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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Credit card bills may rise for some in Florida

When it comes to credit cards, a portion of the debt any family carries is due to the interest rates on those cards. For Florida families, credit card bills may be difficult to keep up with, and the interest rates play a major role in how long those cards may take to pay off. It may surprise some to learn that credit bills may rise soon as federal influences can lead to higher rates.

It is reported that the average interest rate on credit cards is about 14 percent. Some cards are over 20 percent, which can add significantly to the balance over time. The prime rate for credit cards is linked to the federal funds rate, which is essentially controlled by the Federal Reserve. That rate is set to go up in 2015.

Bankruptcy can help stop home foreclosure

The thought of losing a home due to financial difficulties is often a homeowner's worst nightmare. While the home foreclosure process can be scary and overwhelming for many, knowing the options and possible ways to halt or delay a home foreclosure may help countless homeowners weather a financial storm. Any Florida homeowner concerned about a potential home foreclosure is entitled to get the facts and explore the options available to confront the underlying issues.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy aids homeowners in the process of discharging many types of debts. Under this type of bankruptcy, the home may be sold, although there is a homestead exemption that may apply and could keep the property out of the hands of creditors. As Florida has a liberal homestead exemption, it is worthwhile to investigate whether a home may be exempt.

Confusion over credit card debt can delay bankruptcy

Whenever someone's financial situation has taken a turn for the worse and he or she is unable to manage things as they currently stand, that person may need to seek help. When that time comes and someone clearly needs assistance in dealing with credit card debt, there are options of which he or she should be made aware. However, if someone in Florida attempts to file for bankruptcy without the help of a professional, confusion over how credit card debt is handled may affect how that bankruptcy filing or process unfolds.

First, a consumer needs to know whether he or she qualifies for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If the federal means test determines that an individual qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is likely that his or her credit card debt will be discharged and that the individual will no longer be responsible for it. However, if he or she is required to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she will likely have to repay at least a portion of the debt.

Using credit wisely may help stave off credit card debt

Many people have credit cards these days. However, whenever a person has a problem staying on top of payments or otherwise managing those credit cards, he or she may find that credit cards can quickly become a whole new problem about which to worry. There are ways to use credit cards and keep the possibility of credit card debt at bay for all Florida residents concerned with avoiding debt.

One way to ensure that credit cards are used wisely is to think about the time of the month that purchases are made. By purchasing items close to the closing date of the credit card statement, there is less time to pay the amount in full. Paying off the amount charged in full every month keeps interest payments from becoming an issue and causing financial concern.

Florida NFL player charged in loan modification scam

Struggling homeowners have sought out ways to regain their financial footing ever since the recession rattled the entire country. Florida was especially hard hit, which left many homeowners seeking assistance in a variety of ways. For some owners, a loan modification was a first choice. While this option helped some, others became victims of scams. Many people were recently shocked to learn that a former Florida Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player, Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, was charged with being party to a scam to bilk homeowners.

The football player is one of 10 defendants who pleaded guilty to charges related to the alleged loan scheme. The men were accused of heading up teams of telemarketers who targeted homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments. The scheme allegedly made $7 million for the men involved during its first year.

Trickery by service providers affects loan modification process

When homeowners had a hard time dealing with the aftermath of the recession, many sought out the help of financial institutions as a mean of keeping their homes while they fought to regain their financial footing. One option for many struggling Florida homeowners was to seek out loan modification programs. While some found this a helpful option, others were unknowingly the victims of trickery.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report recently that points to wrongdoing across the board for some service companies. The problems and wrongdoing outlined was applicable to student loan providers and mortgage servicers. One problem found is that some service providers purposely delayed loan modifications.

Man indicted for loan modification scam

When a homeowner is desperate for financial relief, any kind of offer to help may seem appealing. The process of getting a loan modification can be a lifesaver for a homeowner looking to avoid home foreclosure. However, Florida homeowners should beware of promises that seem too good to be true when seeking a loan modification as a means of avoiding home foreclosure.

Recently, a man was indicted on charges that he essentially bilked homeowners out of roughly $250,000. The man allegedly defrauded over 90 homeowners with his loan modification scam. An investigation has led to more than 21 counts of fraud against the 43-year-old.

Smart ways to eliminate credit card debt

Financial stability can be elusive, and yet it is achievable for most people if they follow the advice of professionals. For Florida residents, credit card debt can be a source of stress and impair a family's or individual's ability to deal with other debts. While each situation may be different, there are smart ways for almost everyone to reduce and deal with credit card debt.

One tip most people should apply is to pay the most toward the card with the highest interest rate. Interest rates can vary greatly and affect the overall amount a person pays. The national average is reported to be 15.2 percent. While this way is a money-saver over time, experts warn that it could still take a long time to pay off all credit cards by employing this approach.

Reality of credit card debt may lie in generation gap

Not all credit card holders are the same, and neither are the struggles of those who use credit cards. Credit card debt can be financially debilitating for any Florida resident, as the recession once proved. However, the use of credit cards and management of credit card debt varies from generation to generation.

A recent study outlined the differences pertaining to credit cards based on age. There were three groups included in the poll. The groups were the generation known as the Millennials, Generation X and Y and the Baby Boomers.

Florida residents may struggle with loan modification changes

When the recession hit, many home owners across the country turned to different programs to help them keep their homes. One program was the Home Affordable Modification Program. With this program, Florida homeowners were able to obtain a loan modification to reduce their interest rate and their monthly mortgage payment. But, that change was temporary, and some fear the rise in rates and mortgage payments may lead to another struggle for homeowners in Florida.

The temporary reduction was for five years for those who qualified for the loan modification program. Now, when that time runs out, the increase may offset the financial stability some have grown used to. One estimate states that mortgage payments for some can rise anywhere from $150 to $1,000 a month.

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