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Tallahassee Florida Bankruptcy Law Blog

Florida manufacturers may need legal help

Many Florida businesses stay afloat by making a variety of goods that they later sell for a profit. Some of these businesses may send their products directly to the stores or to distributers who will then see to it that they get on to the retail market. In other cases, the business may make a part that will later be sold to another business that will then use it to build their own product.

While the idea behind doing so is to make money, there is some legal risk to selling a product to the general public or even being involved in the making of a part that will go in to a consumer product.

Bankruptcy of famous guitar maker carries lessons

In a move that may surprise and sadden music lovers in the Tallahassee area, Gibson Brands, Incorporated, famous for making electric and acoustic guitars, has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.

Apparently, the company has already negotiated a debt relief plan with their largest creditors and submitted the same to the bankruptcy court for approval. The plan will allow the company to stay in operations with the help of millions in additional loans.

The importance of beneficiary designations in estate plans

Many people in the Tallahassee area, even if they haven't had a chance to make out a will or trust yet, can still understand the importance of having such a document. Should a Floridian die without having such a document, then their property will be passed along to their heirs according to Florida law, even if these are not the people the deceased person would have chosen to inherit property.

However, there is another component to estate planning that might be easier to overlook. Many people have life insurance policies, retirement plans like 401(k)s and other assets which routinely require what is called a "beneficiary designation." Basically, the person who owns the account needs to inform the bank or company holding it who is to receive the funds in the account upon the person's death.

Make a plan when bankruptcy and divorce intersect

Divorce and bankruptcy are two big events that sometimes intersect. In fact, one of the top reasons cited for consumer bankruptcy filings is divorce. As a corollary, one of the common factors that leads to divorce is financial trouble.

If you are in this position, you need to think carefully about what you are going to do. Here are some important questions that you can ask yourself to help you come up with a plan:

What's the difference between deferred and waived interest?

Many Tallahassee residents have no doubt seen credit card companies and stores offer same as cash incentives in which a Floridian can buy a big-ticket item, like furniture, an appliance or even a car, and then pay it off over several months without having to worry about interest.

In theory, this sort of deal works out great for the consumer, especially if he or she manages to pay off the debt by the end of the introductory zero percent financing period. However, it is important for consumers to read the fine print on these sorts of offers.

Legal help after a business failure

Any resident of Tallahassee, Florida, who takes the plunge and tries to start his or her own business should really be applauded for their courage. Starting one's own business takes a lot of skill, planning and, perhaps most of all, hard work and persistence.

Even with these good habits, many if not most new businesses wind up failing, as it also takes a great deal of luck and good timing to get a new company off of the ground.

Why personal bankruptcy may be needed after a business failure

It is a tough time for a Tallahassee resident when the business they worked hard to start or grow winds up collapsing underneath the weight of changing market conditions, a tough economy or other factors that may be beyond the control of the business owner. While it is not a pleasant subject to think about, in addition to wrapping up one's business, a Florida resident may also need to think about filing for personal bankruptcy during this difficult time.

For example, if a person's business was not a corporation or a similar business organization, then the person may be what is called personally liable for business debts. What this means is that a business creditor can legally pursue the business owner, or owners in the cases of a partnership, for any unpaid business debts that did not get settled when the business folded.

How mediation can help resolve business litigation

There are a number of ways in which a Tallahassee, Florida, business can find itself in a legal dispute with another firm, an individual with ties to the business or even with an officer or high-ranking employee of its own business. If these disputes blow up in to full-fledged business litigation, then they can cost the owners of the business a lot in terms of time, money and emotional capital.

The basics of adult guardianships in Florida

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, Tallahassee, Florida, residents can use important estate planning tools to make sure that there is someone in place to make decisions about their finances and health care for when they get in to a position where they are no longer able to do so themselves.

Do you pass the Florida means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

There are two kinds of bankruptcy that people consider when they need debt relief. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves restructuring your debt, which allows for more reasonable monthly payments. After a set number of payments, the remaining balance on certain accounts ends up discharged. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals can discharge many non-secured debts without a repayment schedule.

Depending on your circumstances, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a good option for taking control of your financial situation. However, in order to qualify for the protections of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to pass a means test.

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