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Miami Bankruptcy Law Blog

Recognizing a mortgage relief scam

So you're down on your luck, lost your job three months ago and you still can't find work. Unfortunately, the mortgage bills, credit card statements, overdraft notices, utility bills and grocery bills keep piling up and you're not able to pay them.

Financial stress can bring you to your knees - especially when you're in danger of losing your family home because, due to financial circumstances out of your control, you can't afford your mortgage payments anymore.

What should I tell creditors when they call me?

People who have found themselves in debt have many things to be stressed about. In addition to feeling overwhelmed because they owe thousands of dollars that they can't pay back, they may also be frustrated and annoyed with creditors calling every day. While many people simply ignore the calls and don't let it bother them, many find that being harassed on a daily basis is just too much and would love nothing more than to put a stop to the calls.

Consider the benefits of filing bankruptcy

Anyone who has experienced issues with money knows how stressful it can be. You may feel like you don't make enough or struggle with paying all of your bills. Those who have managed to land on their feet and avoided seeking legal help were lucky, but there are many people around the U.S. who have had no other choice but to file bankruptcy. Although this option has been very helpful to the many who have found themselves in a financial disaster, there are still many questions people may have about this debt relief option that has caused them to second guess if it is the best option for them.

Signs you may need to file for bankruptcy

Debt is more than money owed. For some people it becomes a downward spiral that consumes your life, your health, and your loved ones while you work extra hard. Sometimes you can't fix the problem on your own. Declaring bankruptcy can mean a clean start, but it's a bold life choice and it's hard to know when it's the right time to file.

Here are five signs that bankruptcy may be the right choice to keep what assets you have and to keep your family afloat through today's hardship.

Can creating a budget help me avoid filing bankruptcy?

There are thousands of people in the United States who have found themselves unable to pay their bills. As the days, weeks and months pass, instead of watching their debt decrease, they have watched it build until they finally decide that it's time to address the issue. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to get out of debt, but something as simple as creating a budget can help avoid bankruptcy, and should be considered.

Property that is not exempt from Chapter 7 bankruptcy

People who are having difficulties paying their bills and addressing their debt often file for bankruptcy. It is not always easy for people to decide to file bankruptcy. Yes, it will get them out of debt and eventually keep them from having to pay thousands of dollars to creditors, but people are often concerned about what they may have to give up or how filing will damage their credit score. Thanks to bankruptcy laws, people don't have to worry about losing all of their property, but because some things are not exempt, it doesn't mean they get to keep everything they own.

Four options when you cannot make your Chapter 13 plan payments

The car engine breaks and you have no way to get to work. Panic sets in because you finally got a second chance by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and now you cannot make your payments. Car accidents and lost jobs happen but you do not need to panic because there are solutions. If you are unable to make your Chapter 13 plan payments then consider these four options.

1. Ask the court for more time

This should be one of your first steps after missing a few payments. You might have had a recent big expense and will be back on track in a few weeks. If you have defaulted on your plan it is possible to request suspending payments to catch up. Make sure to speak with your attorney right away because once you default on your plan creditors are allowed to resume contacting you.

Can I continually file a Chapter 13 to get stays from creditors?

There are pros and cons to consider when filing for bankruptcy. One of the greatest immediate pros is almost unarguably the benefit of having a stay put on the collection actions of your creditors. That means no more harassing calls beginning before your morning coffee and ending after you have put the kids to bed. No more letters. And if all goes according to plan, no judgments against you. And finally, a fresh start with a lower, more feasible payment plan.

The process of Chapter 7

The first step in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to confirm that you qualify for the form of bankruptcy many people prefer. The means test essentially considers your income against how many people are in your household, as well as questions about your debts and the assets you currently own. The federal government provides this form and you can find versions of it online.

There are creditors at my door

People handle stressors differently. Some may gather all the information that is relevant and begin devising a plan to conquer and eliminate the stressors; others may bury their heads in the sand and hope it will just go away. A lot of the inaction regarding what to do with debt stems from not having a clear plan of action for your situation.

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