Archive for May, 2017

After Bankruptcy – What’s It Like

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

You have probably never been around the situation where someone filed bankruptcy before. Of course, you are nervous and don’t know what to expect. It is probably like many things in life – not as bad as you might expect.

bankruptcy court

One thing you know for sure is that there are unpleasant parts to the situation. For example, for six to nine months, or even longer in some cases, you are expected to provide bankruptcy courts and lawyers with all of your financial documentation and meet obligations established by the court. You may constantly worried about whether or not your personal bankruptcy case will be approved and let’s not forget the fact that you may feel like your finances are under constant supervision. With this in mind, it’s no wonder individuals eagerly look forward to life after a personal bankruptcy. However, it is important to note that life after bankruptcy does not automatically change everything or that there can’t be filled with as many unexpected circumstances.

Carolyn Secor will guide you and make the situation as painless as possible. The worst part would be not knowing what is going to happen.

While we know bankruptcy can be a powerful and life-changing tool, we also know that what transpires after a bankruptcy case has been concluded can be just as important. Consider the following:

Be Prepared for a Fresh Start

For many people, the thought of life after a personal bankruptcy comes with many fears and anxieties. These people believe that they may never be able to get a loan again, or that they will be judged by the community for filing for bankruptcy.

However, this is certainly the wrong way to approach life after a personal bankruptcy. For starters, the debt discharged at the end of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, as well as payments made toward debt in repayment plans, can provide a clean slate for you to must easily meet obligations and save money. Additionally, bankruptcy’s impact to your credit is not permanent, and with diligence and financial responsibility, many people who once filed for bankruptcy are able to obtain credit cards and loans. Your personal information regarding bankruptcy is available for public use, but it is unlikely anyone will spend the time to sift through court record to out you and your bankruptcy.

Ultimately, bankruptcy should be views as a positive endeavor that clears the path for future success. You don’t have to be considered about a lasting impact or how it may affect your reputation when you use it to build your finances to an even stronger level than they were before.

No More Creditor Harassment

Imagine what it will be like to pick up your phone without fear, or opening the mail without worrying what demands you’ll face from debt collection harassment. For many people, this is a welcomed relief after a personal bankruptcy. Creditors won’t be able to collect from you when the automatic stay is implemented after a filing, and when debts have been discharged at the conclusion of your case.

Life After Bankruptcy Should be Accepted, Not Feared

The best thing you can do when preparing for life after bankruptcy is to view the experience as a positive one that will help you as you move forward in life, practice smart financial sensibility, and build your financial well-being. Bankruptcy, after all, was created to help unfortunate debtors, not unfairly punish them. Embrace life and financial responsibility after bankruptcy, and you can achieve the bright future you dreamed of.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.

Paying for the Debts of Your Ex

Monday, May 29th, 2017

After you are divorced, you probably thought that you were done being responsible for the debts of your ex. However, when going through a divorce, you can be left with different types of obligations.

unhappy couple having argument at home

The most common is a domestic support obligation, such as child support or alimony.

But you can also be made responsible for your spouse’s separate debts, usually as part of the property division.

For example, the wife gets to keep the dog and the house, and husband gets to keep the car.

Wife, let’s say, then agrees (or is ordered by the court) to be responsible for all  of husband’s credit card debts.

Then for whatever reason, the ex-wife doesn’t make the payment on the credit cards.

The credit card companies then sue the ex-husband who tries to defend by saying that it is his ex-wife’s responsibility!

Does this work?  How can this happen?

The truth is that divorce court/family law agreements and judgments only affect the two spouses, not third party creditors like credit card companies.

So in the above example, the failure of ex-wife to pay the credit cards as promised leaves her liable to her ex-husband, NOT to his credit card companies.

Can The Spouse’s Debt Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Sometimes the amounts involved can be quite substantial.

In the above example, let’s say there were $100,000 in credit card debts that wife defaulted on.

What can ex-hubby do?  He can, of course, file bankruptcy himself to deal with what always was his debt in the first place.

But he can also pursue his ex-wife in family law court for failure to honor the agreement/judgment.

This can result in altering any alimony/support payments being made, or being imposed.

But ex-wife potentially has a way out too.

She cannot get rid of her obligation to her ex-husband in a Chapter 7 case.  But in a Chapter 13 case, she may.

Chapter 13 of The Bankruptcy Code allows the discharge of debts incurred in connection with a divorce if they are not  part of a domestic support obligation (i.e. alimony, child support, etc.).

Thus, ex-wife can do a payment plan based on her budget and discharge the remainder of the debt owed to her ex-husband in a Chapter 13.

It is possible though for the family law court to then order ex-wife to pay alimony to ex-husband, which would not be dischargeable in any bankruptcy chapter.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.

Avoiding Bankruptcy

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

These are some things that you can do:

  • you can purchase health insurance to reduce the cost of immediate medical care
  • you can purchase major medical health insurance to cover the cost of catastrophic care
  • you can purchase disability insurance to provide a source of income while you can’t work

health insurance

You can also control your exposure to loss of income and unexpected medical bills in other ways that don’t cost money but are more long term solutions:

*if you smoke, stop smoking since there is no question that cigarette use increases your odds of becoming serious ill. Smoking also negatively impacts your recovery if you do become ill. Smoking is also an expensive habit – you will see positive cash flow by stopping. This is an exposure point totally within your control.
*if you are 20 or more pounds overweight, use the resources available to you (Internet, library) to learn about eating better and exercising more. Carrying around excess weight will lead to heart issues, organ damage, diabetes and any number of other medical problems. Weight loss, while difficult is an exposure point within your control.
*whatever your age, schedule an annual checkup and standard diagnostic tests like colonoscopies, mammograms, PAP smears, prostate exams. Preventative care is especially valuable if certain diseases run in your family. In any case, you reduce your financial exposure by undergoing regular checkups.

If you recognize that a health emergency could leave you insolvent, then consider specific steps about how you can reduce or manage your exposure to this particular risk:

  • buy insurance if you can afford it
  • if you cannot afford insurance, find a part time job to earn the money to pay the premiums
  • if your current job does not offer insurance, look for a job that does
  • eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking and poor eating
  • make preventative medical care a priority

These are good tips for the future. However, if you are already in a financial situation, perhaps you should talk to Caroline Secor. Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.