Articles Tagged with bankruptcy

financial doomsday planAmid the fallout of 2008, when the nation’s banking giants toppled and our economy was sent reeling, Federal legislators and regulators decided that changes were needed. Most of these changes took shape as the Dodd-Frank Act, which provide the framework for much of our current banking regulation and oversight.

You’re probably familiar with Dodd-Frank, at least in part. It’s been a near constant topic of discussion on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill since it took effect. And this conversation has only increased during the Trump Administration.

However, did you know that part of Dodd-Frank requires banks to submit a financial doomsday plan outlining how they will dissolve in the event of a catastrophic collapse?

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaFor most of those who are faced with bankruptcy,  some find it particularly challenging to make an informed decision about the right attorney to hire. However, even when faced with the dire pressure of a financial crisis, it is important to make a cool and collected decision when choosing a lawyer.

Avoid Bankruptcy Mills

Some legal practices have become known as “bankruptcy mills,” as they focus on churning and burning as many cases as possible instead of fulfilling the specific needs of individual clients. Although it can be hard to identify this without being a bankruptcy lawyer yourself, reading reviews and interviewing several different lawyers can substantially reduce the possibility of this occurring.

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaAccording to a Chapter 7 Lawyer in Tampa, in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first pass the means test.

What is the Means Test?

It compares your income with the official median income for households in the state of Florida.

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaFiling bankruptcy is complicated and confusing to most people, especially when there are several myths about the process.

Myth: You can decide which debts to list in your bankruptcy filing.

Truth: You must list all debts, even those owed to family and friends.

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaThe American dream of home ownership has become a nightmare for thousands of Floridians. But you don’t have to face foreclosure proceedings alone; there are many ways to fight foreclosures and protect your assets. Savage & Villoch, your bankruptcy lawyers in Tampa, can help you plan the best alternatives for this stressful time.

Your alternatives depend on a thoughtful examination of your financial situation. Your attorney can guide you in the labyrinth of decisions to be made, such as whether your inability to make mortgage payments is short- or long-term and what relief programs apply to each situation, whether you qualify for a wide array of mortgage modification programs, or whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. We can help demystify the process and let you know what to expect. Most of all, you are not alone in this stressful time.

Make sure you learn the specific options in your case. Such problems as “underwater” mortgages–those in which the home’s value has decreased–have their own set of alternatives and relief programs. You may have also heard about the “show me the note” defense, which many people have used to defend against foreclosures by showing the court that the loan was made pursuant to fraudulent practices. It’s a tricky defense, and whether it applies to you will have to be investigated by your attorney. Mortgage modifications are often fought tooth-and-nail by lenders, so it is in your best interests to have a knowledgeable advocate getting you the best modification possible.

svWhat happens to investors’ investments when companies go bankrupt? Well, it depends on the bankruptcy chapter filed, whether Chapter 11 reorganization or Chapter 7 liquidation. Investment recovery may be an option.

In Chapter 11, a company attempts to get rid of its debt in order to continue operating, even trading publicly during the proceedings, and turn the company around to profitability; whereas in a Chapter 7, the company goes out of business and attempts to sell assets to repay debts to creditors and investors.

Secured creditors, those with collateral backing their loans or investments, are given priority repayment status. In other words, they get paid back before unsecured creditors such as credit cards. Bondholders usually recover their principal investment with interest but stockholders, as owners of a piece of the company, may or may not recover their investments.

logo-squareWith the new laws that are in effect, it’s very confusing to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You need an attorney to help you. Qualifying for a Chapter 7 is not easy anymore. The new restraints make it difficult and many have to file a Chapter 13 and repay their debts. However, a bankruptcy attorney can help you decide which chapter you qualify for.

Before you file your petition, the attorney needs to know all the transactions of the past 60 days. The court wants to know about any cash loans or any expensive items that you’ve purchased. They consider residency requirements, and you must attend credit counseling. It’s a lot to take in and it’s overwhelming to the average person. That’s why it’s so important to have a bankruptcy attorney handling the matter.

A Chapter 7 attorney in Florida can help you complete the “means test” and see if you qualify for this chapter. When you met the qualifications, the attorney files the petition, and the court appoints a trustee. You don’t lose everything; the court allows you some as exempt. The court sells non-exempt property. Debts like student loans, tax bills and any bill accumulated through fraudulent means are not discharged through bankruptcy.

logo-squareWhile he once had a 10-bedroom mansion on Palm Island and a 2007 Bugatti Veyron worth $1.6 million, hip hop producer and musician Scott Storch is no longer the big spender he used to be. Storch filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June 2015 and cited his current personal assets at $3,600.

Storch filed for protection under Chapter 7 in Florida, and this is not his first brush with financial trouble as the man filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2009 while going to rehab in the same year. At the time, he spent an estimated $30 million in three years. While Storch worked with famous artists like Beyonce and Snoop Dog, his spending habits and cocaine addiction have reportedly left him $4.4 million in debt.

As this story shows, even those who are rich and successful can have problems that lead to debts. Anyone might find themselves facing repossessions or threats from creditors while not knowing how to act. A Chapter 7 attorney in Tampa can advise you about your options when considering filing for bankruptcy.

logo-squareFiling for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a difficult decision for anyone, and usually a scary one. Too often, people make rash decisions in an effort to get as much as they can in their case. Word to the wise: before you make any decisions regarding your finances prior to filing, it’s imperative that you consult with a competent Tampa Chapter 7 lawyer.

That said, here are 3 things you don’t want to do before you file:

Don’t try to hide your assets: hiding assets, say by selling a relative a house or a car at far less than market value, is a definite “no-no”, and in some circumstances can even be a crime. Even selling off assets at fair market value can create enough suspicion that it damages your case. If you have any questions about property you want to sell, consult with your attorney before taking any action.

logo-squareFiling for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean you are an irresponsible person or an untrustworthy consumer.  In fact, studies conducted at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that even those well-paid Tampa Bay ball players you love were filing shortly after they retired their jerseys (actually, more than 78% of them). The reason behind this occurrence is what’s known as “financial stress,” and we all go through it. Regardless of whether we make millions or simply survive from paycheck to paycheck, we are all definite candidates for bankruptcy if things go awry.

Three Tips to Help You Prepare for a Smooth Bankruptcy 

Financial stress or not, you need to proceed with caution.  Before you even think about getting started, be sure to arm yourself with strong team of professionals. You could be doing irreparable damage to your case and not even know it.  A good attorney will always give you detailed instructions on the dos and don’t of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, there are some basic things everyone should know before moving forward.

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