Sunday, April 5, 2015

Making the Decision to File Bankruptcy

Should I file for bankruptcy? 

Before a bankruptcy case can be filed, the debtor must decide whether bankruptcy is, in fact, the best vehicle for dealing with the problems that the debtor faces. In a typical consumer bankruptcy case, most of the attorney's analysis involves comparing bankruptcy with other possible avenues of handling financial problems. 

A necessary prerequisite to such comparison is a knowledge of all the relevant facts. Although it may sometimes be possible to rule out bankruptcy based on knowledge of only a few facts (for example, that a debtor does not wish to lose certain property that cannot be saved in bankruptcy), it is never possible to decide safely to pursue bankruptcy without a thorough knowledge of the facts. Without such knowledge, unknown property (such as the right to a tax refund) may be lost in bankruptcy; major debts may turn out to be unaffected because they cannot be discharged or because there are liens on property; or property might be incorrectly valued and, as a result, lost to creditors. 

To assess whether bankruptcy will help, take the following steps: 

  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy. It is important to know the benefits and pitfalls of bankruptcy. While the benefits can be great--discharge of most debts and an automatic stay against creditors--there are disadvantages, particularly the possibility of losing property.  Read more...

Posted by NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys), 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Components of Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA)

As you may have heard, major bankruptcy reform became effective in October 2005. Although the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) has some restrictions for filing and requires you to provide more documentation to the bankruptcy trustee, most people can still file for bankruptcy relief. Contact our office to find out how the new bankruptcy laws affect you.

Below are a few of the components of the current law:

1. You are required to take a credit counseling class before filing for bankruptcy and a post filing class before your debts are discharged.

2. Congress placed a cap on the homestead exemption (that is, the amount of equity you are entitled to keep, free from claims of creditors).

3. The state where you have resided for the majority of the two years preceding filing for bankruptcy affects which state's property exemptions you are entitled to claim.

4. Your income (and possibly that of other members of your household) and certain allowed expenses and deductions are considered to determine whether you qualify to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Donna R Joseph P.A. based in North Miami Beach, Florida serves clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties for 33 years.

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