. This is also the case for a penalty APR if a late payment is made or the credit limited is exceeded.

How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect your future?

Are you hesitant to file for bankruptcy because you are worried about how it will affect your future? The good news is that most negative consequences are temporary and far better than the long-term effects of remaining in considerable debt.

Knowing how your bankruptcy influences your future financial circumstances can relieve your concerns and help you make the right decision for your situation.

Millions lost in phony Florida debt consolidation companies

Many consumers in Florida have experienced financial difficulties in the past few years since the economic downturn. Certain residents considered debt consolidation loans as a means to improve their financial position and repair their credit. Unfortunately, three men from South Florida created even more problems for the people that were already in financial trouble through fake debt relief companies.

The men had established 11 phony companies, according to officials from the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General's Office. Consumers paid these companies each month, expecting that their debts would be paid, settled or dismissed. However, the victims discovered that their debts were not paid. In fact, they learned that their credit scores were even lower and some accounts were in default. Some had to file for bankruptcy.

Paul Urich
Orlando Office

Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A.
1510 East Colonial Drive
Suite 204
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: 407-896-3077
Fax: 407-896-3041

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