Is Filing Bankruptcy Bad in Florida?

When people come to the office, burdened with debt, this is one of the questions I hear the most often. There is a societal stigma associated with debt and bankruptcy, with people thinking that bankruptcy means they’re a deadbeat, or that people will think they’re self-indulgently blowing their money, or even that they’re a failure. Because of that, people put off getting help with their debts for so long that bankruptcy is the only option left to them.


You Are Not Alone

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motors filed for bankruptcy. So did Walt Disney, and even Abraham Lincoln. Anyone filing bankruptcy is in good company, and filing bankruptcy is no barrier to your future success. In fact, our lobby is filled with photographs of the many famous people who have sought the protection of the bankruptcy courts. In fact, there is a constitutional right to file for bankruptcy under the laws enacted by Congress and the states. Federal law as stated under Article 1: Section 8: Clause 4 states that Congress is to “… establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.”

Federal and State

So while Congress decides the uniform federal laws that govern bankruptcy, individual states have their own rules as well. Florida has its own statewide statutes governing homestead and exemptions. It outlines all the property and assets exempt from your bankruptcy estate, and unavailable to your creditors. There are also state laws governing “time barred debts” that are voided if not collected by a specific date, and there are even some debts that by law are nondischargable.

Take a Deep Breath

Yes, bankruptcy is complex. This is why the legal practice of bankruptcy is considered a specialty. There are multiple types of bankruptcy, and each case is different and unique. It’s also a very stressful process for the plaintiff. You need to have the assurance that your bankruptcy is in the best hands possible. For this reason pro se bankruptcies – in which the person filing bankruptcy is representing themselves – often end up being dismissed for mistakes, errors, or omissions. Even if you amend a return later, these mistakes will be held against you. For this reason you owe it to yourself to have legal advice, even if you continue as pro se. Having someone look over your filing and your paperwork, to point out errors and omissions can save you from having your bankruptcy dismissed.

We’ve Done This Before

At Van Horn Law Group we have experience in the form of filing thousands of bankruptcies for people just like you. Whether it’s a personal bankruptcy or a business bankruptcy, we have the experience to get you the discharge that you need in order to get on with your life. While your credit will show the bankruptcy for some time, being debt free and able to rebuild is a relief beyond price. Call us today and schedule your free initial consultation in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach. We are here to help.

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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