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Tallahassee Florida Bankruptcy Law Blog

Americans may break credit card record- at a cost

Recent reports have suggested that once the final numbers come in for 2017, they will show that Americans collectively are carrying more credit card debt than they ever have before, at over $1 trillion. This will be an increase over the last year of about $50 billion.

How much debt individual Americans carry on their credit cards varied from location to location. In some parts of the country, an average person had about a $7,000 balance on their cards, while in other parts of the country, the average balance hung closer to just above $1,000.

Helping Florida families choose the right debt relief option

While it is a great way to get a fresh financial start after running in to monetary trouble, filing for bankruptcy isn't as simple as just completing a piece of paper and then getting excuses from one's debts.

There are actually different types of bankruptcy, a Chapter 7, a Chapter 13 and, for businesses and some individuals with lots of assets, a Chapter 11. Moreover, no matter the type of bankruptcy, a Tallahassee family is going to have to make same tradeoffs and also live with the fact that there are some limitations to the bankruptcy process.

How are a health care surrogate and living will related?

Among other important estate planning decisions, a Tallahassee, Florida, resident is going to want to think about how they want to be treated in a situation where they are not able to make important medical decisions for themselves.

Specifically, there are two related documents Florida residents may wish to ask their estate planning attorneys to draft on their behalf. The first is called a "health care surrogate." A health care surrogate is another, trusted person whom a Floridian specifically appoints to make medical decisions on his or her behalf.

Spendthrift trusts protect heirs from creditors, themselves

Proper estate planning provides people with the peace of mind that they need to realize that their loved ones and heirs will be provided for after the person passes on.

However, some heirs are less able to deal with financial matters than others. They could be fiscally irresponsible or have a spouse who is. They may be harassed by creditors from old debts or spend money like it grows on trees. Those scenarios are not likely to provide anyone with peace of mind. In fact, they could become the catalyst for certain nightmares.

Overview of the CARD Act

While most residents of Tallahassee either have and use or at least are familiar with how credit cards work, some might not know about federal laws which are designed to protect Floridians and people throughout the country unfair or unscrupulous practice at the hands of credit card companies.

One of these laws is the CARD Act. Enacted by Congress in 2009, this new law aimed to curb certain abuses that were common within the credit card industry at the time.

Lack of a repayment plan could spell financial trouble

The latest reports available suggest that, while the vast majority of people in the Tallahassee area and around the country continue to amass or at least owe different types of consumer debt, a surprising number of them, more than 1 out of 4, have no real plan as to how they will pay off their debts.

Judging by the report, people are least prepared to handle a hefty medical bill. Over one-third of all people have no specific plan as to how they will pay down these obligations.

How we represent your business in a fiduciary dispute

A previous post on this blog discussed the important role different types of fiduciary relationships play in the world of business. The post also talked how fiduciaries, like business partners and corporate board members, have a duty to act in the best interest of certain other people, like one's other partners or corporate shareholders.

Sometimes, however, these relationships go sour, and, in many cases, one person in a fiduciary relationship might accuse another of violating one's fiduciary duty. These accusations can range from actually siphoning off or stealing money from a business all the way down to mismanaging assets and investments, the latter of which could happen even to honest, well-meaning people.

What a Chapter 7 can, and cannot, do to stop foreclosure

Many Tallahassee residents get driven to exploring bankruptcy as an option for their financial woes because they have gotten behind in their house payments and are facing a foreclosure action in the near future. Not wanting to lose their home, these struggling families may see bankruptcy as the way to save it.

It is therefore important that these families understand what a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will, and will not, accomplish for them with respect to keeping their home. Like other types of bankruptcy, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will trigger an automatic stay, meaning that a bank seeking to foreclose can take no further action until the bankruptcy is over or until it gets permission to continue with the foreclosure process.

How does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy work?

When Tallahassee residents think of filing for bankruptcy, they most likely are thinking of what the law dubs a "Chapter 7" bankruptcy. In other words, the financially struggling family might think of a process in which they go before the bankruptcy court, sell whatever property they have which is not exempt from the bankruptcy if they have any such property, and then get an order relieving them from their debts.

There is another type of bankruptcy, less common but still often used, called a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While some high wage earners may be forced under the law to file a Chapter 13 if they want to pursue bankruptcy at all, it also offers several potential financial advantages and may give some families some comfort about having to file for bankruptcy.

Could bankruptcy offer a fresh financial start in the new year?

The end of the year can be a brutal time financially. Holiday shopping can lead to a lot of credit card debt, as can throwing parties, hosting dinners or traveling to see loved ones, friends and family. Combine that with the end of the financial year and the reality check of filing your taxes, and the winter can be a time for harsh awakenings.

There's nothing quite as embarrassing as dealing with a creditor phone call when you have family visiting. Once you've gotten in over your head with credit card debt, medical debt or other financial obligations, fees and penalties start to add up.

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Tallahassee, FL 32308

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