Although personal bankruptcy filings significantly increased in Florida during 2010, some individuals may still find it difficult to qualify for bankruptcy protection. U.S. Bankruptcy courts want to ensure that consumers are only filing bankruptcy if it is absolutely necessary in order to better their financial situations. Specific codes have been set in place so that consumers cannot abuse bankruptcy practices.
A prominent developer in Miami Beach filed for Chapter 7 in April 2008. He was requested several times to appear in court to answer questions about his finances, but the man failed to do so. On Jan. 7, a U.S. Bankruptcy judge ruled that the man did not qualify for bankruptcy protection. According to the judge, the man had violated the bankruptcy code in several ways. The man was accused of not providing accurate records for his real estate and business transactions, and he did not properly disclose all of his accounts and debts. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious matter in the court, and any documents provided to the court must truthful and accurate. An individual risks committing fraud if they are not honest about their financial situation
Individuals considering bankruptcy may want to ask a few questions to make sure that bankruptcy is the right solution. Bankruptcy law attorneys in Miami may also ask clients questions in order to make certain that filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is in the best interest of the client. Some questions to consider are:
- Is your mortgage delinquent or is your house in the process of foreclosure?
- Are you late on other payments and receiving harassing calls from creditors?
- Are you struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis?
- Has your monthly income dropped significantly? Have you been laid off or lost your job?
If the answer is “yes” to most of these questions, then bankruptcy may be your solution. Bankruptcy attorneys help clients throughout the entire legal process of filing for bankruptcy protection. They ensure that their client is following bankruptcy code and that the client is properly defended in the bankruptcy court.
South Florida Business Journal: “Judge denies Miami Beach developer bankruptcy waiver,” Paul Brinkman, 21 Jan. 2011