Florida residents are building up excessive credit card debt consistent along with the rest of the country. When repaying debt, there are some options for making smart repayment choices that should be heeded. However, if the debt is so overwhelming that it cannot be paid off comfortably within the next five years, the borrower may be best off filing for bankruptcy relief.
About 500,000 Americans file for personal bankruptcy relief each year, including a fair share here in Florida. With overwhelming credit card debt and medical bills, they take advantage of the one remedy that does not require a payment plan. The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be a dramatic help to those with heaping amounts of unsecured debt because the debt is erased permanently and quickly in the proceeding.
In Florida and elsewhere, it is easy for an individual or married couple to get carried away with credit card debt. At first, it seems quite easy to settle back, make purchases and then just pay the minimum amount each month. It is also easy to ask for additional credit cards, especially where no payments have been late or missed. However, this may lead to a spiral that is nearly impossible to stop, and when it goes into runaway mode, a bankruptcy may be the only answer that makes any sense.
Most individuals and married couples in Florida who are struggling with overwhelming debt will likely benefit most from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it gives swift and permanent relief regarding all unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical bills. However, in special circumstances where a house mortgage or car loans are behind, the home and/or the cars can sometimes be saved by filing a wage earner's payment plan called a Chapter 13. In that kind of bankruptcy, the mortgage or car payment will be paid on time every month and a partial payment will be made monthly to get the arrearages on the loan current.
There are reasons why many older people have been filing for bankruptcy relief in Florida and in other states. It easy to see that it has become much more difficult to survive on a Social Security check. For many, working that extra job to supplement the monthly stipend from the government becomes less and less feasible the older they get. And for others, the financial pressure may boil over and call for filing a bankruptcy to get a fresh start.
Many consumers in Florida and elsewhere get into financial trouble by relying on the failure-driven cycle of expensive and predatory payday and car-title loans. These transactions rest on a platform of extremely high-cost financing rates, making the loan payments egregiously high and necessitating re-borrowing when the short-term payday ultimatum becomes due. When this kind of debt spirals out of control, which may even be combined with high-cost credit card debt, the consumer must often decide whether bankruptcy should be considered to put the destructive cycle to rest.
When considering bankruptcy in Florida, it is important to seek the services of an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney. That person will be interested in getting a discharge of the consumer's unsecured debts quickly and permanently when possible in a bankruptcy filing. Although the legal fee for a Chapter 7 must be paid prior to filing, it is often the best solution for consumers swimming in overwhelming unsecured debt.
Florida and all other states offer access to the federal bankruptcy remedy as a way to eliminate debt in a rapid and permanent fashion. It is not always the best way to go, which is a subject best discussed with an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney. There are some signposts, however, that can guide consumers to know whether they will benefit most from filing a bankruptcy to resolve their debt problems.
Despite the potential drawbacks of filing a consumer bankruptcy, there are many instances where it is the best option that a struggling individual or married couple residing in Florida may choose. That is especially true where the burden of the debt is overwhelming and would take longer than just a few years to pay in full or even partially. Education and experience qualify consumer bankruptcy attorneys to forthrightly advise potential clients whether they are qualified to file and whether they have better options.
In Florida and nationwide, debt settlement companies have been the subject of intensive scrutiny by state and federal authorities in the past several years. The peak of the problem may be over now that many abusive companies have fallen under the demands of increased regulatory supervision. The question arises, however, whether the remaining group of debt settlement companies can measure up in results to the substantial benefits that the federal bankruptcy remedy gives to qualified consumers.