In difficult economic times, more people turn to bankruptcy as a way out of ever-growing debt, stress, and confusion. In recent years, some of the biggest American companies have gone through bankruptcy and emerged stronger and better prepared for the future: individuals can do the same. While bankruptcy varies among different states, and while some federal laws have made it more difficult for individuals to seek relief through bankruptcy, in Florida the bankruptcy laws are still relatively friendly to those who need bankruptcy protection.
Designed to give people a fresh economic start, bankruptcy is a process that allows people to eliminate or reduce financial burdens such as credit card debt or medical bills; puts an end to creditor harassment; and creates a path toward renewed control of one's finances.
There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is the version that most people think of when they think of "bankruptcy": it involves the liquidation (or selling off) of some of a person's assets, in order to pay at least part of that person's debt. The rest of the debt is "forgiven," so that, at the end, the person can emerge from bankruptcy debt-free. However, what many people don't realize is that various assets, such as a person's home, are exempted from liquidation and will not be sold off. In addition, a person may choose to retain certain debts, when that would be to his or her advantage. In other words, bankruptcy is more flexible than most people realize; that is why, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should discuss your situation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who can help you request a remedy uniquely designed for your specific circumstances.
A different version of bankruptcy, Chapter 13, allows a debtor to propose a payment plan for a variety of debts, which would extend by a number of years the period during which those debts would be paid off. The debtor would have to prove to the Bankruptcy Court that he or she has the means to make the payments proposed as part of the plan. If the Bankruptcy Court approves the petition and the proposed payment plan, the debtor would then make only one payment per month, to a Bankruptcy Trustee, who would pay off the various creditors involved.
While bankruptcy will undoubtedly affect your credit record, that effect is temporary. Moreover, your credit record is equally harmed by unpaid bills and ever-growing debt. If you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into debt, unable to meet your obligations, for any reason, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.
At the Flaxman Law Group, we are ready to discuss your particular situation. We have been helping South Florida residents with a variety of legal issues for more than 35 years. We will help you file for bankruptcy correctly the first time, so that you will hopefully never have to do it again.
Contact us today, by filling out and submitting our online form or by calling
1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN). Our South Florida offices are conveniently located in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead.