When I file for bankruptcy is my home protected?

When I file for bankruptcy is my home protected?

If you have been living in Florida for over 2 years, the homestead exemption can be used as long as there is less than $189,050 in equity for each person filing. For example, if there are two married people filing a joint bankruptcy, then you can double the exemption amounts so that amount would be less than $371,100 in equity you would be allowed to protect. You can have unlimited equity in your home if you have owned it for 1215 days prior to filing your petition.

This includes another home if you have bought and sold another homestead property within those 1215 days. Typically, this is not an issue since the home equity is usually lower than the allowed statutory amount. If you have moved from another state in the last 2 years, we cannot use the Florida exemptions and would have to perform an analysis on which exemptions apply. Some states allow non-residents to use their exemptions. Other states will require non-residents to use federal exemptions. Most states would not allow you to exempt property in Florida after you have moved from another state.

You must also be residing in your home to be able to claim homestead exemption. The homestead exemption would not protect or apply to an investment property or a property where you are on the deed but are not living in the residence. There are exceptions if you are away from your home temporarily but have full intention of returning. Some examples are being away for medical treatment or being active duty in the military. As long as you intend to return to your home and you are not renting out the property, it can continue to be exempt as your homestead.

Are SBA Loans Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

Are SBA Loans Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

Many borrowers are surprised to learn that SBA loans are a dischargeable debt in a bankruptcy even though they are government backed loans unlike a lot of tax debt or federally backed student loans which are not. During the course of the pandemic many businesses took out SBA loans to help keep their businesses afloat.

Others took out loans just before the pandemic and despite efforts to sustain their businesses have been unable to do so. Billions of dollars in loans have been taken out by small business owners. Many type of businesses from gyms to restaurants have suffered decreased business due to COVID, increased costs and supply shortages resulting in the closure of those businesses.

The good news is, you do have the ability to start over again either by finding other employment or starting a new business without having to be saddled with the SBA loan for the rest of your life.

Essentially the government has the same right as any other unsecured creditor. Your business account and most likely your personal bank accounts can be garnished. Most business loans are also personally guaranteed which means you are personally responsible for the debt in addition to your business.

If the loan is secured by collateral, that collateral could potentially be taken if the loan is not paid. Depending on the terms of the loan, there might be a lien on your home. Filing for bankruptcy can be your solution to wipe the slate clean.

For more information and a “Free Initial Phone Consultation” about SBA loans and bankruptcy concerns such as chapter 7, chapter 13, debt settlement and more… Please contact our office today! 813-463-8000

Can I Rent After Bankruptcy

Can I Rent After Bankruptcy

Many people ask whether they will be able to rent a home or apartment after filing for bankruptcy. The answer to that question is yes. It’s a common requirement to fill out an application with the property manager and have them run your credit history.

Within a short period of time after receiving your discharge your credit score should continue to improve if you are making timely payments to your obligations such as your car payment. You also have more disposable income after filing your bankruptcy case because you will be debt free. Landlords are more likely to have an issue with prior evictions than a bankruptcy filing.

A few things can help you during the application process to help assure the landlord you would not be at risk for default. If you have lived in your existing rental and have paid on time for at least a year that’s helpful. Even better if you can use your current landlord as reference. Additionally, if you have had a consistent job history with the same employer that is also helpful with no gaps of unemployment.

If you have a lower credit score you may be required to pay a higher security deposit or have a co-signor on the lease. Typically, rent does increase each year so keep that in mind when you begin to rent to make sure it’s affordable long term. Ask what items are included in the rent such as water, cable or trash or if that and additional cost. Having a roommate at least temporarily could help defray some of the cost as well.

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