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Is Filing for Bankruptcy Right for You?
For many people, bankruptcy (Chapter 7, 11 or 13) sounds like a freeing option and also a terrifying one. It can be a complicated process, but it is the best option for many people struggling with excessive debts. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering bankruptcy or a lawyer or attorney to help you. We can talk about the average cost to file for bankruptcy in Orlando, FL as well.
Will Bankruptcy Get Rid of My Debt?
Bankruptcy does not get rid of all types of debt. It will get rid of most unsecured debt, including medical bills and credit card bills. However, bankruptcy will not discharge debts such as legal fines, child support, alimony, and student loans. If most of your debts are not unsecured debts, filing bankruptcy may not be helpful. An expert bankruptcy filing lawyer can be a critical part of this process.
Will Bankruptcy Stop the Harassing Calls and Letters?
Yes! If calls, collection notices, and other attempts to collect on debts are ruining your life, you should consider retaining an expert bankruptcy attorney locally in the Orlando area. For many people, gaining peace of mind makes the process entirely worth it.
How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?
Bankruptcy definitely affects an individual's credit rating. However, it is not as bad of an effect as many people think. A bankruptcy will be on your credit record for up to ten years. In many cases, however, a bankruptcy can help you to begin rebuilding your credit score. You will never be able to gain good credit while you have more debt than you can pay. If you file bankruptcy and immediately begin building credit, your credit may be better off in the long run.
Will I Lose My Home and Car?
The answer to this question depends on your individual state laws and the type of bankruptcy (There are differences in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 that an expert bankruptcy attorney or lawyer will discuss with you) that you pursue. Some states will make an exemption for your primary residence as well as a personal vehicle. If you have concerns about whether you can keep these, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. However, it is important to remember that many people stand a good chance of losing their home and car if they don't discharge debts. Bankruptcy can leave you enough money to continue to pay for these necessities.
Can I File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer?
It is technically possible to file bankruptcy without a lawyer, thus paying only filing fees and other miscellaneous expenses. However, this is rarely recommended. In many cases, a lawyer will save you more money than they cost. (Call us now to find out what the average filing costs for an Orlando bankruptcy are) Many people end up complicating their bankruptcy by trying to handle it themselves, or even being denied bankruptcy because of simple mistakes. You should consider waiting to file papers until you have a lawyer to consult with.
Whether to file bankruptcy is a very personal decision that will depend on your unique circumstances. It is important to truly consider the pros and cons of the situation before making a final decision. Filing bankruptcy - or deciding not to file it - is a decision that will likely affect you for the rest of your life.
Choosing the Right Type of Bankruptcy
While most people tend to talk about bankruptcy as a single event, this is incorrect. Bankruptcy is a process rather than a single event, and there are many different types of bankruptcy as well as expert lawyers and attorneys who specialize in this type of law. Most normal citizens who file bankruptcy file either Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13.
Different Types of Bankruptcy
When most people think of bankruptcy, they think of Chapter 7. In this type of debt discharge, the courts assign a trustee who liquidates your assets (if you have any) and pays off people that are owed money. Any remaining debt is discharged. Laws regarding this type of bankruptcy have been steadily getting stricter, so some people may not qualify for Chapter 7. However, there are other options such as Chapter 11 and Chapter 11, which are more a type of reorganization. Together, these three types of bankruptcy are the most common among individuals in the United States and especially in the Orlando Florida market area.
Main Differences Between Different Types of Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debt is virtually erased. However, all of your assets are erased as well. At the end of Chapter 7, people are left with a net worth that is neither positive or negative. In Chapter 11, a person will have their debts greatly reduced and be given more time to pay them. This is a popular choice because it is not as destructive on the credit record but it makes the constant collection calls and letters stop. Last, Chapter 13 puts your debts and assets under care of a trustee, who restructures your debts so you can reasonably pay them back, usually in three to five years. Check with us now to determine what your average cost of each type of bankruptcy filing might be.
Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Best for Me?
If you have very few assets and a huge amount of debt, Chapter 7 is often the best case. However, recent legislative changes have made it very difficult to get this type of debt discharge so it is important to talk to an expert bankruptcy lawyer. If you can pay off your debts if they are reduced or otherwise modified, Chapter 11 or 13 are likely the best. Ultimately, if you have any questions about filing bankruptcy, you should take to an accountant and/or a lawyer who is experienced in this area.
