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Blogs by Walter F. Benenati

Something Wicked This Way Comes – HELOC Reset

Almost four million people who bought homes and took out home-equity lines of credit between 2005 through 2008 are about to go into the repayment period. Right now you may have just been paying intSomething Wicked This Way Comes – HELOC Reset Almost four million people who bought homes and took out home-equity lines of credit between 2005 through 2008 are about to go into the repayment period. Right now you may have just been paying interest only and it has been something you can manage. The repayment period includes interest AND principal and typically shoots the payment WAY UP.

Bankruptcy Is Trending

Bankruptcy. You hear the word more and more these days. Whether it is Puerto Rico flirting with filing bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize their debts or the rapper 50 Cent filing bankruptcy to protect himself from creditors – bankruptcy is in. And you know what is out? Or at least slowly evaporating? The stigma of filing bankruptcy is nearly extinct. Historically bankruptcy was a word that carried shame and a connotation of failure. No more.

Don't Be A Fool

Don't Be A Fool

When you file bankruptcy, our office attends a Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting) with you. We never hire outside counsel or a cover lawyer to attend. We appear with you. It is scheduled about 30 days after you file your bankruptcy. The hearing itself only lasts a couple of minutes. As each year that bankruptcy filings decrease, the trustees (court appointed people to review your estate) become stricter. Trustees receive a percentage of what is administered as their compensation.

Senior Citizens Filing Bankruptcy

It is a common occurrence in my practice. An elderly couple, overwhelmed by credit card debt and dependent on a set income, ask to meet with me for a free bankruptcy consultation. For them, there is no light at the end of their dark, financial tunnel. They feel as if time is running out.

Bankruptcy. Sometimes the last resort is the best resort. There is a light at the end of everyone's tunnel. For example, a retirement pension/401K or IRA cannot be seized in a bankruptcy. Social security is also untouchable, as is a person's home.

Student Loan Nightmare

Many of my clients are having problems paying their student loans. And for good reason – the proliferation of so called "schools" have dotted the landscape. If you are home during the day nearly every TV commercial is from some for profit school trying to earn government financial aid money AT YOUR EXPENSE. Most of these schools eat up your financial aid money and leave you with an "education" that can barely get you a job and saddled with student loan debt. Just because the name has school in the title does not mean it is serving your best interest.

Filing Pro Se (Prose) in Bankruptcy Court in Orlando

I recently spoke to a desk clerk at the bankruptcy court and she told me pro se bankruptcy filings are on the rise. Filing pro se is when you file without a lawyer helping you. Sometimes you pay less to a paralegal to prepare the documents. Sometimes they charge as low as $275. They may advertise in the same places as a lawyer. All too often me and my clients share a wink at the bankruptcy court when we see one of these “pro se” filers getting grilled by the bankruptcy trustee here in Orlando. It is scary.

Your Image Information and Reputation on the Internet

Google recently changed their algorithm to penalize mug shot websites.  An interesting article by Moses and Rooth who are criminal attorneys in Orlando explained how these websites were affecting their clients.  The article explained how these companies were charging money to remove your name from the site even if the cases were dismissed.

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  • Bankruptcy Shouldn’t Make You Less Creditworthy

    The Federal Housing Administration will allow a bankruptcy debtor to get a mortgage backed by FHA in as little as one year after bankruptcy – if certain minimal criteria are met.

    The one year timeframe also applies to short sales and even foreclosures

    This is yet another acknowledgment that the “stigma” of bankruptcy has been replaced by the “necessity” of bankruptcy.

    Statute of limitations and Debt Enforcement

    Orlando, FL Attorney Works with Clients Dealing with Bankruptcy Statue of Limitations

    If you are like many Americans struggling to make ends meet, you may have already begun the process of declaring bankruptcy. Bankruptcy exists to help people deal with their debts, allowing them to discharge some debts and better manage others.

    Filing for Bankruptcy is No Longer a Stigma

    For many years, people have felt that filing for bankruptcy is a last resort before total financial ruin, and as such, was a humiliating process, one to be kept secret or hide from friends and neighbors. But all that is changing. Bankruptcy is no longer something to look down upon, but is a viable, workable option for people who are having trouble making ends meet and paying their debts.

    NFL Great Warren Sapp Sacked in Bankruptcy Filing

    Superbowl champion, quarterback terror and perennial pro-bowler Warren Sapp has filed for bankruptcy in southern Florida, owing millions to creditors despite a six-figure monthly income. According to his filing, Sapp owes more than $6.7 million for child support, alimony and other debts.

    Chapter 13 is the best way to save your home

    A recent study regarding saving your home and the different alternatives available including bankruptcy came to the conclusion that most bankruptcy attorneys in Orlando, FL already knew. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is probably the best way to save your home. At the very least the study showed when compared with homeowners who did not file, debtors who filed for bankruptcy were able to stay in their homes for, on average, almost 28 additional months, over two years.This figure includes those who ended up losing their homes.

    Should I Keep My House or Let it Go in the Bankruptcy?

    When clients come in to my office to file bankruptcy in Orlando or my offices in Kissimmee or Clermont, often times they ask me whether it is in their best interest to save their home. Usually the home is several months behind in payments. And yes there is a particular kind of bankruptcy - a Chapter 13 which enables you to (1) catch up your payments in your home; (2) modify your first mortgage to 31% of your gross income, and (3) even eliminate the second mortgage on your home. Nevertheless, most people have an emotional attachment to their home and I understand it.

    Will You Lose Your House if You File Bankruptcy?

    Many homeowners in debt, from those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments to those who can no longer rely on equity in their house as a buffer against other forms of debt, wonder if they will still have a roof over their head after bankruptcy. The answer to this important question is quite complicated and depends on many factors:

    Bankruptcy Law: What You Need to Know

    The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

    In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which heralded a major reform to the bankruptcy system in the United States. As the name implies, the BAPCPA had two main objectives:

    Law Offices of Walter F. Benenati: Bankruptcy Attorney

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    Orlando, Florida 32803
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