The media and debt relief advertisements make getting out of debt sound simple -- stop spending, work longer hours and sell stuff you do not need in order to pay down debt. Like numerous other Florida residents who are in financial distress, you might be at the point where this type of advice is too little too late. You might now be at the point where you are facing repossession of your car or another secured asset because you are behind on the payments. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help stop repossession efforts and give you the time to get current on your payments.
Getting behind on bills is never a pleasant experience for any Florida resident. If credit card accounts go to collections, the stress is often compounded by daily phone calls from credit card debt collectors. What many people do not realize is that many collection agents will lie in order to get people to pay. Below are some of the most common lies that they tell unsuspecting consumers who are in dire financial straits.
Some creditors will accuse Florida residents of purposely attempting to avoid paying a debt. When the individual owing the debt files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a creditor could ask the court to dismiss the filing based on U.S. Bankruptcy Code section 707(a). This section requires that cause be determined for the filing to be dismissed, but it does not define that term, so the presiding judge has the discretion to determine what it means on a case-by-case basis.
Many Florida residents are able to diligently make their mortgage loan payments each month. They continue to do so believing that they will not have to face home foreclosure. However, one couple found out that mistakes were made by their mortgage loan servicing companies. Now, after eight years of fighting, they are being forced out of their home.
When many Florida residents divorce, they have both senior and junior liens on the marital home for which both parties are legally responsible. If one ex-spouse files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she might wish to strip the junior lien as part of a debt repayment plan -- essentially treating it as an unsecured debt that will be given the same priority as any other unsecured debt. A bankruptcy court on the East Coast recently determined that making this proposal is allowed even when the other ex-spouse, who is not part of the bankruptcy, is still liable for the debt.
For years now, companies have run credit checks on job applicants in order to assess their susceptibility to embezzlement or theft. This knowledge can make many Florida residents hesitant to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they fear that it will hurt their employment prospects. Fortunately, most employers do not put significant weight on an applicant's credit score.
When Florida couples divorce, each party will typically assume a portion of the marital debts. Doing so could put you in a precarious financial position. Fortunately, it may be possible for you to find debt relief through bankruptcy.
The simple answer to that question is that it depends on your circumstances. The primary reason that many Florida residents file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization) over a Chapter 7 (liquidation) is that they want to retain as much of their property as possible that would not necessarily be considered exempt under a Chapter 7. It also might be possible to discharge debts that would not otherwise be eligible under the other chapter.
The housing market in South Florida remains unstable despite recent gains in the rest of the state. This is partially evidenced by the fact that the home foreclosure rate in the area went up 6 percent in the last six months. Fortunately, even with that increase, the rate is still below what it was after the housing market crash and during the recession.