Fort Lauderdale & Miami Bankruptcy Lawyers
How does a fresh start sound to you?
What do Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, and Donald Trump have in common?
They have all filed for bankruptcy, and the Donald and Abraham Lincoln
have done so several times. In fact, if you saw how long the list of celebrities,
famous business people, and politicians who have filed for bankruptcy
protection before, you probably wouldn't believe it.
The truth is that there is no reason whatsoever to be ashamed about the
prospect of filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a right afforded to every
United States citizen under the Constitution, and the entire purpose behind
the bankruptcy laws of this country are in order to provide a fresh start
for individuals who have fallen into financial distress or are struggling
because they can no longer afford to pay their bills.
Understanding the Bankruptcy Code
The bankruptcy code is quite complex, and at Loan Lawyers, we have been
able to help thousands of consumers and business owners in South Florida
not only get a fresh start, but often save their homes and benefit by
hundreds of thousands of dollars in principal reductions and mortgage
lien strip offs. Frequently, people will come to Loan Lawyers for a free
consultation with one of our Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorneys ready
to walk away from their homes or investment properties, and we have been
able to drastically increase their financial picture, save their homes,
and restructure their debt through employing strategic bankruptcy applications,
such as modifying their loans in bankruptcy court, removing second mortgages,
and cramming down investment properties to their fair market value enabling
them to be owned free and clear in five years.
Schedule your free consultation today.
Some of the most common questions that people who are contemplating bankruptcy have are:
- What type of debts can be discharged in bankruptcy?
- How long will bankruptcy affect my credit?
- Which assets or personal belongings are exempt from bankruptcy?
- How long does the bankruptcy process take?
- Which bankruptcy should I file?
- Can I file an individual bankruptcy if I'm married?
- Are my wages protected from bankruptcy?
- What about my savings? Can I keep money if I file bankruptcy?
- Can I keep my car?
- Can I keep my credit cards?
- How will bankruptcy affect my business?
- What if I cannot keep up with my Chapter 13 repayment plan?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most common and straightforward bankruptcy
option available to most people. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often referred
to as a liquidation bankruptcy. By filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you may
be able to eliminate most or all of your debts and have a fresh start
in as little as a few months. Chapter 7 is not available to everyone,
therefore the bankruptcy court uses the "Means Test" to measure
income and expenses to determine if someone qualifies for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
relief. Individuals are often able to discharge tens or hundreds of thousands
of dollars in debt through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Some of the debt situations
that may be eliminated in Chapter 7 are:
- Medical bills
- Credit card debt
- Wage garnishment
- Business debt that was personally guaranteed
- Legal judgments
- Collection agencies
- Student loans (not common, must be a unique situation)
There are various Florida laws that affect what types of exemptions are
available to someone seeking Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection, so make
sure you consult with a qualified and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney
that can help educate you as to what your rights are prior to filing for
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is often referred to as a reorganization bankruptcy.
Where in Chapter 7 the goal is to discharge all the debt and move on,
people who file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy often do so to benefit from the
many advantages of saving their homes, reducing their mortgages, and restructuring
mortgages on multiple properties so that they become more affordable.
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy usually involves a repayment plan that is spread
out over an average of 5 years, so that people can keep their assets and
make their debt situation more manageable.
In a Chapter 13, many types of debt can still be liquidated, while simultaneously
allowing for the restructuring of mortgage or automobile debt. Due to
the multitude of options available, a Chapter 13 allows consumers much
more flexibility and provides for many beneficial options. In addition,
individuals who simply cannot qualify for a Chapter 7 due to too much
income also often file chapter 13.
Benefits of Filing Under Chapter 13
The benefits to filing a Chapter 13 for homeowners, especially people with
multiple properties or investment properties are tremendous. If you are
a homeowner or property investor trying to save your home or investment
properties in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there are many tools available.
For example, you may be able to strip off (eliminate) a second or third
mortgage or other lien on the home, cram down a first mortgage on an investment
property and pay what the property is worth instead of what you owe, as
well as catch up on missed payments by spreading them out over 5 years
to bring your mortgage current.
While there are no income limitations to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy,
there are limits to how much secured debt you can have and still qualify
for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. It is important that you consult a knowledgeable
and experienced law firm to help you navigate the various beneficial options
available prior to filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 is a complex bankruptcy option that is most often used by businesses.
Nevertheless, if an individual consumer cannot pass the Means Test and
their secured debt is above the limits allowed by Chapter 13, they may
have no alternative but to file an individual Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is
also considered a reorganization bankruptcy. While Chapter 11 is a time
consuming, complex, and often expensive way to go, it can offer many benefits
to businesses or consumers who don't qualify for a Chapter 7 or 13.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy may provide unique solutions to minimize business
risk and financial loss, and at the same time, allow the business owner
the ability to continue running the business and remain in operation.
Why Hire Loan Lawyers
At Loan Lawyers, you will benefit from
over 100 years of combined legal experience helping consumers. Bankruptcy is a tremendous legal strategy, but it's
also of the utmost importance that it is used in the right way, and implemented
at the right time. Because we handle all aspects of consumer debt and
litigation, we can benefit our clients by making sure that they are properly
advised of the right legal strategy for their unique situation.
At times, bankruptcy is most effective when used immediately, and in other
situations, it's better to litigate or negotiate the underlying debt
issues and hold off with the bankruptcy until it is determined that it's
absolutely needed. Don't be taken advantage of by bankruptcy filing
mills that treat every case the same and put every client that walks into
their door immediately into bankruptcy. At Loan Lawyers, we have the knowledge
and the experience on how to guide you through the bankruptcy process,
and many times we are able to resolve the underlying debt issues and avoid
bankruptcy for our clients altogether.
If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy or just want to find out some
more information and what options are available for you, don't hesitate.
Call Loan Lawyers today at (844) FIGHT-13 (344-4813) for a free consultation with one of our consumer
lawyers to find out how we may be able to help you. We serve clients throughout
Miami & Fort Lauderdale.