Bankruptcy. If you’re like most people in Florida, the word strikes fear in your whole body. You think bankruptcy is going to be the end of the world, and that everyone in Florida (well, at least in Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, Osceola, Flagler, and Mario Counties) will know about your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing.
Bankruptcy is public, but also very private.
In fact, though your case is public record there’s virtually no chance that anyone is going to find out about it unless you tell them. Someone would have to go to the court’s website, get a paid password for the system, and enter your social security number in order to get information about your case.
Not many people are going to take that kind of time.
So now that we’ve settled that myth … what is bankruptcy?
For a detailed history of the law not only in the United States but all around the world, feel free to go over to this article on Wikipedia. It’s long, accurate, and some people find it helpful.
Once you get over the haze, realize this: bankruptcy is nothing more than a legal way to reorganize your personal financial situation. That’s it.
And before you go thinking that the banks and credit card companies hate bankruptcy, think again. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code was created to give people a way to end their bill problems and re-enter the “stream of commerce.”
What does that mean? It means that the banks want people to be able to get out of debt so they can go back to spending money and buying things. Because if you stop buying things, factories don’t need to keep as many people on payroll. That leads to unemployment, and to the economy grinding to a halt.
This isn’t to say that bankruptcy is easy and the best option, but I want you to realize that it’s neither illegal nor somehow immoral. It’s just a way to handle a problem within the bounds of the federal law.
You probably have a ton of questions, and I want to answer them. You can contact me by email or call (407) 749-0080 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
But before you talk to me, I’d like you to read these pages of this site:
And when you’re done with that, please take the time to read the Florida Bankruptcy Blog.
The picture of Ormond Beach was taken by Sean Munson.