Florida is the 27th ranked state for per capita personal income, which was at $39,563 in 2011. It is one of the only states that passed state minimum wage laws that require minimum wage to adjust annually for inflation. The minimum wage as of January 2012 was $7.67 for non-tipped positions and $4.65 for topped positions. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. There also isn’t any personal income tax for the residents to worry about. The credit card debt per household is pretty high here, at $6,658. Debt relief in Florida is widely available and sought after.
Tips for Debt Settlement
One of the Florida debt relief options that you can use is debt settlement. Those who don’t want to file for bankruptcy or apply for a large loan to pay off debts (debt consolidation) can opt for this instead. Debt settlement can be obtained from a company whose agents will negotiate a lower lump sum payment for the debts you owe. When searching around for a debt settlement company in Florida, make sure to follow these tips:
- Find a debt relief provider that is licensed by the state of Florida to provide you with debt settlement services.
- Don’t enroll in a debt relief in Florida until the debt agent has analyzed your financial situation. This will determine whether the debt relief plan will actually help you or not.
- Never pay an upfront fee for debt relief services.
- Ask the debt relief company about all of the service charges and fees that will be charged to you before you begin the program.
- Use a debt relief settlement calculator to help you compare the different debt relief plans that are available. See which one is the best choice for getting you debt freedom.
Debt settlement involves negotiating with collectors to have your balance lowered. All of your debts are combined into one and a small monthly payment is required to be paid, which will be dispersed amongst the various collectors that you owe money to.
Bankruptcy vs. Debt Consolidation
Bankruptcy was commonly used in the past as a way to get out of extreme debt. However, due to recent changes in bankruptcy laws, debtors are required to be analyzed to determine whether he or she is eligible for a Chapter 7 filing. If not, a Chapter 13 can be filed, which requires you to repay debtors within a certain timeframe.
With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unsecured debts are cleared from your credit history, which includes credit cards and personal loans. Mortgages and car loans will remain on your credit report and must be repaid. Bankruptcy filings stay on your credit report for 7-10 years.
Debt consolidation is another route that debtors can take. It involves taking out a loan that will cover all of the current high interest debts owed. All the debtor has to worry about paying is the one loan. This is a big relief for many Floridians who are struggling with a large amount of debt.