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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Blog

Can bankruptcy eliminate student debt?

With holiday shopping in full swing, many are more self-aware of their spending and current debts. Credit card debt can create many burdens, but this is not the only type of debt that can weigh a person down for a long duration. More significant debt, such as a mortgage, auto loan, medical bills, and student loans can stick with a person for decades. While bankruptcy can help reduce and eliminate certain debts, this process cannot erase all financial woes.

Those living with debt often file for bankruptcy to seek relief from it. However, this process does not work for those who are primarily bogged down by student loan debt. Current data suggests that roughly one-third of bankruptcy filers carry student loan debt, which is a debt that is virtually impossible to discharge. Additionally, of the 32% of bankruptcy filers that carry student loan debt, it was found that student loans make up roughly half of their total debt.

Helping you successfully file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Families in Florida and elsewhere work hard to provide for their family. And when financial problems arise, this does not cause them to stop. Whether it is growing medical debt, unemployment or an accident, financial hardships can hit a family hard, sometimes causing them to seek out debt relief options. While filing for bankruptcy may be the last on one's list, the reality is that this might be the best option for a fresh financial start.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one to make. And prior to a filing, an individual or family must determine which type of filing would be the most beneficial. Typically, this means filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At Ditocco Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys can help one better understand the differences between the two.

Seven key reasons to file for bankruptcy

While California tops the list for the highest number of bankruptcies in a state, the state of Florida comes in second. On average, around 94,000 individuals in Florida file for bankruptcy each year. This is a large number of people dealing with financial troubles. The purpose for filing may be similar; however, the reason for filing can range greatly among individuals and families in the state.

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be a time consuming one. Additionally, it is also a decision that could cost one some money. Thus, one does not want to waste their time or money on this decision, which is why individuals dealing with the following financial situations should consider this process.

What is an automatic stay in bankruptcy and how does it help?

Individuals who are deep in debt might get tired of the constant collection attempts they face for past due bills. These creditors are sometimes so persistent that the methods they use border on harassment. When this happens, getting those efforts to stop might become a priority. Fortunately, there is an option that you have to make this happen.

When you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay. This prevents the creditors who are part of the filing from being able to contact you to get money. You won't have to worry about the phone calls, letters or emails that have become part of your daily life.

Guiding you through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Dealing with financial issues is anything but desirable. However, it is a life event often experienced by individuals in Florida and elsewhere. While it is possible to overcome these debt problems on your own, the reality is that when credit card bills, medical debt, student loans, a mortgage and other bills are bombarded with a job loss or the inability to work because of an accident, it can feel like it will be impossible to resolve these financial problems. This is where filing for bankruptcy can be extremely beneficial.

The bankruptcy process can seem overwhelming, and it is often looked at as something to avoid. While it is not something one aspires to do, it is a real solution to those unable to manage their debt problems. The attorneys at Ditocco Law Group, PLLC can help you make sense of the process and ensure that you do not have to go through it alone.

How Chapter 13 can assist businessowners

A previous post on this blog talked about how bankruptcy may be an important and even necessary step for Florida businessowners to take should they run into financial hardships.

This post specifically talked about how Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which a businessowner will surrender non-exempt property in exchange for a discharge of debts, may be the right move after a business fails.

Options for business owners in financial distress

As this blog has discussed, families and individuals in Florida may suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by debt for a number of different reasons. For instance, a job loss or a medical emergency can mean that a family who was staying afloat suddenly needs financial help.

However, the Chapter 7 process is not just for those who have consumer debt. South Florida is also the home to many businesspeople who choose to go into business for themselves as a sole proprietorship. In other cases, they may elect to a corporation or an LLC. However, their creditors will still likely expect them to sign personal guarantees on their loans, making them personally responsible for corporate debt.

Medical debt is a common reason to consider bankruptcy

For many years, bankruptcy was one of those subjects that most people simply did not want to think about, much less talk about openly. Fortunately, that is changing, and this change couldn't come a moment too soon. As public opinion about bankruptcy changes, more people recognize that living in the modern world is always a dangerous proposition, and bankruptcy is one of the great gifts that the law gives us when unexpected setbacks occur.

These days, one of the most common reasons to consider bankruptcy is overwhelming medical debt. It is no longer a controversial opinion that the cost of medical care in America is astronomical. Many of us live in fear that that, no matter how well things are going at any moment, an unexpected illness or serious accident can bury us in debt in an instant. Many people even avoid treatment that they desperately need because they don't know how they'll ever pay for it.

What is an exemption and how does it work?

Those in South Florida who are running into financial trouble may hesitate to file for bankruptcy for a number of reasons.

Aside from a sense of embarrassment or emotional distress, many may worry that, by filing bankruptcy, they will have give up a lot of their hard-earned assets, including property that they really need to survive. In other words, and to use an old saying, they may be worried about losing their shirts.

Number of Florida bankruptcies is on the rise

Although unemployment remains low and wages continue to rise, the number of people in Florida who are filing for bankruptcy is on the uptick. According to numbers reported by a major Florida media outlet, bankruptcy filings have increased by 11 percent across the state. In the vicinity of Tampa and Central Florida, the increase is closer to 12 percent.

The good news is that numbers remain far below those that the state experienced during the Great Recession at the end of the last decade and, for that matter, throughout the 2000s.

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