Filing the right type of bankruptcy will give you freedom from the crushing weight of debts while allowing you to get the fresh start that you need. While there are slight differences between the different chapters, all should be viewed as tools that can help you to get the freedom and peace of mind that you need. Make an appointment with a bankruptcy expert today if you have any questions about this important decision.
Bankruptcy Myths and Facts...
Many of the fears and second thoughts regarding bankruptcy are actually myths. Most people believe that they understand the process and consequences of bankruptcy even though they have never been through the process. These myths can actually hurt people, because people will continue to live with unmanageable debt rather than discharging it once and for all. If you want to make an informed decision based on fact, consider the following myths and truths about bankruptcy.
MYTH: People who file bankruptcy can never get a credit card or loan.
This is one of the most incorrect and most dangerous assumptions about filing bankruptcy. First, a bankruptcy will only stay on your record for seven to ten years. While this may seem like a long time, it would likely take you much longer to pay off the debt that will be discharged. Second, many credit cards and banks offer "second chance" loans, cards, and accounts. If you handle these second chances responsibly, you can begin rebuilding your credit record immediately. It is very possible to have a better credit record 3 years after bankruptcy than you did in the months before it.
MYTH: Creditors can come after you for debts even after bankruptcy.
Once a debt has been discharged, it legally does not exist. Creditors cannot harass you or even mention your former debts to them. Some types of debt, like child support and student loans, are not eligible for discharge. Your bankruptcy lawyer can explain which debts will be discharged and which will not. T=If a debt is discharged, the creditor knows that they cannot contact you about the debt without risking charges of harassment.
MYTH: Bankruptcy is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
Bankruptcy can be difficult but it is far less difficult than living under the shadow of unpayable debts. In addition, it is not always a long process. Chapter 7 bankruptcies can occur in a matter of months. Chapter 11 and 13 bankruptcies take longer, but this is because these types of bankruptcy are not complete until the new and lower debts have been paid in full. While bankruptcy will definitely cost some money, it generally costs less than paying the debts. Most people who file bankruptcy are in a very poor financial decision, so the costs are not unreasonable.
Bankruptcy is the not the perfect solution for everyone. However, you deserve to make a decision based on accurate factual information rather than myths. If you have any other beliefs about bankruptcy that are holding you back from filing, talk to a bankruptcy attorney today. Bankruptcy is not an end, but rather a bright beginning.
Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy: A Step By Step Plan
It is common for people filing bankruptcy in Orlando FL and around the USA to be worried about their credit record. Once you have discharged much of your debt, you probably want to begin learning good economic habits and building your credit score. There are a few things that you can do to build up your credit after a bankruptcy and an expert bankruptcy lawyer can help get you on the right path. Simply follow this step by step plan.
1. Get a Credit Card
Many people who file bankruptcy, especially those who are forced to do so because of credit card debt, are reluctant to get a credit card. However, doing so is the first step to pulling your credit record back up out of the depths. Most people cannot get a normal credit card immediately after a bankruptcy. However, you can probably get a secured card or a store credit card. Use these wisely and pay them off every month. The way you handle credit is over a third of your credit score!
2. Learn to Manage Money Correctly
Most people do not mean to end up bankrupt, but rather end up so because they were never taught how to handle finances. This is an essential skill that should be taught but isn't. When you are considering or have gone through a bankruptcy, you should take the opportunity to read a few books or websites on money management and make a plan for how you will handle your money in the future.
3. After a Reasonable Time, Request That Credit Bureaus Remove It
You may have heard that bankruptcies are reported on your credit record for ten years. However, that is the legal maximum. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act states that credit agencies cannot report a bankruptcy for more than ten years; there is no minimum limit, and you have nothing to lose by asking for it to be removed sooner.
How soon can you ask to have a bankruptcy removed? This depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where all debts are repaid, credit bureaus automatically remove a bankruptcy after seven years. You may to request that they remove other types of bankruptcy after seven years, but most are happy to do so.
4. Maintain a Solid Debt to Income Ratio
If you have a favorable debt to income ratio, many companies (such as auto manufacturers) will be happy to take a chance and give you a loan. Because you are likely coming out of bankruptcy with zero debt and a very low credit score, it should be easy to keep your debt low. Increases in your income also can help make you look like a good credit risk. Regardless of how much credit you are offered, only take on what you can easily pay off, so you can keep that debt to income ratio high.
Many people believe that you simply cannot get credit after a bankruptcy. While it may be difficult to begin rebuilding your credit score, it is definitely not impossible. By following these steps, you will soon see your scores begin a steady uphill climb.
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