I was reading an article recently regarding the problem of serial bankruptcy filings in Tampa, Florida. You can find the article here:

            The article serves to warn people to consult experienced bankruptcy counsel prior to filing a Chapter 13 Petition. In Tampa, a new system will flag your case if you have filed three (3) times for Chapter 13 relief. If you are caught as an “abusive filer” then you can be banned for up to two (2) years from re-filing to save the home.

            Now, most people don’t like to think about filing Chapter 13 once, much less three times. But it does happen. A common pattern that we see is a first filing dismissed after being prepared by a paralegal for failure to file proper documents or propose a Plan that complies with the Court requirements. Then a second filing is typically filed immediately by the same paralegal petition preparer in order to cover up the first mistake. That second case is generally dismissed for the same reasons as the first. By the time people reach our office, the third case needs to be filed in order to save the home. However, now the filing looks abusive and can be flagged. Losing your home to save a few dollars of attorney’s fees starts to look like a bad idea in such a situation.

            Chapter 13 has become increasingly complex in the past few years. The new mortgage modification procedures require a great deal of experience and organization to navigate. The new Chapter 13 form plan is now required and is much more complicated than the older plans. Finally, the requirements for self employed people, tax returns, tax refunds and other financial issues have recently changed to require much more documentation.

            When you consider saving your home through Chapter 13, we invite you to talk to our experienced and compassionate attorneys. We will walk you through the entire process and attempt to make the filing as financially affordable as possible. That way, you don’t end up being labeled as an abusive filer due to simple errors or missing documents.

            At Mickler & Mickler, we attend Court on a regular basis. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure that you receive the correct advice when confronted with difficult financial decisions related to filing bankruptcy. Contact us at 904.725.0822


Bryan K. Mickler