When a Florida consumer is having financial trouble, the prevailing advice is to work with creditors as much as possible and sell whatever can be sold. Therefore, people shy away from filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy under the mistaken belief that it should be a last resort. Even though there is a downside to individuals having a bankruptcy on their credit reports for 10 years, that does not mean that it is not the best debt relief option under the circumstances.
Even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) attempts to deter people who are struggling with their finances from filing for bankruptcy while warning people about debt relief scams. Supposed debt relief companies will entice individuals into giving them what little extra money they have in return for a promise of lower interest rates, a reduction in principal or reduced payments. These scams often end up putting hard-working, unsuspecting individuals even deeper in debt.
The fact of the matter is that neither the FTC nor anyone else is going to pay an individual’s bills for them. When a financial disaster strikes, such as an illness, accident or job loss, debts can increase rapidly and quickly get out of control. Filing for bankruptcy could be the best option for obtaining a fresh start financially.
Once the decision is made to file, it will be necessary to determine whether to file a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Several factors go into making this decision, and every situation is unique. Therefore, it would be a good idea to discuss the differences between the chapters, the financial situation and other factors with a Florida attorney — especially since the process can be complex, paper intensive and frustrating without an understanding of the process.
Source: consumer.ftc.gov, “Debt Relief or Bankruptcy?”, Accessed on July 30, 2016