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Orlando Consumer Bankruptcy And Estate Planning Blog

Confident in your trustees? Irrevocable trusts may save you money

Gifting large assets to heirs and family members constitutes a generous decision. Perhaps you have saved thousands of dollars after selling a business or creating a product. You plan to allocate some money you have earned over time to loved ones, but you prefer to release the funds to your trustees after you pass. An irrevocable trust allows you to designate money in a permanent document.

Unlike a revocable trust, which allows you to make significant adjustments to your document at any time, an irrevocable trust finalizes all decisions immediately. 

Asset separation can prepare your business for financial straits

It’s a dream of many to one day be their own boss, run their own business and achieve success at something that they love to do. Entrepreneurship and owning a small business are exciting and worthy goals, but before you get started, there are many strategies for you to learn and realities to face.

According to the Small Business Association (SBA), around 33 percent of all small businesses fail within two years of opening; 50 percent close their doors after just five. This is not to say that small business ownership is impossible; you simply need to be prepared in the event that things go wrong with your new venture.

What Florida’s new foreclosure laws mean for you

Mounting personal debt is a stressful situation. Whether you’re dealing with credit card debt, medical bills, missed mortgage payments or something in between, feeling the burden of owed money can seem like a weight you’ll never get out of. Foreclosure and bankruptcy often go hand-in-hand, and a new law is limiting the tools at your disposal in the event of a foreclosure.


When to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Nobody wants to have to file for bankruptcy. However, for those struggling with overwhelming debt, it could be the best way to resolve the situation. Waiting too long to file for bankruptcy can increase debt. If you are thinking it might be time to file for bankruptcy, you have probably realized there are several different types of bankruptcy proceedings.

Ways to avoid credit card debt for Florida consumers

The recent economic crisis was tough for many families all over the country, several of them right here in Florida. Many people were forced to turn to their credit cards to make ends meet, but this might have exacerbated their problems. For those who are looking to reduce their credit card debt now that the economy is improving, there are several tips that can help.

There are a few things concerning credit cards that consumers can avoid doing that will help with their debt load. They should avoid charging items for which they cannot pay when their bill comes due. Charging meals — whether for groceries or restaurant dining — is using credit for items that only exist for a short time and can only worsen debt. While credit card companies may encourage relying on them for certain services, such as insurance or fraud protection, these services are usually not necessary for most people and are generally very expensive. Similarly, though getting cash advances can be tempting, they usually have much higher fees and interest associated with them and are an unwise use of one’s credit.

Debt relief for Florida families with medical debt

Those who struggle with debt may have accumulated it from many sources. Student loans, car loans, credit cards or even one’s mortgage can all make it difficult for a consumer to manage his or her finances. A common source of debt is medical treatment -- many Florida families may suffer from an unplanned or chronic illness that results in medical expenses that they have difficulty paying for and can cause them to go into debt. However, there are ways for those who are facing this situation to find debt relief.

The most well-known approach to handling medical debt is to work out a plan for payment with the biller. This can be done in a manner that will accommodate a consumer’s personal budget requirements. The consumer can also request a negotiation with the medical provider. Many of them would rather receive partial payment than none at all, but it can take time and not all providers will be willing to allow this option.

Credit card debt and divorce: Tips for Florida spouses

For most Florida spouses who are preparing to go through a divorce, the division of marital property will be a top priority. When preparing to address the issue, however, spouses should be aware that the division of debt is also part of the property division process. Couples will have to deal with their credit card debt as they prepare to go their separate ways, and for those who hold a high level of debt, the outcome could bring additional financial strain.

In most cases, debt amassed during the course of a marriage is considered to be the responsibility of both spouses. When divorce is on the table, these accounts will need to be divided. Deciding which spouse will be obligated to pay which account is part of the negotiation process. Before these discussions begin, savvy spouses will review the credit reports of both parties to check for debts that have been forgotten or of which only one spouse was aware.

Orlando foreclosure rate number 2 in the nation for June

The number of homes being foreclosed around the country in June dropped approximately 16 percent from the same time last year. In Florida, the drop was 13 percent, which keeps the Sunshine State in the number one spot nationwide. The state's percentage is lower than the national average, partly due to the fact that foreclosure filings in Orlando were up nearly 20 percent in the same period. Lenders sent out 2,663 notices to homeowners in the area in June.

This makes Orlando the number two city in the country for foreclosures. Being number two in the nation means that, for about every 353 homeowners in Orlando, one received a notice from a lender that he or she may lose his or her home. The majority of the mortgages lenders are foreclosing originated between 2005 and 2007. Fortunately, just 6 percent of the filings in June were related to mortgages originated over the last three years.

Florida restaurant files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The companies that own Brewzzi, a restaurant with two locations in Florida, have filed for bankruptcy. They are Glades Brewery Partners and Palm Beach Brewery Associates. Company representatives have filed a Chapter 11 proceeding in Bankruptcy Court, each seeking to restructure their debt.

As illustrated by this case, a bankruptcy filing does not necessarily mean that a company is not successful or is in danger of closing its doors. Just as the case in a personal bankruptcy filing, this step could be necessary because of an accumulation of debt over a period of time. One of the restaurants closed, the victim of an eviction proceeding by the landlord. Company representatives have said that they believe the Florida restaurant will be reopened shortly.

Is debt settlement the answer to debt relief problems?

In many cases, Florida consumers who are struggling with high levels of debt find themselves in serious and immediate need of debt relief. In some cases, individuals fail to recognize just how deeply they have become mired in debt until something forces them to address the issue. For others, a slow but steady dependence on credit cards or other forms of debt lead to a far more serious scenario than they thought possible. Regardless of how one came to be in need of debt relief, many will consider debt settlement services as they search for a solution.

A recent report from the non-profit research group known as the Center for Responsible Lending asserts that debt settlement might bring more financial hardship than relief. The Center looked into the debt settlement industry, and found that the services offered by many of these companies is not as effective as many consumers might believe. Many who attempt debt settlement eventually file for personal bankruptcy, the very outcome that they sought to avoid by trying to settle their debts.

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