Judge Alexander Paskay passed away on April 27th 2012. I practiced before him for nearly ten years and will definitely miss him – he was the most charismatic judge I have ever practiced before.
I have had a few clients recently ask about removing judgment liens from thier homestead. A judgment may be removed from a properly claimed homestead property by giving notice (filed in the public record of the county in which the homestead property is located) to the judgment creditor. The creditor then has essentially 45 days to respond. This procedure is outlined in Florida Statute 222.01 and the actual form of the notice is also contained within the statute. If you are need additional information about removing a judgment lien from your homestead contact an attorney!
In the past my firm has done divorce cases for existing clients. Lately, I have been getting more and more referrals for divorce, and so I have decided to put together a website for simple divorce services. I say simple because many divorces are simple because there are few if any assets to divide and no issue as to child custody. Check out my website at: http://www.naples-divorce-attorney.com
Recently, I have had consultations with people who are not eligible for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you make more than the state median and have debts that exceed the jurisdictional limits for chapter 13 you may not be eligible to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Where does this leave you? There are many options. One option is to file an individual Chapter 11 case. I do not file any Chapter 11 cases. If you feel you may not be eligible to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 case be sure to consult with an attorney first before investing your time and money!
Ransom v. FIA Card Services, N.A.
Back in January the Supreme Court decided a case entitled Ransom v. FIA Card Services. This case impacts all bankruptcy cases pending and those to be filed in the future. To summarize its impact – most bankruptcy filers are not allowed to deduct the IRS allowance for housing or automobile when they are not making the payment. This means if you are staying in a house and you are not making the payment you may not be allowed to deduct the IRS housing allowance in your budget. This also means that if you drive a car that is paid in full you may not be allowed to deduct the IRS Automobile allowance in your budget.
After talking to a concerned client whose employer has found about about thier bankruptcy filing I thought it would be helpful to make a post here for future reference. My client was concerned that they were going to be fired for the filing bankruptcy. I searched my memory and could not recall any previous clients reporting that they had been fired as a result of filing bankruptcy. This is probably because the law prohibits firing an employee solely for filing a bankruptcy. (See 11 U.S.C. 525(b)). If you think your employment has been terminated as a result of filing bankruptcy be sure to consult with an attorney!
It is tax season again and I feel like everyone is asking me about tax liability concerning a 1099-C that they received. A 1099-C is issued by a lender as a result of a cancelled debt and is often issued as a result of a mortgage foreclosure. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act was enacted in 2007 and generally allows taxpayers to exclude from income the amount of debt discharged as a result of foreclosure. To see if this provision applies to you talk to your accountant or lawyer. There is also information on the IRS website which you may read and find informative.
There have been a lot of clients with wage garnishments lately so I thought it would be helpful to make a post concerning how bankruptcy can help when you have a garnishment. If you are being garnished you can stop the garnishment by filing a bankruptcy. In many cases, even after your wages have been garnished you may be able to get the garnished money back! The earlier you see an attorney when you have been garnished increases the opportunity for getting the garnished funds back. If you are being garnished or have any questions talk to an attorney today!
Many people have called with questions concerning filing a bankruptcy while at the same time keeping a business. The common misconception is that if you file a bankruptcy you must close the business. In most of the cases that I have seen the person filing bankruptcy keeps the business assets and continues to operate the business. If you are a business owner where the majority of you income is being used to service unsecured debt it filing a bankruptcy can help – sometimes it can save a business by making it profitable again!
I attended the inaugural Judge Paskay Dinner this past Thursday along with my fiancee and the members of my firm. Most, if not all of the Bankruptcy Bar members attended and it was great to see everyone outside of the courtroom. Judge Paskay will no longer be appearing in Ft. Myers after serving as the standing Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Florida Ft. Myers division for more than thirty years. The night was filled with sentimental speeches and you could sense the end of era arriving. Having practiced in front of Judge Paskay for more than 8 years, I know he will be sorely missed.