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Frequently Asked Questions

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Bankruptcy

Whether you are filling for bankruptcy in Miami or any other area, it can eliminate certain debts and give you the benefit of a fresh start. Bankruptcy allows debtors the ability to... read more.

A debtor is simply the person or entity which has filled bankruptcy. In bankruptcy terms, the debtor is the individual or entity responsible for the debt which is being discharged... read more.

A discharge releases the debtor from liability from dischargeable debts. Upon discharge, the debtor will ... read more.

According to the Constitution of the United States of America regarding bankruptcy law, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a total liquidation. The debtor in a Chapter 7 ... read more.

A corporation or limited liability company can file a Chapter 7 but will be considered no longer doing business.  A corporation or limited liability company does... read more.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is similar in certain respects to a Chapter 13. However, Chapter 11 bankruptcies ... read more.

Yes. A bankruptcy will reduce your creditor score. After your bankruptcy,... read more.​

Credit reporting agencies can report negative information on your credit report for 7 years and bankruptcy for ... read more.

Debtors can seek secured credit cards to rebuild their credit. These are credit cards... read more.

If you have a valid social security card, you will need your original card to file bankruptcy. If you lost your valid social security card... read more.



Yes. This is one of the many reasons why people file for bankruptcy. However, even if you are... read more.

Yes. However, in some rare occasions a settlement agreement may create a security interest in certain assets. The settlement agreement ... read more.



Yes. However, if a perfected judgment lien exists on your property,... read more.


Yes. You can file a Chapter 7 petition once every 8 years. You can file a Chapter 13... read more.



No, your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy with you. However... read more.

You would be liable for all debts that you are personally... read more.

Some debts that are non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523 include but are not limited to: a) certain taxes subject to certain conditions;... read more.

United States Trustee is the “watchdog over the bankruptcy process”. The United States Trustee’s mission is to ... read more.

The Southern District of Florida has capped Chapter 13 filings at: $3,500 attorney fees, $750 per motion to value real property, $500 per motion to value personal property, $150 costs and $274 filing fee. Other districts ... read more.

That question depends on the circumstances and the type of bankruptcy that will be filed. If you fell behind... read more.

A Debtor is entitled to certain exemptions under state law and federal bankruptcy law. For example, certain exemptions exist ... read more.

Yes. A 401k is exempt under Florida law and federal bankruptcy law. However,... read more.

All of your debts must be listed in your bankruptcy filing. Certain creditors can be approached ... read more.

Usually the dismissal will be with prejudice for 180 days. This all depends on ... read more.

There is no limit as to what the amount of debt you owe can be. However, the amount ... read more.

The dismissal of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is not absolute. A Chapter 7 can only be... read more.

The First Meeting of Creditors or 341 Meeting is a meeting with the trustee in which certain questions will be asked as to the accuracy of your schedules. It gives... read more.

A valid reason for your absence would have to be provided in advance or a request to excuse your physical presence will have to be made. A request to reschedule... read more.

Yes. Creditors have the right to appear at the First Meeting of Creditors... read more.

There are different requirements depending on the circumstances and under the Chapter filed. A typical deterrent for a bankruptcy ... read more.

You need to list each of your creditors to make sure they are provided notice of your bankruptcy filing. If you are having... read more.

You can use a Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 to reinstate your mortgage payments. You may also... read more.

Yes, depending on the circumstances. A strip down (reduction of the mortgage) or strip off... read more.

Yes, depending on the circumstances. An automobile loan may be reduced to... read more.

The Means Test is a set of calculations used to determine whether a presumption of abuse exists for a Chapter 7 consumer debtor. Under the Means Test... read more.

Yes. Special attention will have to be made as to ... read more.

If you file Chapter 7, the stock or interest you own in the corporation will become property of ... read more.

The debt is only discharged as to the Debtor and not as to the corporation. Corporations are treated as a... read more.

Your name will be included for purposes of signing the bankruptcy schedules and as a representative of the corporation or a limited liability company. However... read more.

A co-debtor stay means that a creditor cannot proceed against a person or business entity (the co-debtor) that is jointly liable for the debt of a Debtor. The co-debtor is... read more.

An adversary proceeding is a contested matter that will require a determination by the Bankruptcy Judge. In an adversary proceeding... read more.

Personal Injury

Florida law, you have four (4) years to file your personal injury case based on negligence.  However, for malpractice cases, you have only two (2) years in Florida.  In Puerto Rico, you have one (1) year to file your personal injury case based on negligence.  This is commonly referred to as the Statute of Limitations. For further clarification about your legal rights with regards to personal injury law, please feel free to contact us and one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami will be happy to help you. 

If you are in an auto accident, under Florida law, you may be entitled to up to $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.  Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be entitled to additional benefits based on uninsured motorist coverage or third party liability recovery. For further clarification about your legal rights with regards to personal injury law, please feel free to contact us and one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami will be happy to help you. 

Yes, under Florida law, you have only fourteen (14) days to seek treatment in order to preserve your entitlement to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.  However, after the fourteen day period, you still may be able to recover from uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or third party liability recovery. For further clarification about your legal rights with regards to personal injury law, please feel free to contact us and one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami will be happy to help you. 

First thing you should do is obtain treatment immediately for your injuries and call 911.  If possible, photographs of the accident scene and contact information for any witnesses are useful. For further clarification about your legal rights with regards to personal injury law, please feel free to contact us and one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami will be happy to help you. 

You should not speak with any insurance representatives, lawyers or any other person without first obtaining your own lawyer to represent you.  The main purpose an insurance company has for contacting you is to limit liability and to avoid paying claims.  If you speak with an insurance representative, you are at risk of making a statement that can be used against you in the future.  Our law office in Miami provides a free consultation for anyone that has been involved in a personal injury.  We handle Puerto Rico and Florida personal injury cases on a contingency basis meaning that we do not get paid unless there is a recovery. For further clarification about your legal rights with regards to personal injury law, please feel free to contact us and one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami will be happy to help you. 

Commercial Litigation

When a contract is executed, the contract becomes the terms between the parties.  When one of the parties breaches the contract, depending on the terms of the contract, the other parties may have certain rights.  Every contract is different.  It is important that you contact an attorney to review the terms of your contract in the event of breach.  You can contact our office for a free consultation to determine your rights when there has been a breach.

You may need to pursue legal action to obtain payment from your customer to collect what is owed.  However, extra care needs to be taken to make sure, as a vendor, that you abide by all the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Failure to do so may result in you being liable to the same customer that has not paid you.

Once you have been served, under Florida law, you may have only twenty (20) days to file a response.  If you fail to file your response within twenty (20) days, you may be defaulted in which a judgment may be entered against you.  So if you have been served with service of process, you need to act fast and contact an attorney immediately.

Eviction actions for possession under Florida law provide a five (5) day time period to respond to a complaint after you have received service of process.  If you fail to file your response within five (5) days, you may be defaulted in which a judgment may be entered against you.

Florida law provides a remedy for instances of fraud.  In addition, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act provides remedies for consumers.  Collect all correspondence, e-mails, recordings, witness information and other evidence and contact one of our commercial litigation attorneys in Miami to evaluate your case.

Depending on the nature of the problem you are having with your homeowners or condominium association, our firm may be able to help you.  Our firm handles fines or foreclosure of association liens, elections or governance disputes, account disputes, or developer disputes among a variety of other association matters.  We have represented both unit owners and associations.

Foreclosures

Once you have been served, under Florida law, you may have only twenty (20) days to file a response.  If you fail to file your response within twenty (20) days, you may be defaulted in which a judgment may be entered against you.  So if you have been served with service of process, you need to act fast and contact an attorney immediately. If you need further clarification, please contact our foreclosure attorneys, real estate attorneys, and bankruptcy attorneys in Miami. 

Foreclosure cases are always based on a dispute between the borrower and the lender.  The more important question in these types of cases is whether the lender has correctly applied all payments made by the borrower or whether the borrower has made all payments required under the loan documents.  The discovery process in the foreclosure proceeding will allow the parties to determine the actual amount that is owed or not owed.  If you need further clarification, please contact our foreclosure attorneys, real estate attorneys, and bankruptcy attorneys in Miami. 

There are many defenses and means available to a borrower to prevent the foreclosure of their home.  Most of the time, the main issue in the foreclosure case is nonpayment of the mortgage.  If you are a borrow trying to pay a mortgage, there may be certain legal rights available to you to help you keep your property.  If you need further clarification, please contact our foreclosure attorneys, real estate attorneys, and bankruptcy attorneys in Miami. 

There are different types of liens such as equitable liens, judgment liens, association liens, mechanic liens, mortgages, etc.  The process of foreclosing this lien will depend on the type of lien.  Some liens require certain statutory procedures are complied with before beginning the foreclosure process.  You can foreclose liens on both real and personal property.  If you need further clarification, please contact our foreclosure attorneys, real estate attorneys, and bankruptcy attorneys in Miami. 

If you fail to take action, you will lose and your funds will be garnished.  There are certain exemptions that may be available to you such as the head of household exemption among other exemptions.  Sometimes a garnishor might not even have the right to garnish your funds and may have issued the garnishment in error.  You should contact an attorney to review the garnishment process in your particular case.

Loan Modifications

Loan modifications may be sought at the pre-foreclosure stage, during the foreclosure process and in bankruptcy.  The loan modification process is best when started early.

