Helpful legal resources and FAQ

Find legal advice, tools and help from our South Florida attorneys and Ft. Lauderdale Bankruptcy attorney

Information related to bankruptcy, foreclosure, student loan debt, and more.

Helpful Resources

Credit Counseling

This is information for current Bankruptcy clients.

First Course

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling by Abacus Credit Counseling

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Second Course

Post-Filing Debtor Education by Sage Personal Finance

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Contact our office to receive the firm code.

Other Helpful Website

Van Horn Law Group offers a variety of links to websites, forms and documents to help you prepare for your case. We want you to feel empowered with the legal resources and tools that you need to win.

Downloadable Forms

Our downloadable forms and documents are here to help you prepare for your case and keep you informed about our process. We want you to feel comfortable with your case every step of the way.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

This infographic highlights the process of a standard Chapter 7 case.

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341 Trustee Questions

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Filing Bankruptcy Without An Attorney in Florida

People that need to file bankruptcy are all too often good people who got into a bad situation and bankruptcy is an option to help them start fresh.

Can I keep my vehicle after I file bankruptcy?

One of the most common questions we get asked is "If I file bankruptcy, will I get to keep my leased or financed car?" The short answer is, Yes, but we need to look at your complete financial situation to figure what the best options will be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Question

  • Is there a legal marketplace that I can validate Van Horn Law Group ratings?
    Yes. Avvo is the leading legal online marketplace for consumers to connect and research lawyers. To find out Avvo profile, click here.
  • Why should I work with Van Horn Law Group, P.A.?
    If you're searching for a lawyer, you need a law firm that stands out from the crowd. Our team has earned a variety of awards and achievements that signify the quality of our work. For example, our managing partner is AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. This distinction is a reflection of Mr. Van Horn's commitment to excellence and our dedication to bankruptcy law as a firm. Additionally, our team members are well-versed in virtually all areas of bankruptcy law and debt relief.
  • Can I avoid a foreclosure?
    Yes. There are many possible foreclosure alternatives you can explore. You want to consult with an attorney before you fall into default and are served a foreclosure complaint. The quicker you obtain legal help, the more likely you will be able to save your home and credit score.
  • How Do I Know If I Need a Civil Litigation Attorney?
    If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, you may want to consult with a litigation lawyer. As legal professionals, litigation lawyers know which cases have a good chance of being successful. They’re familiar with all of the procedures, steps, and necessary paperwork that needs to be done. Some cases are better handled using alternative dispute resolution, and a litigation attorney will be able to advise on your options.
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Student Loan Debt Questions

  • Is it possible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy?
    Yes, but it is much more difficult than discharging other types of unsecured debt like credit cards. You have to prove “undue hardship.”
  • What’s the difference between the two federal loan programs (FFEL and Direct)?
    William D. Ford Direct loans are made directly from the Department of Education to students, without the involvement of a private lender. Prior to July 2010, there was also a federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL), also known as the guaranteed loan program. These loans were made by private lenders and guaranteed by the government. Many of the terms and conditions for the FFEL and Direct loan programs are the same. However there are some differences in repayment options. There are still many FFEL loans in the system, but as of July 2010, no new FFEL loans are being made.
  • How do I know if I should consolidate?
    Consolidation is used to reduce and simplify monthly payments by rolling multiple loans into one. However, it can also lengthen the period of repayment and therefore increase the total amount you will pay in interest over the life of the loan.
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Personal Bankruptcy Questions

  • Is bankruptcy right for me?
    Filing for bankruptcy is becoming more and more common. That does not, however, mean that bankruptcy is right for everyone. There are alternatives to bankruptcy and it is important to explore all avenues before making any final decisions. If you feel as though there is no way out of your debt crises and are eager to have a fresh start with your finances, bankruptcy may be right for you. Be sure to seek debt counseling from an attorney as you take this next step forward.
  • Is bankruptcy good or bad?
    Bankruptcy is neither good nor bad. With today's economic climate, many people are turning to bankruptcy to solve their financial woes. Though there is a stigma against filing for bankruptcy, it might be the most beneficial decision for you. The question you should be asking is, is bankruptcy right for me? There are a number of instant advantages that follow this step, such as relief from debt collector harassment and a boost to your credit score. Find out both the positives and negatives of filing for bankruptcy from an attorney today.
  • How long does the bankruptcy process take?
    The entire process is ordinarily complete within a 4 - 6 month period of time. The first and most beneficial change that our clients notice is how much their lives have changed from the beginning of the process, as an automatic stay on collections takes place. This means that creditors are no longer legally allowed to contact you by phone, letter or any other method. This allows you to move forward with rearranging your life and finances so that you can get a fresh start, without the overwhelming stress of ongoing creditor actions.
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Corporate Bankruptcy Questions

  • What happens when a business files Chapter 11?
    Unlike chapter 7, when a business files for chapter 11, a trustee will usually not be appointed and the debtor will remain a "debtor in possession" (DIP) with the same management in place unless the bankruptcy court orders a trustee appointed for "cause" (including fraud, dishonesty, incompetence or gross mismanagement of the affairs of the debtor by its current management), or if the court determines that appointment of a trustee is in the best interest of creditors.
  • What is the U.S. Trustee and what is its role?
    A branch of the Department of Justice tasked with overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases. The U.S. Trustee plays an oversight role, particularly in chapter 11 cases. It does this primarily through reviewing operating reports the debtor is required to file and tracking the progress of the case against benchmarks set in the early stage of the case.
  • What is the goal of Chapter 11?
    The main goal of a chapter 11 case is for a plan of reorganization regarding the debtor to be approved by its creditors. The Bankruptcy Code gives the debtor the exclusive right to file a plan for the first 120 days of the case (which can be extended not more than 20 months from the date the case was filed). A creditors committee, or even individual creditors, can file a plan of reorganization once the debtor's exclusive filing period has lapsed (or been lifted by the Court). Debtors in chapter 11 must be represented by attorneys. Creditors committees typically also hire attorneys.
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More Questions?

Receiving effective and relevant advice can be the difference in making the right decision for your specific needs. Our South Florida attorney and Ft. Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney should be the first person you ask!