A good day in chapter 13 bankruptcy court – stripping a lien, saving a home

Today was a good day for my client, who has been in chapter 13 bankruptcy since January of this year: her chapter 13 plan was approved by the bankruptcy court.  When she first came to my office to speak with a bankruptcy attorney , she didn’t know she needed a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  She only knew that she didn’t have enough income to pay her debts, and that it was likely that she would never pay them off with her salary from the Orange County School System.  She had heard about chapter 7 bankruptcy and thought that would help her discharge excessive credit card debt and give her a fresh start in her financial life.  What she didn’t know about is how she could significantly improve the mortgage financing on her home, by stripping the second morgtgage lien.  It took me some time to help her understand that a Chapter 13 plan was the best option for her.        Continue Reading

You can help stop mortgage foreclosure in Orlando – sign a petition today!

Have you noticed that mortgage foreclosure in Orlando is still occurring at record levels? Isn’t it time that someone do something about all the underwater homes in our community? Well you can – Sign the petition to support an intelligent solution! The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys is advocating for a solution to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. May be your mortgage isn’t in trouble, but your neighbor’s might be.  Help your neighborhood and sign the petition today!        Continue Reading

Orlando foreclosure and filing bankruptcy – saving a home

Orlando home foreclosures and Orlando bankruptcies have been the subject of a lot of news.  As with many topics of widespread interest, misinformation and myths have sprouted regarding what a bankruptcy can do for homeowners going through a mortgage foreclosure. Today, a very distressed couple consulted with me regarding their foreclosure.  Their home was scheduled for a foreclosure sale in Lake county for the following day.  They believed that filing for bankruptcy would help them save their home from foreclosure, even though they could not afford to make a monthly mortgage payment.        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

Mortgage modification in Orlando’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Court

Mortgage modification was first introduced by the Obama administration as a solution to mortgage crisis in 2008.  Since that time, the program has been criticized as a failure, due probably in part to the fact that banks are not required by law to actually grant a modification, and because there is no legal enforcement mechanism to penalize banks who fail to follow the program’s guidelines.  Now, a new program in Orlando offers a ray of light to homeowners who use chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code to help save their home and manage debt.        Continue Reading