Help for Overwhelming Debt and Divorce
In Florida, many couples and individuals have found themselves with overwhelming debt due to an upside-down housing situation in which they owe more on their house than the house is worth. Other couples have credit card debt with high interest rates, or medical and other bills, or both.
When divorce and bankruptcy go hand-in-hand, you need an experienced attorney to avoid the potential pitfalls. I am Greg Colvin, a family law attorney, and I help individuals file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy and also help individuals file for divorce.
Divorce and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — In Which Order?
If you have credit card debt, an upside-down house and you're being harassed by creditors, it may be a good idea to file a joint bankruptcy before the divorce. In that scenario you would both be debt free after divorce.
If you divorce first and then declare an individual bankruptcy the following could result:
- Your former spouse could become responsible for all of the debt
- You may be charged with contempt of court for violating division of property orders
- The credit card company may not agree to discharge the debt because another individual could still be attached to the debt
- You may inadvertently force your ex-spouse into bankruptcy as well
At the very least, filing for bankruptcy after divorce will not improve the interactions during child custody transfers and other joint activities.
Florida Chapter 7 Attorney
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy lets you eliminate the majority of your debt, such as credit card debt, medical debt and other unsecured debt. The assets that are protected (not liquidated) and which you may keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:
- Home or condo
- Life insurance
- Retirement accounts, such as IRAs, pensions, annuities
- Clothing and personal items
Some debts are not liquidated, such as taxes, school loans, child support and alimony payments.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida
A second option for debt relief is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which you pay your creditors at a reduced rate over 3 to 5 years. You make payments to a trustee who then pays the creditors. If you complete the reorganization plan, your debts will be considered "paid" at the end of the debt repayment plan period. The advantage of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you are allowed to keep all of your assets as long as you follow the repayment plan.
More Than Twenty Years of Experience on Your Side
If you are in overwhelming debt or suffering from creditor harassment, please call 407-680-2162 Toll Free: 800-483-0522 or contact Orlando bankruptcy lawyer R. Gregory Colvin, LLC. I look forward to helping you solve your legal problems.