Lenders were provided a large amount of federal funds to facilitate loan modification processes.  Although lenders have been required to proceed to modify loans in good faith, the decision to allow modification is up to the lender.  However, if a lender does not offer modification of your mortgage you can consider if you are eligible to strip off the lender’s mortgage or cramdown the terms of the mortgage in a bankruptcy.

A shortsale is when a borrower obtains the approval of a lender to sell the real property to a third party at a price below the actual amount owed.  Following the shortsale transaction, a lender may forgive or waive any potential deficiency.  A lender may give the borrower an incentive to proceed with the shortsale process.  The shortsale process usually begins with the borrower providing a completed shortsale package to the lender.  The lender will need evidence that the real property has been listed with a real estate broker and may require an executed contract for purchase and sale.

A deed in lieu is when a borrower agrees to sign title of their real property to their lender.  This reduces the lender costs because a lender may not be required to file a foreclosure action.  Usually a lender will provide forgiveness or waiver of any potential deficiency.

A successful loan modification will result in new payment terms that will permit the borrower to reinstate their mortgage so they can keep their real property.  Some mortgages increase the mortgage payment term, for example from 30 years to 40 years.  Some eliminate the arrears owed.  Others reduce or fix the interest rate.  Some may even reduce principal.  A successful loan modification is always one that keeps a family in their home.

Corporate & Business Law

A contract will need to be prepared to facilitate the purchase or sale.  A determination would need to be made whether to proceed as an asset purchase or stock/membership/equity purchase.  In some instances, the purchase may be in the form of a merger.  The purchaser will need a sufficient due diligence period to review all corporate information.  Our firm can assist purchasers and sellers with this closing process.

You can easily open a business in Florida utilizing the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website. All the forms are available on this website.  However, there are many important documents that need to be prepared immediately after the business entity is opened to protect and memorialize the interests of the directors, officers, owners and investors.  A well-formed and documented business entity has a much better chance of preventing corporate disputes in the future.  Our firm can handle the filing of your business entity (and all other businesses and Florida corporate law issues) and the corresponding documentation at a reasonable price so you can focus on growing your business.

Internal corporate disputes are very common in the business world.  Properly prepared corporate governance documents can help guide business leaders in resolving these corporate disputes.  However, when these disputes cannot be resolved and legal counsel is necessary, our firm can assist with negotiations in an effort to resolve the dispute, and if necessary, action can be taken to litigate these disputes.

Dissolution depends on the type of entity as the dissolution process for different entities is governed under different sections of the law.  For the most part, dissolution can be initiated by a vote in accordance with the bylaws or the governing instruments of the business entity.  In the event there is deadlock or if corporate assets are being misapplied or wasted causing material injury or if those in control have been acting in an illegal or fraudulent manner, a judicial dissolution may be sought.

An assignment for the benefit of creditors is similar to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but is governed under Florida state law.  Like a Chapter 7, an assignment for the benefit of creditors deals with the liquidation of a corporate entity.  It differs from a Chapter 7 liquidation in that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is not appointed and there is no full automatic stay as in bankruptcy.  The stay in an assignment for the benefit of creditors does not include the exercise of police or regulatory powers by a government entity or consensual lienholders such as mortgage liens.  Insolvency proceedings can be complicated.  Our firm can assist you in determining what strategy is best under your specific circumstances.

Yes, our law offices provides legal consulting services.  Many times, businesses seek these services in a preventative manner to avoid litigation in the future.  Other times, businesses may need assistance with internal financial restructuring or negotiating debt to prevent insolvency or during insolvency.  Our firm can assist you in these situations and other corporate and business law issues, feel free to visit our law office in Miami, or click here to contact us.

Yes, we provide representation for Fair Labor Standards Act matters, state wage claims, employment discrimination claims including sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability and age.  We have represented both claimants and respondents.

Real Estate Services

Yes.  For example, when using the regular Florida FARBAR standard contract, the process is initiated with an offer using this same form.  Once the offer is accepted and executed by both buyer and seller, the offer now becomes a binding contract on the parties.  Some people think that the offer alone is just an offer and nothing else.  But when this offer is presented to the other party and accepted, the offer now becomes a binding contract under the law.  There is no other contract that is prepared.  That is why it is important to have a lawyer review the offer/contract before it is executed to avoid litigation, misunderstandings or the loss of your deposit. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami.

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects you from defects in title when you purchase real property.  For example, if you buy real estate and there is someone else claiming title to your property, your title insurance policy will protect you from any loss.  Title insurance is usually a requirement for all lenders to protect their lien rights in the real property. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami.

The real estate closing agent serves many roles in the closing of the real estate transaction.  At the inception, the closing agent may hold the initial deposits under the real estate contract in escrow.  The closing agent also performs the title search and prepares the title commitment for the owner and lender.  At the closing, the closing agent escrows all funds and makes all disbursements as required under the closing statement and loan documents.  The closing agent plays a vital role in the real estate transaction. To find a real estate closing agent in Miami please click here contact us.

