As a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer I have had many clients come to me to file bankruptcy with many misconceptions about bankruptcy. Because of these misconceptions, clients often put off filing bankruptcy until they have absolutely no other option. Yet most of these misunderstandings are false. Here are the most common misconceptions my clients have had about filing bankruptcy. In fact, after reading this filing bankruptcy might not seem as scary of a process.
The most common misconception I have heard about filing a Jacksonville Bankruptcy is that filing bankruptcy ruins your credit and you will never be able to get credit again. This notion is absolutely false. However, it is true that a bankruptcy filing can appear on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, this does not necessarily mean the bankruptcy will hurt your credit rating. In reality, filing bankruptcy most likely will only help improve your credit score. The reason that filing bankruptcy will help improve your credit score is because your credit score is most likely already ruined by the time you file bankruptcy. Therefore, filing bankruptcy will likely not do any more damage to your credit report. Instead, filing bankruptcy helps to improve your credit report by taking away your credit card balances, stopping all of the negative credit reporting and finally giving you the opportunity to start improving your credit report.
If you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you can even obtain new credit during your Chapter 13 Plan. You will just have to obtain permission from the court first. If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, then you might find that you receive many new credit card offers in the mail in no time after receiving your Bankruptcy Discharge. This is because you no longer have any debt and are seen as a good candidate for credit by credit card companies. But, keep in mind these credit card offers aren’t going to have the best interest rates. However, over time, as long as you pay your credit card on time each month, you will improve your credit score and will be able to get a credit card with a good interest rate in the future.
Filing bankruptcy means I have failed. This is not true in the slightest. You are not a failure because you have to file bankruptcy. In fact, most people file bankruptcy because of things that have happened that were 100% not within their control, such as the loss of a job, illness or divorce. Bankruptcy is meant for good and honest people who fall on hard times because of things out of their control, so that they can then get back on their feet.
3. I’ll lose everything by filing bankruptcy:
This is another very common misconception about filing bankruptcy, which is also very much false. In reality most people who file bankruptcy get to keep all, if not most, of their property. This is because every state offers exemptions, which allow you to protect your property. In Jacksonville, if you own your home, you can take advantage of the Florida Homestead Exemption to protect your home together with the $1,000 in personal property exemption and $1,000 motor vehicle exemption. If you do not own your own home in the Jacksonville, Florida area, then you can take advantage of Florida’s wild card exemption and protect $4,000 of your personal property and $1,000 in a motor vehicle. Additionally, regardless of whether or not you own your home, your retirement accounts will be protected.
4. Everyone will know I filed bankruptcy:
This is not true. Of course, filing bankruptcy is a public record, but it is unlikely that anyone will know you have filed. This is because so many people file bankruptcy today that unless someone is doing a background check on you, they most likely will never find out.
5. I don’t have money to hire an attorney:
Again not true. If you plan on filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, then simply stop making your monthly debt payments. Instead, put that money aside until you have saved enough to hire an experienced Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney.
6. Bankruptcy is difficult:
Again, completely false. If you work with an experienced Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, then filing bankruptcy should be a very smooth and easy process. Your Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney will make sure everything is done correctly so you can focus on other things.
If you live in Jacksonville or any of the surrounding areas, contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC. Working with an experienced Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney can help you decide whether bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation and help you navigate through the bankruptcy process so you can move forward with your future.