If I File For Bankruptcy, Do I Lose My Workers Compensation Settlement Money?

If I File For Bankruptcy, Do I Lose My Workers Compensation Settlement Money?

What happens to your workers compensation settlement?

Filing for bankruptcy is an important decision, and there are many factors to consider. If you have received a workers compensation settlement as a result of a workers compensation claim, you may worry that filing for bankruptcy will cause you to lose this money. However, the State of Florida has protections in place specifically to exclude your workers compensation benefits and settlements from creditors’ claims.        Continue Reading

Rules for Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Orlando

Rules for Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Orlando

Orlando residents who are considering filing chapter 7 bankruptcy should know the rules that apply to their financial transactions.  Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy is based on a very simple agreement with the Orlando bankruptcy court: you will receive an almost immediate discharge of all your debts, in exchange for your agreement to surrender to the court your non-exempt property.  Now, most people who are filing chapter 7 bankruptcy in Orlando do not have to surrender any property.  That is because Florida law provides exemptions that protect the debtor’s property from having to be surrendered.  Please read my other postings on this blog that discuss what you get to keep in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  However, for individuals and families that have more property than the exemptions allow, there are rules that apply to financial transactions that occur before filing chapter 7 bankruptcy.  These rules are designed to prevent a person from “hiding” non-exempt property and then simply getting it back after bankruptcy to avoid having to surrender it to the court.        Continue Reading

Retirement accounts are safe in bankruptcy court

Senior couple on boat with mountains in background taking Savings for retirement, in the form of 401(k), IRA, and other government sponsored savings accounts, are for most people their most precious financial asset. That is why the bankruptcy laws give special protection to these savings accounts.   Last month the stock markets took us through a painful roller coaster ride.  But the pain of watching accounts go up and down in an uncertain market can’t be matched to the pain of having to withdraw these dollars to pay a creditor.  Bankruptcy attorneys like myself always cringe when we consult with a prospective client who informs us that they have already spent their retirement accounts to keep their creditors away.  This is almost always a temporary fix and leaves this person facing the reality that was there all along – the need to discharge unmanageable debt with a bankruptcy to get a fresh start with finances.   Whether filing under chapter 7 or chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code,  retirement assets in these special accounts are almost always exempt from creditors and therefore protected from surrender to the bankruptcy court.  Yes, you can go through a bankruptcy and keep your retirement assets, no matter how high the balance in your retirement account.        Continue Reading

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