Clearwater, Florida – More Than Just Beaches

Clearwater, Florida, situated on the Gulf of Mexico in West Central Florida, is the County seat of Pinellas County. The region surrounding Clearwater and Pinellas County is known as the Tampa Bay Area. Clearwater is the third largest City in the region; the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg are the two largest. Prior to the early-1800’s, the area surrounding present-day Clearwater was occupied by native Americans known as the Tocobaga people. In 1835, the United States Army began construction of an army fort which Read More +

Dodd-frank: Title Xiv – Mortgage Reform And Anti-predatory Lending Act

Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, amendment to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), was brought about as a reaction to the lending practices that had lead to the burst of the real estate bubble in 2008. Many mortgages prior to the burst of the real estate bubble included clauses that were unfavorable to those who had borrowed the money. Some such clauses made it impossible to pay off mortgages where the value of the property dropped below the amount of the loan. Mortgage Reform Read More +

Exceptions To Credit Counseling Course Requirement In Bankruptcy

One of the requirements for filing a petition with the Bankruptcy Court is to take a credit counseling course. Under Title 11 U.S.C. Section 521(b) debtors are require to file with the court a certificate from the approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency, which must have been completed within 180 days before the filing of your petition. The purpose of the credit counseling course is to tell you if you really need to file for bankruptcy or whether there is an alternativeoption available to Read More +

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protection Of Tax Refund The Matter Of In Re Gibson

In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee will often attempt to seize or attach the tax refund of the Chapter 13 Debtor. The position of the Chapter 13 Trustee is that the tax refund received by the Debtor is additional disposable income that ought to be contributed to the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan. Even in jurisdiction in which a tax refund is considered exempt, or for which there are available exemptions to protect the tax refund, the Trustee will likely argue that the Read More +

Valuation Of Assets In Bankruptcy

Valuation of property or assets in bankruptcy is an important element of any bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The proper standard of valuation has been the subject of considerable debate and litigation. Some of the controversy surrounding valuation of assets in bankruptcy has been ameliorated by the passage of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). The standard usually applied in determining the value of an asset for purposes of bankruptcy is the price a retail merchant would charge Read More +

Creditor Harassment Summary

OFFENDING PARTY A DEBT COLLECTOR? MUST BE A DEBT COLLECTOR AND NOT ORIGINAL CREDITOR COLLECTING DEBT. DID DEBT COLLECTOR IDENTIFY HIMSELF AS A DEBT COLLECTOR? WAS DEBT A CONSUMER DEBT TRANSACTION? INCLUDES BAD CHECKS, CONDO ASSESSMENT FEES, RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PAYMENTS, MUNICIPAL WATER SERVICE, REPOSSESSIONS EXCLUDES CHILD SUPPORT, TORT CLAIMS, AND PERSONAL TAXES VALIDITY OF DEBT IRRELEVANT FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT – FEDERAL LAW [15 USC 1692]. STRICT LIABILITY STATUTE, STATUTORY DAMAGES UP TO $1,000 PER VIOLATION. ACTUAL DAMAGES ALSO. REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES. ONE YEAR Read More +

Bankruptcy Waiting Periods

CHAPTERS WAITING PERIOD 7 TO 7 8 YEARS FROM PREVIOUS FILING 13 TO 13 2 YEARS FROM PREVIOUS FILING (CASE MUST BE CLOSED) 7 TO 13 4 YEARS FROM PREVIOUS FILING 13 TO 7 6 YEARS FROM PREVIOUS FILING UNLESS 100% OF THE UNSECURED WERE PAID IN THE PRIOR CHAPTER 13 OR AT LEAST 70% OF THE UNSECURED DEBTS WERE PAID IN THE PRIOR CHAPTER 13 AND THE PLAN WAS PROPOSED IN GOOD FAITH The above chart represents the period of time a debtor must Read More +

Florida Homestead Exemption

The State of Florida provides a homestead exemption which is designed to protect persons from the attachment or seizure of their places of residence by creditors. The homestead exemption provides protection against such creditor action to debtors who file bankruptcy and debtors who do not file bankruptcy. The homestead exemption for purposes of asset protection is often confused with the homestead exemption that provides a reduction in property tax obligations. This article will discuss the homestead exemption as it applies to debtors seeking to protect their Read More +

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Treatment Of Secured Property

STATEMENT OF INTENTIONS IN BANKRUPTCY In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must complete and sign a form called the Statement of Intentions. The Statement of Intentions indicates which of the available options the debtor chooses towards his or her secured property. The primary examples of secured property are an automobile loan or a mortgage loan. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy one manifests his or her intent regarding such secured property through the Chapter 13 plan. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Statement of Intentions Read More +

Domestic Support Obligations Bankruptcy

Another important exception to bankruptcy is domestic support obligations.  Domestic support obligations are not discharged in bankruptcy and are therefore referred to as an exception to bankruptcy.  Intentional torts are another exception to bankruptcy and were discussed in our prior article. Domestic support obligations are defined by federal and not state law.  11 USC 101(5) states that a domestic support obligation is not discharged in bankruptcy.  11 USC 101(15) furthermore states that monies owed “to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and Read More +