Bankruptcy Law

How to Know which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for You

Making the choice to file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision to make, but it is the first step towards a financial fresh start. However, choosing which type of bankruptcy to pursue can be a difficult decision to make.  

Typically, consumers choose between a Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 “reorganization” bankruptcy. Both forms of bankruptcy have their positive attributes, as well as their negative ones, and it ultimately depends on the consumer’s financial situation and the goals he or she wants to achieve as to which type of consumer bankruptcy will be best for him or her.  

Bankruptcy Law, COVID-19, Debt Relief, Small Business Bankruptcy

How to Handle Business Bankruptcy in the Aftermath of the Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit South Florida businesses hard. Many small businesses have struggled to survive the shutdowns and drop in revenue, while others are pursuing bankruptcy as a means of remaining in operation while receiving financial assistance. For businesses who wish to make it through this time of crisis, help is available.

It has been reported that the number of businesses that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy increased by 26 percent from the previous year, even though overall bankruptcy filings were down. These numbers are expected to continue to increase over the summer months as businesses begin to reopen.

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

Coronavirus and the Changes it has had to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our country in so many ways. It has also affected the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, specifically through the recently passed $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Within the CARES Act were revisions to parts of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, meant to help small businesses and consumers during this difficult time. The CARES Act amended the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA), which temporarily increased the debt threshold for filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy relief. The debt threshold increased from $2,725,625 to $7,500,000. After one year, the threshold will go back down to the original amount.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

Which Type of Bankruptcy Eliminates the Most Debts?

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, several different options are available, depending on the filer’s financial situation and types of debt owed. Two of the most common forms of consumer bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy that wipes out most of your general unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills without the need to pay back balances through a repayment plan.

Bankruptcy Law

Timing is Important When It Comes to Filing for Bankruptcy

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, it is not always a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when.” Depending on a person’s financial situation, it can pay to properly time out a bankruptcy filing. Whether it is the right time to file for bankruptcy can depend on several factors including whether someone is facing foreclosure, vehicle repossession, wage garnishment, or any of the following.

Mortgage Modification

When someone is facing foreclosure, a few different steps can be taken to delay or even prevent the process. One of these solutions is through a mortgage modification. Homeowners facing foreclosure should try this approach first before filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Law

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Obtains Order Allowing Protections for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Client

Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken obtained an Order for his client in a Chapter 13 case (Case No. 20-10135-RAM), limiting the scope of permissible relief in a pending criminal contempt case. The Motion for Contempt seeks relief against Jeffrey Charlow and counsel, for proceeding with a criminal case pending against Kingcade’s client in Broward County, Florida.

The Criminal Contempt Case was initiated by an order entered by Judge Robert W. Lee in a civil case also pending against the client. The court determined continuation of the Criminal Contempt case was not a violation of the automatic stay, but imposed two important limitations protecting our client:  Judge Lee may not sentence our client to jail with an Order that expels the sentence if a fine is paid and payment will necessarily come from the property of the estate.

Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Steps to Take to Keep Your Home and Avoid Foreclosure

When someone is facing a difficult financial situation, one of the main concerns that person may have is losing his or her home. If a person is not able to pay day-to-day expenses, one of the biggest bills that will go unpaid is the mortgage bill. However, if the mortgage is not paid on time for more than 180 days, the lender may decide to proceed with a foreclosure action. The key is to respond quickly to avoid losing your home through foreclosure.

Bankruptcy Law

New Bankruptcy Laws Offer Relief for Veterans, Small Businesses and Farmers

President Trump signed legislation into law on August 23, 2019, that offers bankruptcy relief that will benefit veterans, small business owners and farmers. Now that these changes are being implemented, they will have long-lasting, positive effects when it comes to access to bankruptcy relief for these individuals.

The first piece of legislation is the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019. It doubles the debt ceiling allowed under the Bankruptcy Code for a “family farmer.”  This relief increases the number of farmers eligible to receive relief under Chapter 12 reorganization bankruptcy, which is a special form of bankruptcy that is designed to meet the needs of farmers facing financial difficulty.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

One of the biggest concerns consumers have when it comes to filing for bankruptcy is how long will the bankruptcy remain on their credit report. While a bankruptcy does hurt a person’s credit score, the effect it has depends on several different factors. Ultimately, it depends on the type of bankruptcy being filed and the financial habits exercised by the consumer after the case is over.

Chapter 7

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will stay on a consumer’s credit report for ten years from the date of filing. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is also known has a liquidation bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy is normally used by people who have defaulted on their financial obligations and fall below a certain income threshold.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy trustee has the authority to liquidate the borrower’s nonexempt assets and use them to pay down qualifying debts. The remaining debts, which are mostly unsecured ones, are discharged. Chapter 7 forgives debts including credit card debts, medical bills and unsecured personal loans. Certain debts, including taxes, criminal fines, child support, spousal support, and student loans, are not discharged usually in a Chapter 7 case. Not all consumers can pursue a Chapter 7 case, however. They must first pass a means test to ensure that their income and asset-to-debt ratios satisfy the requirement to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A consumer’s credit score can drop by as much as 200 points after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, the alternative can be much worse if bankruptcy is not filed and the consumers ends up with multiple defaults and collections on his or her record. By exercising good financial habits over time, a person’s credit score can certainly be rebuilt.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

FTC Takes Legal Action Against Corrupt Student Loan Debt Relief Companies

The case comes as a warning to student loan borrowers struggling with their debt and company’s looking to profit from it. The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on two student loan debt relief operations and the financing company that assisted them. The complaint is alleging the companies charged illegal upfront fees, led consumers to believe the fees would go towards reducing their loan balances, and falsely promised to permanently lower and even eliminate their balances.

The FTC has also charged the companies with locking its customers into high-interest loans and paying their fees without making required disclosures. This caused their customers to sink further into debt.