Thursday, December 29, 2016

Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions

Persons filing for bankruptcy in Florida generally use the exemptions  provided by Florida law in the Florida Constitution, Florida Statutes and common law. Certain further exemptions are also provided by non-bankruptcy federal law.


Certain real property, such as a homestead, and personal property are "exempt" - that is, exempt from administration by a chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee or otherwise not taken into consideration in a chapter 13 as to the amount required to be repaid to unsecured creditors.


Article X, section 4 of the Florida Constitution provides for the exemption of a Florida homestead with an unlimited value. The maximum size of the land is limited to 1/2 acre if located within a municipality and 160 if located outside of a municipality.

Personal property of  $l,000.00 and $4,000.00 value

Each debtor may "exempt" $l,000.00 of personal property.  Another statute also allows each debtor to “exempt” a further $4,000.00 of personal property if he does not claim or receive the benefits of a Florida homestead exemption. 

Cars and other Motor Vehicles

In addition to the above general personal property exemption, $l,000.00 in equity, in one car (two for a joint case) or other motor vehicle (such as a motorcycle, truck, trailer, semi-trailer, truck tractor, semi-trailer combination, recreational vehicle, etc.) is "exempt" from the bankruptcy estate. Often this is not even used as many vehicles have no net value (equity) as more is owed on them than they are worth (i.e. you are "upside down").  During and after the bankruptcy, you must, of course, continue to make any payment due for a lien on the vehicle.

Pension Plans, IRAs, and other Retirement Plans 

Pension plans, I.R.A.'s, and other retirement plans are generally not part of the estate or may be exempted from the estate (including under the exemption provided in the Bankruptcy Code itself 522 (b)(3)(C)) . 

Earned Income Credit Refund   

An interest in an IRS earned income credit ("EIC") whether received or yet to be received is exempt. It also applies to funds in a bank account traceable to such EIC. This exemption does not apply to collection for child support or spousal support.

Saving Your Property from Foreclosure with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

<img src="image.gif" alt="Saving Your Home from Foreclosure in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy" />

The filing of a chapter 13 bankruptcy case puts a stop to most foreclosure actions and gives a homeowner the opportunity to pursue a mortgage modification under the Bankruptcy Court's Mortgage Modification Mediation program ("MMM") . In addition, often second mortgages are avoidable in a chapter 13 plan

Mortgage Modification Mediation 

Within the chapter 13 case, a property owners may make use of the Bankruptcy Court's new Mortgage Modification Mediation (MMM).

This program is innovative in certain respects. Under this program, a Bankruptcy Court appoints a meditor to help the parties reach an agreement to modify the mortgage. A mediator is able to help the homeowner and mortgage company communicate and reach an agreement for modification.

This program also involves the use of an internet "portal" which allows the homeowner to upload all the documents needed for the mortgage company to consider for a modification. Through this portal the homeowner and mortgage company are also able to communicate.

Avoiding of Under Water Mortgages and Association Liens

If a second mortgage is "under water," the involved lien may be avoidable. To be avoidable as to residential property, there must not be any equity in the property to support the mortgage lien. That is, more is owed on the first mortgage than the value of the property. Association liens, including condominium association liens, may also be avoidable in whole or in part, to the extent that they are "under water."

Friday, July 8, 2016

Correcting Your Credit Report:

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides a consumer with certain rights regarding his file in the credit bureau. The FCRA was enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of a credit bureau.

Credit bureaus may generally report accurate negative information on your credit report for up to seven years and bankruptcy information for up to ten years. Under the law, credit bureaus are also called "credit reporting agencies.". You may obtain a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus at

A consumer has the right to dispute inaccurate or outdated information on his credit report under the FCRA. The credit bureau and the provider of the information (such as the credit card company or other lender) have the duty to correct inaccurate or outdated information. You may dispute the information on the credit report with both the credit bureau and the provider of the information. The credit bureau must generally investigate the disputed item within 30 days. When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must give a person the written results.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Credit Counseling Prior to Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy code requires that an individual seeking to file for bankruptcy relief must take a certain approve credit counseling course during the 180 days prior to the filing of the case. The course must be take from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. The course may be taken in person, telephone, or on the internet.

