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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Unsecured debt can still be discharged through bankruptcy

When the recession hit and more and more people found themselves in a position where they felt bankruptcy was the only option, bankruptcy filings hit an all-time high. At the same time, bankruptcy laws and regulations changed throughout the country. For those in Florida who feel that they are being strangled by credit card debt, it may come as a relief to know that unsecured debt can still be discharged in most types of bankruptcies.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular is one option for those who have a great deal of unmanageable credit card debt. First, one must determine eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy through the means test. If eligible, it is likely that all credit card debt can be discharged, meaning that credit card debt will not have to be repaid.

Florida counties see lower home foreclosure rates

With the brunt of the recession having passed, there are signs of economic recovery. Despite those signs of recovery, there are those in Florida who still struggle and are actively seeking ways to avoid home foreclosure or ways to go through the bankruptcy process while keeping as many assets as possible. As a testament to a growing stability in the housing market in general and more options for those who are struggling, new numbers concerning foreclosures in Florida were just released.

The rate of foreclosures dropped last year. One county in particular, Broward County, saw a decrease of 42 percent. Palm Beach County had a 55 percent drop in foreclosure filings. It was noted that three quarters of the homes in some form of foreclosure in three counties were homes that had started the process between 2004 and 2008, the height of the housing market crash.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be preferred option in Florida

Once a family decides it is in financial peril, there may be several options available as a means of regaining financial control or getting back on stable ground. For some, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the preferred option for regaining financial control. In Florida, chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the better choice over other forms of personal bankruptcy for many reasons.

One of the best reasons someone may choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy over the most common Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the fact that he or she didn't meet the qualifications under a means test. It is important to note that meeting the means test does not mean bankruptcy isn't needed or the best move in the long-term. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person is essentially agreeing to a payment plan that is typically outlined for a three- to five-year period.

Many in Florida on verge of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Although the recession is waning, according to reports, many still struggle to stay above the poverty line. A new study took many by surprise, as it told of the true picture of the economic situation in the central Florida region. According to the new numbers, many residents in central Florida are barely above the poverty level and essentially on the verge of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The study revealed that 203,000 households in the tri-county region are technically on the edge of losing the roof over their heads or bankruptcy. The amount of people in this situation came as a surprise. This number was three times the number of households researchers believed to be in this position.

Rise in interest rates may hamper debt relief in Florida

Anyone who has a student loan, mortgage, auto loans or credit cards most likely pays attention to interest rates. The slightest interest rate increase or decrease can be the difference between being able to keep up with a loan or mortgage and struggling to maintain a home or good credit. Anyone in Florida who has any kind of debt may want to investigate how an interest rate increase could affect his or her efforts to make progress with debt relief plans or hamper that progress.

According to reports, the Federal Reserve may be poised to begin raising interest rates this year. However, a major rise isn't expected, but any kind of increase can have a ripple effect on just about anyone carrying debt. It is expected that the Fed may generate rate hikes in quarter-point increments.

Loan modification scam hoodwinks Florida homeowners

When a homeowner is having trouble keeping up with a mortgage, a loan modification through his or her lender may be the right choice. However, choosing between a loan modification and whether to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision. It can be made even more difficult or confusing if a struggling homeowner falls prey to any kind of loan modification scam, as was the case for a number of Florida homeowners recently.

A man just pleaded guilty to wire fraud after his scam was exposed. The man would call struggling homeowners under the guise that he was a federal official. He would tell the homeowner he or she was approved for a loan modification, and this approval would be verified with a call directly from his or her lender. The homeowner would then receive a call with the caller on the caller ID system being listed as that person's particular mortgage lender, offsetting any suspicions.

Know the facts about bankruptcy to stop home foreclosure

There are no guarantees when it comes to the outcome of filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process can yield different results from one Florida family to the next. For those who are concerned with how to stop home foreclosure by filing for bankruptcy, it is imperative to understand how the different types of bankruptcy and the exact nature of the situation will impact the ability to keep a home.

Filing for bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure against a home. But that doesn't mean a home is permanently safe from foreclosure. Payments still need to be caught up somehow. If a homeowner is severely behind in mortgage payments, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give a homeowner possibly five years to catch up payments and keep the home at the same time, if the homeowner is able to present a debt reorganization plan that the court approves.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be best option for some

When people think about bankruptcy, they may automatically conjure up images of seeing all of their assets sold, or liquidated, in order to pay back creditors. This typically describes the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For those in Florida who don't qualify for this form of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best option.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a repayment plan for struggling residents. It is ideal for those who have found themselves behind in payments -- such as a mortgage or credit card payments -- yet know that, if they had more time, they would be able to catch up. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a repayment plan is set up for an average time period of three to five years, and the filer gets to keep a number of assets.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be key to financial woes in Florida

Some folks may not originally like the idea of pursuing bankruptcy. However, after the financial crisis hit Florida and the rest of the country, many hardworking homeowners found themselves looking at the benefits of this option. Once a homeowner decides that bankruptcy is perhaps the best solution, deciding which kind can be confusing. For many, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the ideal way to deal with mounting debt and get the fresh financial start a family may need.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a means of discharging debt. Only certain types of debt can be discharged, however. Credit card bills and hospital bills are types of debt that can be discharged. Before a person can pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that person must pass a means test. This test calculates your income and expenses and determines if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for your situation.

Stripping a second mortgage may help Florida homeowners

Financial hardships can strike anyone at any time. The process of dealing with any kind of permanent or temporary financial crisis can be overwhelming and confusing, as bankruptcy laws have changed over the years. For Florida homeowners who have a second mortgage, stripping a second mortgage may be one way to get a handle on finances and move forward with less debt overall.

A second mortgage is essentially a loan borrowing against equity in a house. During great financial booms or times of stability, a second mortgage may have been a great idea. As the crisis hit Florida and all across the country, having a second mortgage lingering over heads simply added to the stress of many homeowners. With no equity and rising payments, both first and second mortgages became a great source of financial strain on homeowners who may have seen no relief in sight.

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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