The most important part of your bankruptcy is the Order of Discharge.  Once you complete your bankruptcy, the bankruptcy judge will issue an Order of Discharge.  The order means that you do not have to repay the portion of the debt that was discharged in your bankruptcy.  Not all debts are discharged in bankruptcy.  The scope of your discharge depends on the type of bankruptcy you file.  If a debt is not discharged, you have to repay the debt even if you file bankruptcy.

Section 523(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code lists the types of debts that are not discharged in bankruptcy.  Some common debts not discharged in bankruptcy include the following:

(a) certain tax claims owed to government entitites
(b) debts not listed on the debtor's bankruptcy paperwork
(c) debts for spousal or child support or alimony,
(d) debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property
(e) debts to governmental units for fines and penalties
(f) debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments
(g) debts for personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated
(h) debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans
(i) debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees
(j) debts incurred shortly before filing bankruptcy

Obligations affected by fraud or maliciousness are not automatically excepted from discharge. Creditors must ask the court to determine that these debts are excepted from discharge. In the absence of an affirmative request by the creditor and the granting of the request by the court, these types of debts  will be discharged.

In addition, chapter 13 provides a broader discharge than chapter 7.  Debts dischargeable in a chapter 13, but not in chapter 7, include debts for willful and malicious injury to property (but not to people), debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations, and debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings.

If you are seeking an appointment with a  bankruptcy attorney in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres, or  Estero , contact the Rothrock Law Firm at (239) 206-1948.
 
 
Click this link to visit the Florida Bar's information on filing bankruptcy.  The Florida Bar offers general information for consumers about different types of law.  Their topics include general information about bankruptcy, wills and trusts, immigration, and more.  The service is free and is intended for consumers.  All attorneys who practice Florida law are required to be members of the Florida Bar. This link contains some useful information about filing bankruptcy.

If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Lehigh Acres, Bonita Springs, or Estero, contact the Rothrock Law Firm at (239) 206-1948
 
 
The fear that many people have when filing bankruptcy is that they will be unable to use a credit card while in bankruptcy.  Especially for travel, having a credit card is often necessary.

If you file bankruptcy, you have no legal right to keep a credit card.  Even if you have a $0 balance the day of the bankruptcy filing and you never missed a payment on the credit card, the credit card company has the right to cancel the card anyway.  Sometimes credit card companies do this because you no longer meet their criteria for card eligibility.  Sometimes they do it because the filing of a bankruptcy petition prohibits a creditor from legally collecting a debt.  Whatever the reason is, you might lose the card.

You have a legal obligation to list all your debt on your bankruptcy paperwork.  If you leave the credit card company out of your bankruptcy paperwork, the credit card company can still cancel your credit card.  The companies do this because they check your credit report every month, and many will cancel the card if you file bankruptcy. 

If you want to keep the credit card, you can try reaffirming the debt in the bankruptcy court.  Some credit card companies allow you to keep a credit card if you sign a reaffirmation agreement.  A reaffirmation agreement means that you sign a written document stating that you are agreeing to repay a debt even though it would otherwise be discharged in bankruptcy.  A bankruptcy judge will require you to have a hearing before agreeing to reaffirm the debt.  The bankruptcy judge will question you as to why you want to keep the debt before allowing you to do so.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, or Lehigh Acres, contact the Rothrock Law Firm at (239) 206-1948.
 
 
One of the most common reasons a person files bankruptcy is because he or she recently got divorced.  The parties that previously shared two incomes for one house, one light bill, and one phone bill now have to pay for two houses, two light bills and two phone bills . . . with only one income. On top of it all, there is very little money left over for either party to pay its credit card debt with the increased living expenses.

The question then becomes - can you get rid of any or all of your debt if you get divorced?

Like everything else, it depends. 

Divorce related debt can be classified as a domestic support obligation or a division of property.  Let's say you and your spouse jointly owed $10,000 on a visa card.  The divorce judge ordered husband to pay it.  Husband files bankruptcy.  If husband files bankruptcy, he is not liable to the bank for the visa card debt.  He may be liable to wife, however, if wife has to pay the debt.    If the debt was classified as a domestic support obligation in the divorce decree , he couldn't discharge the debt as to the wife.  If it were not classified as  domestic support obligation, he probably would not owe the wife anything if he filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy; however, he may owe the wife if he filed chapter 7.

Child support and alimony are almost always classified as domestic support obligations; therefore, you would not be able to discharge those debts whether you filed chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Judge Delano recently made an interesting ruling concerning attorney fees awarded in a divorce case.  In the case, the wife was awarded attorney fees in the divorce, and the trial judge classified the award of attorney fees as a domestic support obligation.  Husband then filed divorce.  Wife did not file a motion for relief from the automatic stay and enforced the judgment of attorney's fees by garnishing husband's wages.  Judge Delano found that wife did not violate bankruptcy law because the award of attorney fees were classified as a domestic support obligation in the state court and were not subject to the automatic stay of the bankruptcy court.

If you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Fort Myers, call the Rothrock Law Firm at (239) 206-1976.