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Tallahassee Florida Bankruptcy Law Blog

Chapter 11 is a debt relief tool for small businesses

Previous posts here have discussed how individual Tallahassee consumers can get debt relief should they get suddenly overwhelmed by unexpected medical bills or an unforeseen job loss or other sudden drop in income. Family businesses that are generally well-run and profitable can also find themselves in sudden income crises, whether it is due to a change in market conditions or just some other financial decisions beyond the control of the business owner. This is often particularly stressful because a Florida resident may have a lot wrapped up both financially and emotionally in his or her family business.

When this happens, business owners can consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By filing a petition under Chapter 11, a business will receive temporary protection from debt collectors while it goes about getting its financial affairs in order and negotiating a way to get its debts and underlying financial problems resolved. Assuming it does so, the court will have to approve the business's plan.

Confidentiality agreements can lead to business litigation

Many Tallahassee, Florida, businesses may use confidentiality agreements to protect a number of their business interests, especially their finances, trade secrets and other closely-held information that the business relies on to give it a competitive edge.

An employer will most often use a confidentiality agreement, which also may be properly called a nondisclosure agreement, with its own employees. In this context, the agreement prevents an employee from learning valuable, and well-guarded, information from his or her employer and then changing jobs, going to a competitor and disclosing valuable information to the competition.

Choose the business entity that meets your needs

You are finally ready to make your dream come true. You are going to open a business in Tallahassee and be your own boss. Unfortunately, becoming a business owner is not as easy as simply hanging an open sign in the window. For instance, if you go into business with a partner, you will have to create an Owner Agreement or Management Agreement that specifies procedures, such operations or what to do if you and your partner cannot agree on a business issue.

Another thing you will have to do is to decide what kind of business entity to create. For example, do you want to operate your business as a limited liability company, a corporation or perhaps a partnership? The type of business entity you choose can affect your personal liability in regard to the company, taxation and even bookkeeping requirements.

Assistance with a fresh start after a financial emergency

A previous post on this blog talked about how many Americans, including those in Tallahassee, Florida, and the surrounding area, just do not have enough saved up in an emergency fund in order to pay off credit card debt in a hurry.

Without this layer of protection, people may be just fine while economic times are good, but in the event of a unexpected life changes or an unplanned stint of unemployment, Floridians may be faced with a tough choice of using what savings they do have to keep up with their basic needs or to pay down a credit card bill that otherwise will get overwhelming and financially burdensome.

Many Americans do not have funds to cover their cards

Although the numbers have gotten better in recent years, many Americans would not be able to pay off their credit cards in an emergency, as they do not have enough in their emergency savings accounts to do so even if they needed to.

Conventional wisdom holds that a family in Florida should have between three and six months of savings in an easily accessible account. This prevents a family from being surprised by a sudden financial crisis, like losing a job or facing a sudden medical problem or automobile or home repair.

Overview of the federal CARD Act

The federal CARD Act, passed about 10 year ago, offers important protection to residents of Tallahassee who use credit cards. It is important for Floridians to understand what their rights are under the CARD Act. If they realize that their credit card company has not followed the law, then they may want to consider contacting a credit card debt relief attorney in Florida to evaluate their legal options.

One of the most important features of the CARD Act was to require credit card companies to explain their interest rates and fees more clearly both when selling a credit card to someone and when sending out monthly statements. This way, consumers can see more easily what they are really paying for the privilege of using a credit card and can plan accordingly.

Should I consider creating a trust?

There are many people in Tallahassee who have probably heard from some expert, whether legitimately qualified or not, recommend that everyone should consider creating a revocable trust or other type of trust as their primary estate planning document.

Indeed, creating a trust as opposed to a simple will or some other estate planning technique offers many advantages. They can be used to manage assets and pass them along without the need to go through even a routine probate proceeding or, at the very most, a very streamlined process. Moreover, for some estates, trusts provide valuable tax benefits.

Attorney fee awards possible for deceptive trade practices

For the most part, business is a creature of contract. What this means is that while people who are doing business together are bound to their agreements, there are generally speaking no rules that require those who are involved in the deal to be especially honest or above board. In other words, for the most part in the world of business, all's fair.

However, Florida law, just like the law of other states, offers some protection to the residents of Tallahassee and the rest of this state against business which would otherwise push their edge and offer a bad deal to unsuspecting or powerless members of the public.

Did the seller intentionally hide a serious defect in your home?

Buying a home, vacation property or investment property can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not only do these transactions involve large amounts of money, they can turn sour in a moment due to any number of issues. When you do finally find and close on a property in Florida, you may think that everything difficult is already behind you.

Then, you realize after taking possession that there's something seriously wrong with the property. Perhaps there are mechanical system issues, such as a non-working furnace or air conditioner. Maybe the foundation is sinking, meaning you will have to spend thousands of dollars to keep your home safe and livable. When you discover a defect that the sellers intentionally failed to disclose, you may need to consider a lawsuit to recover the costs associated with the problem.

Using bankruptcy to stop foreclosure

One of the main reasons a family in Tallahassee might start to think about filing for personal bankruptcy is that they have begun to fall behind on their house payments. After all, no one wants to be scrambling to find a place to live, particularly if they have children to provide for.

Filing for bankruptcy can help a family deal with foreclosure, but it is important for Floridians to know exactly what bankruptcy can and cannot do in this respect.

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