I wrote this article 9 years ago but much of it stands true today: Picking up the phone to call a Bankruptcy Attorney is painstakingly difficult for most people. When People come to my office for a free consultation, they sit down and say, “I can’t believe I am sitting here!”


There are a wide range of reasons people come to see me for a free consultation. Typically however they fall into one of two camps: 

One camp tells me:  “I am up to date on everything right now, I just want to know my options, and I want to be Proactive.”

The other camp tells me:  “I should have been sitting here 2 years ago.” 

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida is the third busiest bankruptcy court, of the 90 federal districts, in the nation. 

Demographically, approximately ten million of Florida’s eighteen million people reside in the Middle District of Florida. It contains thirty-five of Florida’s sixty-seven counties including several of Florida’s largest metropolitan areas (Tampa Bay, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Daytona and Fort Myers).

Our Country has been inflicted with an economic virus but Florida has been hit especially hard. Who knew we would be experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 13 years; the housing crisis, rise in property taxes/insurance, the downfall of mortgage lenders, banks going under, gasoline going up, pensions being revoked, Medicare being reduced all at the same time.  

 Knowing when to fish or cut bait is difficult.  We are raised to do the right thing and pay our bills.  Many people liquidate their life savings, pensions, retirement accounts, children’s savings accounts and college funds.  We hope things will turn around and sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  Making the decision to get educated is liberating and scary at the same time. Knowledge is power.  Power is control.  The more folks know and understand, the better off they will be. Timing and strategy is critical when trying to noodle through this difficult economy.

Knowing the consequences of a foreclosure, short sale, Judgment, summons, not paying a credit card or medical bill is critical. Others want to know what to do when their ex-spouse files a Bankruptcy and how will it affect them.  I receive a lot of calls from adult children and they tell me their Mother or Father can no longer afford their medicine or rent and what options are available to them?  More and more folks come into my office with a deficiency judgment on a short sale and they tell me the people at the real estate closing assured them they would not be responsible for the shortfall.  All these issues can be confusing and extremely stressful.

Please visit my web site Ellisbankruptcy.com.  Click Resources, and then click Videos.  There is an informative video with Gail Sirens from Chanel 8 as the moderator.  The video is called BANKRUPTCY BASICS and it is put on by the Court and Bankruptcy Bar.  

Sherry Ellis 

Sherry Ellis