Bankruptcy is for People Who WANT to Pay Their Debts in Miami!
Gone are the days when filing for bankruptcy had negative connotations like “deadbeat” or “failure”. The recent downturn in the economy changed that perception to “victim” and “fighter.” Credit card companies and banks victimized hardworking honest people by selling them hope. They loaned money drenched in the possibility of reaching the coveted “American Dream.”
What did debtors get in return when the economy flopped? They got high interest rates on credit cards. Mortgage modification and refinance applications were denied. Properties were foreclosed, wages were garnished. Crooked debt consolidation companies took advantage of them. Bad credit humiliated them.
Perhaps that is why creditors receive so little from a bankruptcy. These “broken” people don’t have much left to give. So lenders blame the victims. They must be a “bad” bunch. The negative image is created to camouflage the cause of the damage; an industry so addicted to greed, they can hardly lift their gold. But it’s the broken people who saw and believed the lenders’ clever marketing tricks who pay the price, the ultimate financial humiliation.
Despite the broken economy, the debtors I have come to know tried everything to keep up their payments. These debtors come from all walks of life. They sold assets, cashed in 401ks, retirement plans, prepaid tuition plans, etc. When it finally reached the last piece of jewelry to be sold [usually wedding rings and heirlooms], they all had one thing in common; they WANTED TO PAY THEIR DEBTS. This describes 100% of my clients. They are fighters but they could no longer fight. They were as broken as the economy.
While desperately trying to avoid the “judgment” associated with filing for bankruptcy, they forgot that it exists as a LEGAL privilege of living in the USA. For the same reason casts exist for broken limbs, bankruptcy exists to hold broken lives together while they heal.
Bankruptcy gives honest debtors a chance to fix their finances. It can forgive most debt entirely (Chapter 7 liquidation), or allow payment of some debts back while forgiving others over a 3-5 year repayment (Chapter 13). A Chapter 11 reorganization also gives individuals and businesses breathing room to recover from debt.
Just as with a broken limb, debtors should not wait to put on the cast. If they wait, invariably, the result is permanent damage. For example, a debtor should not cash in a retirement plan to pay creditors. It can be preserved in bankruptcy. The same holds true for other assets like cars, residences, and personal property.
Investment properties can be saved in bankruptcy. With a cram down order from the court on a qualifying property, your bankruptcy lawyer can force the principle and interest rates down. Late payments can be spread out over time.
Folks who are having difficulty paying bills and debts should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to see if they qualify for a bankruptcy discharge [restraining order against collectors] under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 of the United States Code.
Avoid bankruptcy mills. These law practices file a large number of bankruptcy cases without providing the individual counseling and personalized legal service. Most bankruptcy mills share the following characteristics:
- Heavy advertising (typically on television and radio)
- Large number of bankruptcy cases filed each month
- Little or no contact between clients and attorneys
- Reliance on non-lawyer support staff (such as paralegals or legal secretaries) to complete the bankruptcy filing process
- One-size-fits-all bankruptcies with no personal attention, and
- Failure to file documents on time or come to court hearings prepared.
You should seek an attorney like myself who will take the time to understand your individual needs and personal finances. If you considering bankruptcy, contact me at 305.856.2713 for a confidential and free consultation. Then you can plan your bankruptcy in a way that will maximize its benefit to you. What benefit is that? A FRESH START!!!