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August 2012 Archives

U.S. unemployment rate remains at 8 percent

Last week there was a higher than anticipated number of people who filed for unemployment benefits. In fact, there were 374,000 jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 25. This leads some to believe that the labor market is continuing to not do too well in an already struggling economy.

Divorce and Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, whether you are in the middle of a divorce proceeding or have already gotten a divorce, you need to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Former spouses have certain rights under the Bankruptcy Code that may prevent obligations assigned or decreed to them by a Divorce Court from being discharged in bankruptcy. For example, a support obligation, often in the form of child support or alimony cannot be discharged by a Bankruptcy Court.

Stripping Off Second Mortgages In Chapter 7

A three Judge panel of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, which includes the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida, recently held that a second mortgage could be stripped or removed as a lien on a home where the value of the home is less than the amount owed on the first mortgage in Chapter 7. This decision may be short lived because the losing party has moved for the full panel of the Eleventh Circuit (all nine justices) review the case. We expect a final ruling in October, 2012.

Bankruptcy rates follows the ebb and flow of the economy

Bankruptcy trends tend to follow economic cycles. Typically, when the economy is good and housing prices are stable, consumers spend more freely and rack up more credit card debt. Then when something happens, like a job lay-off, medical emergency or divorce, those consumers are in a financially vulnerable spot. This in turn leads to an increase in consumer bankruptcy filings.

Middle class earns less, struggles more in current economy

Middle-class families in Florida and around the country are financially struggling and not making as much money as they used too. Additionally, many don't have as much hope for the future when it comes to their children eventually earning more than them.

Business files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure

In many cases, when liabilities become more than assets it is a good time for a business to look into what debt relief options may be available. In some cases this leads to the complete liquidation of a business, but in others it can mean the time to reorganize and build up a foundation for a stronger financial future.

Wealthy Florida homeowners facing foreclosure

Over the past five years there have been million of homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosures. In fact, there have been 4 million homes that have been foreclosed on. And while the majority of these homeowners were your every day type of owner who fell behind on payments, as of recent there have also been an increasing number of the wealthy -- musicians, athletes and other celebrities -- that have also found themselves going through the foreclosure process.

Decrease in wine sales leads to Chapter 11 bankruptcy for winery

With the recession of 2008 there was a sharp decrease in fine wine sales. This economic slump combined with a weak grape harvest the following year has led to a limited supply of wine that is actually available for sale. In turn, this had led some wineries into the kind of financial hardships that a business bankruptcy aims to cure.

Hundreds of thousands still file for bankruptcy

Recent numbers released show a decrease in national and local bankruptcy filings for the three month period ending June 30. However, while some may jump to the conclusion this means hard financial times are over, Florida residents should still take heed as the filings are still in the hundreds of thousands and many will face financial strife in the future and seek out debt relief.

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas' mom on Chapter 13 payment plan

When it comes to gymnasts competing in this year's Olympics, 16-year-old Gabby Douglas has quickly become a fan favorite. The teen has already won two gold medals and is the first Africa-American woman to take home the title of winning an all-around gold in gymnastics. And while she could end up earning millions in endorsement deals, the fact that her mother filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy several months ago highlights the fact that times can be tough for anyone --even for the parent of a gold medal winning Olympic athlete.

Could bankruptcy help those struggling with student debt?

Although bankruptcy does not currently include the discharge of student loans, some are wondering if law changes could help those struggling with debt after college. For many residents in Florida and across the United States, debt comes from a variety of sources, such as credit cards, loans and house payments. Although bankruptcy can help with most of these debts, due to a 2005 law, student loans are excluded from bankruptcy. A recent report out by the Consumer Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education suggests that Congress should reconsider the law as more and more people struggle to overcome student debt. But some wonder -- would it actually make a big difference?

More older homeowners facing foreclosure

Four months ago, after losing her job as a real estate agent, a 69-year-old woman's three-bedroom Orlando apartment went into foreclosure. With no family in Florida, now she lives in constant fear of winding up on the streets with nowhere to go.