Our law office has been helping Tallahassee residents and those who live in other parts of Florida file for bankruptcy for over three decades. In the course of representing individuals and business owners, we’ve discovered some misconceptions that people who come to us will frequently have about the bankruptcy process.
For one, bankruptcy is not a one-shot deal. While a person may have to wait a number of years before filing for a bankruptcy again after completing the process once, there is no absolute limit on the number of times a person can file for bankruptcy.
Another common myth is that, in order to complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a family will have to sell off all or a lot of their property, including property that they need in order to move forward financially after a bankruptcy. The reality is that Florida law protects a lot of a family’s important assets, including their personal home and, in many cases, their retirement funds.
Other misconceptions out there are that there is a certain stigma associated with bankruptcy which suggests someone who files for bankruptcy is financially irresponsible. While this may have had more truth to it in bygone years, nowadays, many Floridians file for bankruptcy for many reasons, and oftentimes due to circumstances that were not entirely within their control.
On a related point, while it is true that bankruptcy hurts a person’s credit, it may be a moot point if that person has already not been keeping up with the bills as he or she had hoped. Moreover, in the long term, a bankruptcy may not have a major adverse effect on a person’s ability to get a loan, depending on how a family does financially after a bankruptcy.