The clerk of the bankruptcy courts maintain a list of the approved credit counseling agencies. The office of the U.S. Trustee approves these agencies pursuant to its criteria.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Mortgage Modification under the Bankruptcy Court's New "Mortgage Modification Mediation" Program

The Bankruptcy Courts in Miami has program to help people get a mortgage modification and help them save their home from foreclosure as part of their  chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

The program is called "Mortgage Modification Mediation" (MMM). It is available for homeowners and certain investment property owners who are seeking a modification of their mortgage and may be facing foreclosure of the mortgages on their property.  As part of the MMM program, the Bankruptcy Court appoints a mediator to work with the debtor and their bankruptcy attorney in reaching an agreement.  MMM has been successful in about 80% of the cases in other parts of Florida that previously instituted the program. One advantage of this program is that it provides for better communication with the mortgage lender in the process of negotiating a mortgage modification. A mediator is appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to help the parties negotiate an agreement.

As part of this process, an order is issued by the Bankruptcy Court requiring your mortgage lender to register with the internet portal and negotiate with you for a mortgage modification. The documents that are needed for the mortgage company to consider the mortgage for a modification are submitted on an internet portal for better communications.   All communications between the parties is done through the MMM Portal. After the order is entered the homeowner, mortgage lender and mediator communicate and meet to mediate a modification. In the meeting, all parties must be really and able to settle all matters.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Student Loans

Experts state that by early 2013, the amount of student loan debt in the United States surpassed $1 trillion and that nearly 20% of Americans households owe on student loans.

It is also reported that student loan delinquency and default are also on the rise. By 2009, about 9% of borrowers had defaulted. Student graduating from for-profit schools have a much worse default rate.

There are many negative consequences for student loan borrowers who default. The federal government contracts with several private collection agencies to collect on defaulted loans. Collection charges may be as high as 20% or higher of the payment. Also in order to collect, the government can seize wages, tax refunds, and social security payments.

Deferment and Forbearance
Borrowers with federal loans who return to school or who are in a difficult financial circumstances may be able to obtain a temporary deferment or forbearance of payments. Information is available on the Department of Education's website.

Deferment means that the borrower is excused from making payments for a period of time. Borrowers who do qualify for deferment may seek forbearance from payment or a reduction in payments for up to 12 months. Unlike with deferment, interest continues to accrue on the loan.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy Relief

(305) 891-4055 - Free Initial Consultation - Office: North Miami - Aventura - Bankruptcy Attorney Jordan E. Bublick - 25 Years Experience -

Miami Bankruptcy AttorneyChapter 13 and chapter 7 bankruptcy each provides for different requirements and relief.  In general chapter 13 provides for an opportunity to reorganize your debt and chapter 7 provides for an opportunity to just discharge your debt.

Chapter 13


Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often used by people with higher incomes and substantial non-exempt property to formulate a chapter 13 plan to reorganize their debt while under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Under a chapter 13 plan, you are able to reorganize your secured debt (such as mortgages and car loans) as wells as unsecured debt (credit cards and personal loans).  Often you are only required to back only  10% to 20% of you unsecured debt and discharge the rest. A typical chapter 13 plan is over a period of 3 to 5 years.

Chapter 7 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually used by people with lower income and little non-exempt property. Under chapter 7 unsecured debt, such as credit cards and loans, is discharged, unless it falls within the categories of non-dischargeable debts, such as student loans and some types of taxes.

Mortgage Modification

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also used by people who are behind with their mortgages and to save their homes from foreclosure. Under a chapter 13 plan, you are able to take various approaches. You may reinstate your mortgage by catching up-to-date your past due payments over a period of up to 5 years.

Totally underwater second mortgages on residential property may be wholly avoided. Maintenance association liens may be avoided to the extent they are not secured by equity in the real estate.

Mortgage Modification Mediation

You may use the bankruptcy court's new mortgage modification mediation program ("MMM") [previously called the loss mitigation mediation ("LMM") program]  to negotiate with your mortgage company to achieve a modification of your mortgage.