In certain instances, a Florida real estate broker or real estate closing agent may be holding a deposit in a real estate transaction that does not close for a variety of possible reasons.  The real estate broker or closing agent, in order to release the deposit funds, is usually required to obtain signatures from all parties authorizing the release of the deposit funds.  When a real estate broker or closing agent is unable to get the authorization to release the funds to the parties, the broker or closing agent is required to file an interpleader action with the court so that the court can authorize the disbursement of the funds by court order.  If the real estate broker or closing agent is required to file an interpleader action, the broker or closing agent is entitled to reimbursement of attorney fees and costs from the deposit it is holding in escrow.For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami.

When a real estate associate facilitates the sale of a listed property, they are considered the procuring cause in the transaction resulting in the sale of the property.  For example, if a real estate associate obtains a buyer to purchase real property listed on the MLS, they are entitled to their commission as a cooperating agent.  In the event the real estate association brings a buyer to the listing but the buyer later returns without the real estate associate, if the real estate associate is the procuring cause for the purchase, the seller is obligated under law to pay the real estate associate his or her commission. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami.

Richard Robles is a lawyer and a licensed real estate associate.  He provides real estate sales assistance in Florida.  His real estate license is affiliated with Brickell Investment Realty.

 

When there is a title defect, first you need to determine if you have title insurance on your property.  If so, you can file a claim with your title insurance underwriter and they will take care of it.  However, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer to review your policy and coverage and submit the claim for you.  In the event the title defect is discovered during the closing process and is not covered, our firm can assist buyers, sellers and title companies in correcting these title defects as quickly as possible so that the real estate transaction can close as planned. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami.

Every condominium association and homeowners association is different.  The success of the association depends on the board of directors, the management company, the collections process and other factors.  In some instances, ineffective management of the association can lead to incorrect application of maintenance fees, waste and nepotism.  Sometimes these issues can impede your ability to obtain association approvals required to sell or purchase your real property.  Our firm assists those buyers and sellers in association disputes so that the real estate transaction can close. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami

First you need to determine the extent of the fraud that has been committed.  You may have redress with your title insurance underwriter if you have a title insurance policy for the purchase.  A fraud claim is factually sensitive.  You should always contact an attorney when you are presenting a fraud claim or filing a claim with your title insurance underwriter for fraud to make sure your claim is presented correctly. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami

These preconstruction contracts have many contractual provisions that are time sensitive for the buyer and are usually favorable to the developer.  You should always have a lawyer review any preconstruction contracts before you sign them.  In the event the developer is in breach of the contract, you must look at the remedies in the contract.  The contract will provide what remedies are available to the buyer and what happens to the deposit.  There may also be other statutory and common law remedies available to you. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami

Sometimes real estate is bought with other individuals or entities so that the real estate is owned by more than one individual or entity.  When one of these titleholders wants to sell the real estate and consent by the other titleholders is not provided, a partition action can be filed so that the real estate can be sold under court order. For more information, please contact one of our real estate lawyers in Miami

General Practice

Probate is the administration of the estate of a deceased.  A deceased’s estate may be administered with a will (testate) or without a will (intestate).  A decedent’s estate may also require administration under a trust.  Our firm provides a variety of probate related services such as summary administration, formal administration, caveats, wills, trusts both revocable and irrevocable, land trusts and estate planning.

An inter vivos transfer is a transfer made by someone before death.  In certain circumstances, an inter vivos transfer may be preferred by an individual.  An inter vivos transfer will eliminate the need for probate for that particular transferred asset.

A guardianship is the legal arrangement in which one person (the guardian) has the legal right and duty to care for another (the ward) and his or her property.  Our firm provides services such as guardianships of minors, incompetency and incapacity proceedings, guardianships for incapacitated persons, and reporting and management of estates.

White collar crime refers to accusations of various types of nonviolent conduct allegedly committed by corporations and individuals including theft, bribery, fraud and other violations of trust allegedly committed in the course of the alleged offenders occupation or business.  The white collar criminal defense services that we provide include a wide variety of both state and federal matters stemming from business relationships, corporate conduct and business transactions.  Our firm will take on other defense matters, both misdemeanor and felony, on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the charges.

Family law governs domestic relations.  Our firm provides the following services of family law in Miami and the whole state of Florida: divorce, child support determinations and modifications, paternity suits, custody issues, enforcement of marriage settlement agreements, distribution of marital assets, sale of real property, partition actions and child support collections. For more information, please contact us, or visit our offices in Miami, where one of our attorneys specializing in family law in Miami will be happy to assist you.

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