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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Attorney Donnie Goodwin

954-768-9940 |
200 SE 6th Street • Suite 507 • Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Bankruptcy News

Donnie Goodwin: A Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand your financial options.



Bankruptcy News

So many people are upside-down on their home mortgages these days. Before you walk away from your home, read this!



Bankruptcy News

Read the FAQs about bankruptcy myths, and learn why bankruptcy may help give you a fresh start.



Dispelling Bankruptcy Myths and Stigma

Goodwin Law Offices, Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer & Foreclosure Defense


Myth 1: Losers Are The Only Ones To File Bankruptcy


This is simply not the case. Bankruptcy is a perfectly viable option for getting debt relief in tough financial times. Many people who file for bankruptcy are recently divorced, have lost their job, who have suffered severel illnesses or have endured some other, unforeseen economic setback. Bankruptcy is a way for good, hardworking people to get a fresh start in life. Tough financial times do not make one bad, and they do not mean anyone is a loser. Bankruptcy is an optoin that can provide the kind of debt relief that good, hardworking people need to get them out of a tough financial situation.



Myth 2: If I File Bankruptcy, Everyone Will Know About It


This is not typically true, even though bankruptcy is part of the public record. People are not going to be researching your financial station unless there is a good reason to do so. The people who will learn of your bankruptcy are your creditors, who will have access to the public records of the bankruptcy court. But just because you file for bankruptcy does not mean people are going to learn about it.



Myth 3: There Is No Longer Relief With The New Bankruptcy Law


This is false. The bankruptcy overhauls that were made in 2005 only changed the legal qualifications for filing bankrutpcy, for each of the types of filings available to people seeking debt relief. You are still entitled to protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and you certainly are not prevented from filing a petition for relief. In most situations, people are able to get the same relief to which they may have been entitled prior to the changes. Sending Donnie Goodwin a Quick Consultation, using the form to the right, will help you know whether you may qualify to file.



Myth 4: I Am Just A Bad Person If I File Bankruptcy


This is absolutely not true! Particularly in the tough economic times we are facing today, good people are left with few options other than to seek relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In fact, even before the economic recession began in 2007, one million people were filing, each year, for protection under the U.S. bankruptcy laws. There are many reasons to seek relief, and filing for Bankruptcy Protection is a legal method to help good people reach the other side of a very bad financial time.



Myth 5: I'll Be Able To Pick The Debts That Get Placed In A Bankruptcy Filing


This is not true. When filing a petition for relief under the Bankrutpcy Code, you must list all of the debts you owe, in addition to any and all property that you own. Even if you want to keep paying certain creditors, you can not pick and choose which ones will be listed on your bankruptcy petition. They all must be listed. While it good that you would want to keep paying creditors, it is mandatory that you include all debts you presently owe, when filing your bankruptcy petition. If you want to pay a creditor after a bankruptcy case is concluded, you may do so; but you will likely not have the obligation to do so if your debts are discharged.



Myth 6: I Will Never Be Able To Get A Loan or Credit Card Again


This is not true, and the fact is you are likely to get offers for credit cards almost immediately after the discharge of debts under a bankruptcy filing. There are even creditors who may consider lending to you during the pendency of your bankruptcy petition, before the U.S. District Court. In many cases, a bankruptcy can eliminiate your debts, which helps your credit score. You will even begin establishing a new credit rating after your bankrutpcy is concluded. Also, when you continue making payments on property you decide to keep, it shows creditors good faith and improves your credit worthiness.



Myth 7: I Will Never Be Able To Own Property Again


The truth is, bankruptcy allows you to keep certain property. If you are deeply in debt, and unable to pay your bills, the option of a bankruptcy filing could be the only way to keep certain property. In fact, once you file for bankruptcy relief, both you and your property are protected from credtors. Laws regarding what property you can keep are not the same in every state. If you would like to know your options for filing a bankruptcy in Florida, send Donnie Goodwin a Quick Consultation, using the form on the right. Be aware, bankruptcy may not wipe out all leins, which could mean you will have to keep paying on any existing lien, for any property you wish to keep.



Myth 8: If I File Bankruptcy, Doesn't My Spouse Also Have To File?


The short answer is 'NO'. If you should choose to file bankruptcy, you and your spouse may file together or separately. The choice is entirely yours. In many cases, it may make sense for you and your spouse to file a bankruptcy petition together. But there will be cases where such a scenario is not true. Again, it is an option you should discuss with your spouse, and you should discuss it with a qualified attorney. Send Donnie Goodwin a Quick Consultation by using the form to the right, if you wish to talk about this option.



Myth 9: You Can't Get Rid Of Back Taxes With A Bankruptcy


This depends upon your circumstances. You can eliminate tax debts that are more than three years old, by filing a bankruptcy petition; but that certainly should not be the only deciding factor. There are several qualifications you will be required to meet before you can have older tax obligations discharged. In some cases, you will be able to get partial relief, which is - after all - better than no relief. Additionally, sales taxes - for instance, any sales tax owed by a business - will likely have to be repaid.



Myth 10: Once I File Bankrtupcy, I Can't File It Again


This is not true, at least not completely true. You are limited to the frequency of bankruptcy filings. But typically, if you are confronted with a crushing debt, and you have filed bankruptcy in the past, you can file again. For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you may only file once every eight years. You may recieve a discharge of debt, under Chapter 13, every two years. If you have had a discharge under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, you will have to wait six years before you can get relief under Chapter 13. There are many variables, and they are designed to prevent an abuse of the system. If you have filed bankruptcy in the past, send Donnie Goodwin a Quick Consultation to learn whether you will be able to consider the option of a fresh start under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.



Myth 11: Filing For Bankruptcy Will Hurt My Credit For 10 Years


Nope. While it is true that a bankruptcy stays on your credit reports, typically between seven and 10 years, you can begin rebuilding your credit as soon as your bankruptcy is discharged. Once you are out of bankruptcy, make certain to carefully monitor your finances. A good rule of thumb is to not borrow against any more than about 40% of your credit limit.





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