Florida’s Laws Are Used In A Bankruptcy Filing & These Laws Are Intended To Protect, Help & Assist You In Difficult Financial Times

Florida has long recognized the necessity to protect its citizens from “financial reverses and difficulties” (from a 1939 case). The Florida Supreme Court has explained that the purpose of such laws are to prevent the unfortunate “from being deprived of the necessaries of life … so as to protect a person or family so they shall not suffer and be left destitute and a charge upon charity” (a 1931 case).

This is important because in Florida, bankruptcy exemptions (what you retain in a bankruptcy) are governed solely by Florida exemption laws,

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Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy Is Not DIfficult If One Can Follow A Few Simple Rules

Make no mistake, a bankruptcy is a bad mark on a credit score. But I would guess at least half of my bankruptcy clients already have poor scores when they come in. In that case, bankruptcy will actually improve the credit score in short order, because first, instead of for example having $20K in past due or charged off debt, you will now have zero debt, and secondly you cannot file bankruptcy for the next 8 years.

The keys to rebuilding your credit score, and I’m speaking of doing so in

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How Great Is It That Your Debt Problems Have Solutions? And That In Most Bankruptcy Filings, The Only Thing You Lose Is Your Debt, Nothing More!

As a Broward County bankruptcy attorney, I help people who are struggling with too much debt.  I read on the website that if one has a $5,000 credit card balance and only pays the minimum payment every month, it will take 13 years – THIRTEEN YEARS – to pay it off.  And this assumes there are no new charges during the 13 years.  I also read that Florida ranks as one of the five highest states in the U.S. populace with credit card burden.  It strikes me that obtaining

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The Upside of Bankruptcy; Or Rich Or Poor, It’s Nice to Have Money

My Dad used to say that: “Rich or poor it’s nice to have money”. But for many good people juggling their finances, money that could be in their pocket goes instead to lots of minimum payments on many credit cards and/or medical bills. There is no budget to be made because there is no money left over to budget with. There is no control over the finances when there is nothing left to control.

No one wants to file bankruptcy. No one wants to live like a pauper either. But reality

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Strategically Pre-Planning To Optimize A Bankruptcy Filing, Which I Call A Negative Estate Planning, Is Smart. Plus Some Big No-No’s To Avoid

The rules of bankruptcy can be used to gain the greatest benefit from filing while at the same time minimize any downside issues that can be avoided. This usually concerns exemptions. For example, if a client owns an automobile free and clear valued at $5,000 but he is only allowed a $1,000 exemption on the auto, they might take a loan against the car for $4,000, spend the money, and then with the $4,000 lien, they only have $1,000 in equity and it is exempt. Or they might sell it

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The Means Test & Chapter 7

Simply put, the Means Test determines whether a person or married couple are eligible to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or whether they must file chapter 13 instead. Chapter 7 is the quicker and simpler of the two, and preferable for most folks. The Means Test uses a formula to determine, based upon personal income or two incomes in a joint case where both spouses are employed, if the debtor(s) have sufficient disposable income to repay a portion of their unsecured debts. Under the means test formula, if it is

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The Bankruptcy Discharge: Good-Bye Debt – Hello New Lease On Life!

The final decree at the conclusion of a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is a Court Order entitled: DISCHARGE OF DEBTOR(S). It is signed by a bankruptcy judge and states the debtor(s) are hereby granted a Discharge of all dischargeable debts. It prohibits any further collection activity on discharged debts and outlines the penalties any creditor is subject to for a collection effort. Each creditor listed in a bankruptcy receives a copy of the Discharge.

Once the Discharge comes through, being about four months after filing the case, my clients are no

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The “Meeting of Creditors”; a/k/a “The 341 Meeting”, Which Is Really Just You, Me, and Our Trustee

In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, there is a single occasion when my client, or clients in a joint (married) case, will meet with the Trustee for a brief pow-wow. This meeting is required and must be in person, with very limited exceptions. It takes place not in a courtroom, but in a simple conference room, at a table, where we sit across from the Trustee and he or she “examines” each debtor with very basic questions.

The Trustee will ask: Did you review your schedules before you signed them? Is

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The Trustee’s Role In Your Bankruptcy Case. I Keep ‘Em Happy!

Unless something is amiss or it is an unusually complex case, the only person we will have any contact and dealings with in a bankruptcy filing is the Bankruptcy Trustee.

The United States Bankruptcy Trustee Program is actually a unit of the federal government’s U.S. Department of Justice, often referred to as the “DOJ”. The particular trustee assigned to administer your case is formally denoted as the Interim Trustee, but as stated above, unless something unusual occurs there is no need for a higher-up DOJ Trustee to be involved. The Interim

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Bankruptcy means I can never obtain credit again, right? W R O N G !!

This is a good question that I get a lot.  I wish to be very clear: There is no law that says because you filed a bankruptcy you cannot again obtain credit. Now or in the future.  Indeed, it has been said that for some folks whose credit is already in the crapper (charge offs, judgments, etc.), the filing of a bankruptcy will actually, immediately boost your low credit score because 1.) instead of $20,000 or whatever the number is in debt on your credit score, now as a result

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