Kirk Adams : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your post.
Kirk Adams : I'll be glad to assist. Bankruptcy law is primarily federal law, so it's basically the same except for available exemptions, and maybe a few other issues.
Great, thank you Kirk. I am not a bad person, just in a bad situation. I had a law suit pending and was promised by the attorney I was working with I would be recieving roughly 25K. This turned out to be all wrong. I got nothing.
Secondly, I am currently employed full-time and am about to finish an on-line course that should earn approximately 3-5k additional income each month. I am just behind the 8 ball right now and don't know what to do. I have an annuity that has a little over 100k in it, retirement fund, etc. I wanted to know if I would have to surrender the annuity if I did this
Kirk Adams : Ok. Under Florida Stat. §§ 222.13 and 222.14, a person's interest in an annuity is wholly exempt.
So that means I could keep it?. In addition, I currently have my car as collateral on a loaan. I would be responsible for paying this back correct?.
Kirk Adams : Here's what 222.14 says: Exemption of cash surrender value of life insurance policies and annuity contracts from legal process.—The cash surrender values of life insurance policies issued upon the lives of citizens or residents of the state and the proceeds of annuity contracts issued to citizens or residents of the state, upon whatever form, shall not in any case be liable to attachment, garnishment or legal process in favor of any creditor of the person whose life is so insured or of any creditor of the person who is the beneficiary of such annuity contract, unless the insurance policy or annuity contract was effected for the benefit of such creditor.
How horrible would bankcrupcty be for me?. Would that discourage an employer froom hiring me?
Kirk Adams : So, yes, you should be able to keep your annuity.
Kirk Adams : If you want to keep your vehice, you would have to continue to pay for it.
Kirk Adams : Bankruptcy serves a purpose, and if you truly need help and have more monthly payments than debt coming in, then it is probably a good option.
Kirk Adams : Of course, no one wants to file bankruptcy, but it is a good thing in some circumstances.
How horible would bankcrupcty be?. My son attends a very prestigious private school. Would they look badly on this?. What about future employment?. The annuity is TOD account, not necessarily life insurance. I would be able to keep my life insurance-correct?. I just need to know about employment with a new job. Also, I can keep my house, correct?. And is it still published in the paper if you file?. And you are certain about the annuity. without a doubt
I would have to surrender all credit card accounts right?. Can they sue me or garnish my wages or put a lien on my house?
Kirk Adams : Bankruptcy would not affect your job prospects - - unless you work in the banking/finance area. Many employers in this field will not hire if there's a bankruptcy.
Kirk Adams : There should be no affect on your child's school - - as long as the tuition is paid, that should be all that matters.
I am a nurse. I am finishing a medical transciptioning program. I just don't know what to do. My income will improve greatly, here shortly. Is it still public knowledge?. Can they garnish my wages, sue or put a lien on my house?
Kirk Adams : As for your house, if you reaffirm the mortgage on your house, you can generally keep your home as long as you're current.
Kirk Adams : Bankruptcy is a public record, but it won't be published in the local newspaper.
Kirk Adams : If you don't file bankruptcy, and accounts go into collection and you get sued, the lender can garnish you after a judgment is obtained.
I have always been early on my house payments. Never a problem. Thank you for your answers, you are wonderful. Just still wondering about being sued, garnishing wages, lien on house?. How long will it take for my credit to be re-established?. Could they try to sue me and take the annuity or my retirement?
Kirk Adams : According to 222.14, your annuity should be safe.
Kirk Adams : Also, under 222.13, your life insurance should be safe.
So, it would be better to file bankcrupcty than let things go into collections right?. How long would it take to re-build my credit? Would I be able to purchase a car? Would I be able to keep a credit card?
Kirk Adams : Yes, bankruptcy would protect you from a lot of bad things - -like bank levys and wage garnishments.
These are my final questions
Kirk Adams : A bankruptcy will show up on your credit for 7 years, so it takes a while to recover.
Kirk Adams : However, it doesn't take that long to re-build your credit or to re-gain credit.
Would I be able to keep a credit card? Do you think I should do this? Will I be able to purchase a car?
Kirk Adams : Usually, it does take a few years before you can borrow money.
So, it would depend on the dealership whether or not I would be able to purchase a car right?
Kirk Adams : It is not likely that you would be able to keep a credit card that you currently have UNLESS you try to reaffirm the debt with the lender - - which means you keep the debt and still owe it.
I currently own a platinum amex. Would they dump me even if I paid them?
Kirk Adams : You could likely purchase a car, but your interest rate would be much higher than if you didn't have a bankruptcy, they'd probably want a larger down payment than normal, etc.
What should I do. Please help me
Kirk Adams : Amex may agree to reaffirm the debt, but they may reduce your line of credit to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. That's normal, however,
Kirk Adams : In fact that happens a lot (since 2008) even to people with great credit.
Kirk Adams : I wish I could tell you what to do, but you're really the only one who can decide that. Bankruptcy is a very good tool, but if you think you can stick it out and survive until you start making money, it may be good to wait on filing and see what happens.
Kirk Adams : It may be that you can hold your creditors off until you start working and your income increases.
Kirk Adams : You can always try to avoid filing, and if someone sues you before you are in a position to pay, then you can file bankruptcy to stop it.
Kirk Adams : it only takes a day or two to get a bankruptcy petition filed, so you would have time.
I had great credit. I hate this. So sad. So, I should no longer tap the annuity for money. Keep it safe for my son. You have been wonderful. Thank you so much. I just feel that this would be a serious life changing event, I am just uncertain as to find a way out. Your an angel. Thank you
Kirk Adams : Thanks for allowing me to help. I know this is a very difficult decision, and it should be a last resort.
Kirk Adams : Bankruptcy is very trying emotionally as well as financially. HOWEVER, it is not a death sentence and it's not going to forever haunt you - - and it's sometimes much better than getting sued, garnished, having your bank account frozen, etc.
Thank you. I will no longer tap my annuity then for money. I might just have to bite the bullet and do it. Any tips as to what to look for in a bankcrupcty attorney?. Someone fair and honest? Just go online and find there ratings?
Kirk Adams : The best resource to find an attorney is Martindale-Hubbell - www.martindale.com. You can search for an attorney by location and area of practice.
Kirk Adams : The best attorneys will have an AV or BV rating.
Thank you so much for everything. I will include your tip and fabulous rating. You are a doll. Good night, and thank you again. My fears have been so much more decreased. I really appreciate it.
Kirk Adams : Thank you so much. You're very kind.
Kirk Adams : I certainly appreciate you allowing me to assist.
You are more than welcome. Just waiting to rate you!!! I think my son will end up being an attorney. He is such a wonderful human being, I see him helping others, just like you!!