Bankruptcy
The Law Office of Michele L. Hanash is dedicated to helping individuals find solutions to their debt problems. Contact the firm online or call the office at 305-902-8158 for an appointment. Your consultation is free. The firm focusus its bankruptcy practice on personal bankruptcy and small business bankruptcy, handling all matters related to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.
 
Overview
 
Bankruptcy is an option provided by the federal government to give people a financial fresh start. Whether you are struggling to pay the mortgage or have accumulated significant medical or credit card debt, bankruptcy can help you. The federal bankruptcy laws can stop harassment from creditors and debt collection agencies. With so many Americans out of work, it is not unusual for a person to lose health insurance or rely on credit cards for everyday needs such as groceries and fuel. An uninsured illness or injury can quickly lead to unmanageable medical expenses, and credit card debt multiplies rapidly if you miss payments or cannot afford to make more than the minimum payment.
Fortunately, bankruptcy can help you eliminate medical bills and credit card debt, so you can get a fresh financial start. In some cases, you can use bankruptcy to eliminate certain types of IRS debt. You can also use bankruptcy to stop foreclosure and strip second mortgages under certain circumstances. 
 
The firm's goal is to minimize the difficulties you face and help you use the bankruptcy laws to get a fresh financial start. The firm prepares and submits all necessary documentation to complete a bankruptcy filing, and will act as your liaison, and on your behalf in all hearings or meetings, with creditors, the bankruptcy court or the trustee. When you hire the firm to represent you in a bankruptcy filing, you will be walked through the "means test" established by the 2005 revisions to the bankruptcy law. The firm will carefully explain the differences between a Chapter 7 filing and a Chapter 13 filing. The firm will also explain the benefits of the automatic stay and how bankruptcy can stop foreclosure.
 
All chapters of bankruptcy provide protection from collection activities with the automatic stay. The automatic stay prohibits creditors from calling you, writing you or pursuing legal action against you to collect a debt during the bankruptcy process. If a lawsuit has been filed, all further efforts under the lawsuit are suspended while the bankruptcy proceeding is in process. This includes foreclosure proceedings, repossession and civil lawsuits. In addition, the automatic stay can prevent wage garnishment or stop existing wage garnishment during the bankruptcy process. The firm can explain how the automatic stay applies to your circumstances.
 
Chapter 7
 
If your income is below the median income in Florida for a household of your size, you may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under the 2005 revisions to the bankruptcy laws, you must submit to a "means test" to determine whether you qualify to file for protection under Chapter 7. The firm will walk you through the means test to determine eligibility. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes 4 to 6 months on average to complete. Upon completion, a debtor receives a discharge of certain debt. If you qualify, the firm will explain which debts can and cannot be discharged, as well as which assets you can keep. If you fail to qualify under the means test for protection under Chapter 7, in other words, if your income is higher than the mean income for a family your size in Florida, or alternatively, if your assets are in excess of what the law will protect for you, and you prefer to repay your creditors what you can afford to over a three-to-five year period, the firm will help you seek reorganization of your debt under Chapter 13.
 
Chapter 13
 
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available for people whose income is above the median income in Florida for a household of their size, or who, based on the assets they wish to retain, prefer to repay what they can afford to over three to five years. If you file for protection under Chapter 13, the firm will prepare a debt payment plan that is within your means and will protect your assets, and will submit it for approval by the court. In order to keep the court's protection, you must abide by the terms of your plan. When the repayment plan is completed successfully, the court may approve a discharge of some of your debt. Chapter 13 may allow you to discharge some of your unsecured debt and repay what you can afford to over time, as well as repay the IRS for tax obligations which cannot be discharged.
 
Additionally, Chapter 13 can be used to stop a foreclosure sale on your home, help you catch up on the mortgage arrears and strip certain liens on your home in some circumstances. Chapter 13 can also be used to seek a loan modification of your home and investment property mortgages through the court's mortgage modification mediation program.  Speak with the firm to find out if you qualify. The firm can help you use a Chapter 13 filing to stop foreclosure proceedings and to set up new payment arrangements within your means.
 
You Can Restore Credit After Filing Bankruptcy
 
If you are considering bankruptcy or have filed personal bankruptcy to get a fresh financial start, you may believe that your credit record is permanently ruined. Contrary to popular myth, there is life after bankruptcy. You can re-establish your credit, often within 24 months of a bankruptcy. The firm provides a free initial consultation to every client. To set up a private meeting with a bankruptcy attorney, contact the firm online or call the office at 305-802-8158 . The firm will set up a payment plan, if necessary.
 
The Law Office of Michele L. Hanash is a debt relief agency. The firm helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.