Van Horn Law Group Blog

The Zero Down Bankruptcy: Why I Do It and Nobody Else Does

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Nov 29, 2016 8:14:23 AM

“I’m too broke to file for bankruptcy.”

You never want to get to this point, but I see so many people who need to file for personal bankruptcy who say this. They’re hopeless and resigned to a freight train of foreclosures, evictions, judgments, garnishments, bad credit problems, and endless harassment by collections agencies. Some try to handle it themselves, either by doing their own filing or using a bankruptcy preparer, but in doing this they often make mistakes or get bad advice that leads to the dismissal of the filing. Even a “simple” Chapter 7 is a complex legal procedure that takes place in the federal courts, and you need help.

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Topics: Chapter 13, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11

How to Recover from Bankruptcy?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Nov 21, 2016 6:13:12 AM

Q: I’m considering filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but my biggest concern is what happens after I emerge from bankruptcy. How do I move forward with that much damage on my credit report? How do recover? I’m worried that my landlord could evict me even if I am current, and that I won’t have enough credit to get a decent place to live, or that I’ll end up having to move into the place where I have my office space in violation of my lease. Help?

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Topics: Chapter 13, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11

Changes to the Bankruptcy Means Test

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Nov 7, 2016 7:00:00 AM

There are changes afoot in Chapter 7 bankruptcy law. For those of you who don’t know, there is a means test required to file for Chapter 7 – which is known as a liquidation bankruptcy. In a bulletin from the US Courts, it was announced that new data from the Census Bureau concerning median family income information will be used for filling out the means test paperwork, and will take effect on November 1 of 2016. It will apply to all Chapter 7 petitions filed on or after that date.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

ITT Filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Can of Worms Opened

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Sep 26, 2016 8:08:35 AM

ITT Educational Services filed for a chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy

On September 19 in an Indianapolis bankruptcy court, 50-year-old for-profit college ITT filed chapter 7 bankruptcy. About 35,000 students have lost immediate access to their education as 136 schools in 38 states ceased operations. ITT’s precipitous collapse follows that of Corinthian Colleges and affiliated schools such as Everest, Heald, and WyoTech last year.

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Topics: Student Loans, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

The Truth About Discharging Taxes in Bankruptcy

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Sep 14, 2016 7:59:39 AM

I have to tell you that I hear this one all the time. In fact, it is possible to discharge some portion of federal, state, and local income taxes in your bankruptcy along with any penalties or interest that are attached. However, this is not a blanket statement. 

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Topics: Chapter 13, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11, IRS Debt

Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors: Tips for Success

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Aug 18, 2016 7:23:51 AM

A 341 hearing is also called a meeting of creditors. This takes place between you, the Trustee, and your creditors – if any of them show up. It’s a short meeting, but a very important one, and you will be asked about 20-25 questions about your financial situation. This type of meeting is consistent across all types of bankruptcies – Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 being the most commonly filed types of bankruptcies. Ideally, you should attend with your attorney present, make any amendments to your case before this meeting, and make sure that the trustee is advised of any changes. In general, the meeting follows this type of format as provided by the Justice.gov website. Bankruptcies, as with all other legal proceedings, follow a set procedure and form. 
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Topics: Chapter 13, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11

How Long Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Last?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Aug 4, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a simple type of filing called a liquidation.

What happens in this case is that instead of a reorganization that occurs with Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, the assets (if there are any) that are not exempt under Florida bankruptcy and federal law are sold by the US trustee and used to pay off your creditors. You can file as an individual or as a business, but there is a means test to file for Chapter 7. If you exceed the amount of allowable assets, your bankruptcy can be converted to a Chapter 11 or 13.

Your Chapter 7 is comparatively quick as opposed to the more intricate Chapter 11 or 13, and is generally discharged in three to six months. This depends on a variety of factors including how crowded the dockets are. However, as a caveat only, if you have creditors who object to your filing or the case is more complex, you could be longer in obtaining a discharge.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jul 25, 2016 9:15:24 AM

In this part of the 21st century it often seems as if we live and die by our credit reports. The scores and information contained in those reports can influence everything from what jobs we get, to how much we pay for insurance on our homes and cars, and where we can live. Many of us spend a lot of time and effort getting into and staying in a good credit range, but sometimes life takes a turn. Usually something happens and you are in a bankruptcy court, working out a way to move forward from debts that are overwhelming. 

All negative credit information sticks on your credit report, but the good news is that the stickiness diminishes over time. In other words, the older the ding, the less relevant it is to your current credit status. For most negative information, seven is the magic number. Certain debts such as unpaid tax liens and other public debts can stick around indefinitely, but for collections, foreclosures, and late payments, the term is seven years.

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Topics: Chapter 13, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

F. Lee Bailey – O.J’s Lawyer – Files for Bankruptcy

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jul 11, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. First of all, I know some of my readers weren’t even born in 1995 when O.J. Simpson stood trial and was acquitted of the murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Aside from Simpson, Baily had some colorful clients over the years, such as Dr. Sam Sheppard and Albert de Salvo – the reputed Boston Strangler. The high profile lawyer was disbarred in Florida in 2001 for findings of egregious misconduct with a reciprocal disbarment in Massachusetts in 2003

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Chapter 11

Bankruptcy Reset Button for Debt-Related Driver's License Suspension

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jun 20, 2016 8:06:26 AM

Having your license suspended is a surefire way to upend your life. You can’t get to work, can’t get the kids to daycare or other activities, can’t get to the doctor, or pick up the groceries. It’s one thing to have your license suspended for a traffic infraction, but it’s another to lose it because of something that has nothing to do with the operation of a motor vehicle. Heck, a license can be suspended for people who don’t even have licenses yet! Underage tobacco use, truancy, and marijuana possession can pull your license even before it’s been issued. Even a civil judgment in collection can be used to yank your license.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 7


About Chad Van Horn


Chad T. Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. Through a combination of dedicated philanthropy, spirited entrepreneurship and legal expertise, he applies his resources and network to helping people. Learn more about Chad Van Horn.


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