Articles Tagged with bankruptcy

Wood blocks spelling small business and a cup of coffeeThere are more than 2.4 million small businesses in Florida, employing more than 3.2 million people. If you are one of them, you might be wondering if bankruptcy is an option to reduce your debt. Depending on how your business is legally categorized, you’ll be able to file a Chapter 7, 11, or 13 case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville can help you determine if bankruptcy is your best alternative. Because Florida is a homestead exemption state, there may be some other things to keep in mind as well. Each of these can have different effects on your business.

What Types of Bankruptcy Can I File?

In the US, there are a few different types of bankruptcy filing categories, called “Chapters.” Chapters 7 and 13 are usually used by individuals for personal filing. Chapter 11 is used for businesses. These can all mean different things for a small business in Florida.

divoice-court-desk-300x200Joint debt is considered to be any debt created by one or both spouses during the marriage. Upon divorce in Florida, the court decides which spouse is responsible for which joint debt. However, divorce court orders do not affect creditors, who will likely hold both partners liable for joint debt regardless of which spouse the court deemed liable. Common joint debts may include car loans, mortgages, credit card debt or other lines of credit. Below we answer some common questions about how joint debts are handled after divorce.

What Happens if the Court Ordered Spouse Decides Not to Pay Their Debt?

When a couple goes through a divorce in Florida, problems may arise if the spouse that was required by the court to pay the debt does not do so. Even if the final judgment in a divorce decree requires one spouse to be fully responsible for joint debt, that order holds no jurisdiction over the creditor. The creditor is likely to seek payment from the other spouse if the one ordered to pay fails to.

Emergency Room SignFar too many Americans find themselves in a financial crisis because of soaring medical costs. All it takes is one trip to the emergency room or a bad diagnosis for things to spiral out of control. But there are options. Will your medical debt be eliminated if you declare bankruptcy? Learn more about filing bankruptcy and what it means when it comes to medical debt.

Is Declaring Bankruptcy to Discharge Medical Debt an Option?

Sadly, nearly 1.7 million American households have experienced bankruptcy due to mounting medical expenses. This type of debt creates major stress and has become a fairly common reason to declare bankruptcy.

a gavel on a bankruptcy court benchMany people worry about what happens after they make the decision to file for bankruptcy. While preparing your paperwork is half the battle, it’s important to be prepared for what occurs after you’ve signed your petition. Here’s what you can expect after filing bankruptcy.

The Automatic Stay is Put in Place.

An automatic stay is a federal court order that goes into effect the moment a bankruptcy case is filed. It prevents creditors from making any effort to collect on debts you owe. You’ll be assigned a case number by the court, which you should give to any creditors that try contacting you. If they persist, they will have to answer to the bankruptcy court.

a pile of credit cards including visa and mastercardThe primary reason people file for bankruptcy is to get rid of their debt and have a fresh start. But while many of your debts will be discharged in bankruptcy, some debts may remain after filing. Read on to learn more about how to reduce debt by filing for bankruptcy.

Which Debts are Not Discharged with Chapter 7

When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your debt will be discharged. There are some debts, however, that will not be wiped out. Some of these debts may be subject to denial or successfully objected by the creditor. Others are never dischargeable, meaning that they fall under a predetermined list of non-dischargeable debts. These include:

a series of legal textbooks about trustsWhen filing bankruptcy, you’re probably concerned with safeguarding certain important assets. Will establishing a trust protect your assets from creditors? The answer will depend on several factors, including the type of trust you have. There are two types of trusts, revocable and irrevocable. Below we’ll discuss the purposes of each and how they apply when you’re filing for bankruptcy.

Revocable Trust

A revocable trust, or living trust, is the type of trust commonly used in estate planning. One of its primary purposes is to help your family avoid the stress and costs associated with probate after your death. Any assets included in this trust are not subject to probate court. This saves considerable time and hassle for the beneficiaries of your estate. The assets in the trust will be distributed according to your wishes.

two people attempting to file for bankruptcy on a laptopBankruptcy is the federal court procedure offering a person or business the opportunity to eliminate or restructure their debts. Debts that can’t be paid may be forgiven, and creditors may get some amount of repayment depending on the filer’s ability to pay. Filing bankruptcy in Florida can be a difficult decision, but it provides the opportunity to start with a clean slate.

What is The Bankruptcy Process in Florida

Most of the bankruptcy process is governed by federal bankruptcy laws. This means that filing bankruptcy in Florida is much like filing in other states. There is some Florida-specific information that you’ll need to submit. There are also Florida exemptions to be aware of. The basic process of filing in Florida follows these steps.

the Jacksonville skyline from across the riverMany clients ask us how a bankruptcy filing will affect their ability to rent a home or apartment. While bankruptcy can certainly make it more difficult to rent, it is not impossible. Potential landlords will take several factors into consideration when renting to you, including past bankruptcies. With some basic knowledge, there are ways you can improve your chances of renting your next home while in bankruptcy.

Renting before filing

If you have not filed yet, you might want to consider doing a pre-bankruptcy rental search. If you know ahead of time that you will need a new home due to surrendering your house in bankruptcy, think about locating a rental before filing. This way, your credit score is not yet affected by the bankruptcy filing and will not disqualify you from getting the rental you are interested in.

a married couple linking arms while sitting
If you and your spouse are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder if you are required to file jointly. Married couples can, in fact, file separately. When filing for bankruptcy in Jacksonville, married couples have the following options when choosing to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13:

  • One spouse files individually
  • Both spouses file individually

a gavel on a gray backgroundIf you have fallen behind on paying your bills, you may be wondering if you could lose your home. When facing financial turmoil, this is naturally what folks fear most. Fortunately, your home is safe from any creditors who do not have a mortgage or lien on it. Credit card companies and other unsecured loan holders can’t come and simply take your property or home after missing a few payments.

A creditor will first start making collection attempts by mail, phone calls or other methods. If these attempts are unsuccessful, there is a good chance that they will file a lawsuit against you. By doing so, the creditor is hoping to get a judgment which would allow them to transition from being an unsecured creditor a to secured creditor.

A judgment is issued by the court, and it states that the creditor has won the lawsuit and has a right to collect a specified amount of money from you. A creditor can get a judgment against you if you don’t respond to a complaint, don’t comply with a judge’s order, lose a summary judgment motion or lose a trial. Once a judgment has been issued, you become a judgment debtor and they become a judgment creditor.