Many older adults in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, find themselves on a fixed income after retirement, living on what they receive from Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, this amount may not be adequate to cover unexpected expenses. Relying on credit cards to pay for these emergencies can backfire, though, since making the payments can create new financial challenges for those on an already inadequate budget.
If you have filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get a fresh financial start, you are typically allowed to keep your home. Florida state law says that it is exempt from being sold under process of the bankruptcy court, unless it is to pay taxes on the property itself. While a creditor does not have the ability to force you to sell your home to collect on a debt, it may also be difficult for you to sell it yourself. When this is something you feel is necessary, you must abide by certain limitations placed on the sale by the court.
According to the most recent Gallup.com data, 19.3 percent of Florida residents are underemployed. That places the state third from the bottom, with only California and Nevada workers in worse shape. When you develop marketable skills through education and experience, you have a right to expect a career that meets your basic financial needs. We at the Law Offices of George Castrataro, P.C., understand that taking a job that does not pay you according to your qualifications can lead to serious financial challenges.
Many people in Florida take out student loans to pay for an education. Often, these debts may run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Graduates may discover that the career field does not pay enough to maintain a standard of living while making payments, or that they are not able to find a job in the field.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, when creditors are not receiving payments on debts in Fort Lauderdale, they can get a court order that allows them to receive a portion of the person’s wages directly from the employer. There is a federal limit that can be garnished, and this is applied after required deductions, such as Florida state taxes. No more than 25 percent of this disposable income can be taken out of a paycheck unless the employee makes more than 30 times the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour.
If you are experiencing financial challenges, then you understand the impact that overwhelming debt can have on people throughout Florida. As such, you may have considered filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to regain control of your finances. Before taking such a serious step, however, it is important to determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right option for you.
No one ever expects to need to file a bankruptcy. Most people go along in their daily life thinking that bankruptcy happen because people made poor choices, spent too much, failed to save and used their credit cards too much.
A core function of bankruptcy law is the "fresh start" that occurs with the clearing of debt from a individuals financial balance sheet. When you are so far behind on your bills, and there is a constant barrage of collection letters and phone calls, it can become psychologically taxing, in addition to economically demoralizing.
Getting student loans discharged in a bankruptcy case is very difficult. For the most part, one must show that repayment would cause "undue hardship." Many courts use a three-factor test, called the Brunner test, to determine if you can meet the undue hardship requirement for student loan discharge. However, not all courts use this test. Some bankruptcy courts will look at the totality of the circumstances -- meaning they will consider all factors relevant to the hardship argument. Below are the factors that a court will consider if it uses the Brunner test.
Florida was one of the states that was hit hard by the real estate bubble and the aftermath of the real estate market collapse, banking crisis, and the recession that followed. Many homeowners lost jobs and watched as the value of their homes plummeted, leaving them underwater with their mortgage, and owing far more than they could sell the property for after the collapse.