Bankruptcy Lawyer Tampa, FL


Why You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer Tampa, FL Trusts for Declaring Bankruptcy

 

Declaring bankruptcy can be a useful way for people to overcome burdensome debt. Many clients who have consulted with Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters, bankruptcy lawyers serving Tampa, FL, have found immense relief regarding their financial struggles. We have been dedicated to offering advice to those going through monetary turmoil for many years. We understand the importance of financial stability in our client’s lives. We can offer words of wisdom, help you fill out the bankruptcy paperwork, and even represent you in court if needed. Here are some things we like our clients to know about bankruptcy, including why it is so important to hire a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL:

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy essentially allows a debtor as close to a fresh start as possible without actually paying off all of his or her debt. There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you liquidate and sell some of your property in order to pay off your debt. You are able to keep certain property in this scenario. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debt is reorganized and you keep your property. In this scenario, you will have to pay creditors the value of certain assets over a period of three to five years.  

Certain debt cannot be eliminated with bankruptcy. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will receive relief from credit card loans, medical bills, and personal loans. You won’t be able to discharge debt associated with child support, income taxes within the last three years, or student loan debt.

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be expected to pay your debts back over a period of time, as a Clearwater, FL bankruptcy lawyer can explain. This gives debtors time to catch up on mortgage loans and car payments so that you can avoid these assets being repossessed.  

Understanding the Bankruptcy Chapters

No two bankruptcy cases are the same, which also means that there is no one size fits all solution. Your own circumstances and personal objectives for filing for bankruptcy will dictate the type that can be filed for in the United States.

There are two common chapters that most people apply for, which are referred to as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, there are also a few other chapters that may be most appropriate that you have never heard of. That is why it is vital that you seek legal guidance from a bankruptcy lawyer for Tampa, FL at Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters. If you declare the wrong bankruptcy chapter you may be denied, causing your financial situation to worsen. We have listed brief summaries of what each chapter entails:

  • Chapter 7 (also referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy): this is when a portion of the person’s debts are discharged in exchange for giving up a portion of their property. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you will likely need to pass a “means test.” A Tampa, FL, bankruptcy lawyer can explain what this test is, and the requirements to pass it.
  • Chapter 11: most often used by large businesses, this chapter can help business owners reorganize their finances while keeping their doors open.
  • Chapter 12: utilized by farmers and/or fishermen, as a way to restructure their finances in order to keep doing this seasonal work.
  • Chapter 13 (also referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy): includes a repayment plan where the debtor has around 3-5 years to pay back debts. The debtor may have to pay the entirety of their debts back, or only a portion. If the debtor makes payments consistently in good faith, the rest of their debts may be erased at the end of the term.

A Tampa, FL Bankruptcy Lawyer You Can Rely On

No one is exempt from debt problems. Sometimes it can be the result of increasing credit card interest rates. Other times it may be due to surmounting medical bills, job loss, or divorce. Regardless of why you are in debt, we are here to act as your guide, and will help you to find a positive solution to your problem.

Filing for Bankruptcy in Tampa, Florida

Contrary to what you might have been told, filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It will not cause you to lose your job or stay on your credit report for the rest of your life. In fact, as a Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer might explain to you, it could give a fresh start to your financial problems.

If your financial problems are considerable, it is important to have a bankruptcy lawyer Tampa, FL trusts on your side. The procedure is complex and involves a multitude of laws. You will also be required to appear in Federal Court rather than your local county courthouse.

Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters has helped numerous clients just like you to get their life going in the right direction. We are committed to creating viable opportunities for a brighter future, and without the financial burdens that can keep you and your family discouraged from having an enjoyable life. To learn about your legal options, please call our Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer today for a complimentary consultation.

How Do I File for Bankruptcy?

Before you file for bankruptcy, you need to consider if other options, like a repayment plan or a settlement, may be a better fit in your circumstances. If you have no options left, take a look at your debt and consider what will and won’t be affected by your bankruptcy. Since certain debts cannot be discharged, you want to know what the benefits of bankruptcy will be.

If you decide to file, you will want to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL at Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters as soon as you can. Filing is very complicated and our attorneys will help to navigate the long road ahead.  Our first step in working with you is to start on the bankruptcy forms. These require you to list all of your property, debt, income, and expenses and can be downloaded online. Your bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL will file the forms for you once they’re completed.  

What Happens After I File?

After your forms are filed, you will receive a trustee who works on behalf of your creditors. This person will determine what property you keep and what you sell. You will also have to receive credit counseling (before you file) and debtor education (after you file) and then present certificates of completion to the court. You will have a meeting with your trustee and your creditors during which you will answer questions about your debts and property.

Discover What Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters Can Do For You

In addition to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are also alternatives that a Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer might recommend to you. These include consolidation loans, debt negotiations, or loan adjustments. What is important to understand right now is that you don’t have to let your financial situation spiral out of control. Options are available and can make your life easier. Call a trusted Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer. Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters is waiting to help.

Bankruptcy Entails Plenty of Forms

An attorney at Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters can help you remain organized and complete the necessary paperwork for declaring bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy frequently entails a lengthy packet of forms, and many clients end up with several questions just on the first few pages. By being open with your Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer about your financial information, including income, debts, assets and expenses, he or she can advise you with more accuracy. We understand it may feel embarrassing to share such fragile information with another person, but we are professionals who want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

What Happens to My Assets During Bankruptcy?

During bankruptcy, both your assets and liabilities are assessed. What happens to your assets depends on the type of bankruptcy filed and whether they are exempt or not. Initially, all the assets are part of the filing. Then, according to the laws in your state, some of those assets may be exempt from being sold to repay creditors. Creditors will file a claim for the non-exempt assets so that they can receive the proceeds. If you have concerns about your assets being sold off to pay your debts, call a bankruptcy lawyer Tampa, FL trusts. 

Chapter 7

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy you get to keep some of your property to provide a fresh start. These are called exempt assets. The assets in a bankruptcy hearing are called the bankruptcy estate. Including items are:

  • Property in your possession
  • Property that was yours, but was recently given away
  • Property that is yours, but is loaned to a friend or family member
  • Property that you are entitled to but haven’t received yet, such as pay, inheritance, etc.
  • Proceeds from investments or rental property
  • Marital property
  • Assets received within 180 days of filing, such as lottery winnings, gambling proceeds or inheritance

As a Tampa, Florida bankruptcy lawyer might tell you, what you get to keep, though, depends on the value of the assets and what is covered by exemptions. Exemptions vary by state. Some states allow you to choose to use either the state or the federal exemption schedule, but you must follow only one. You cannot choose some from the federal schedule and some from the state schedule. The state exemption schedule applies to states you have lived in for at least two years prior to filing. If you need further clarification, call a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL. 

Chapter 13

With Chapter 13 protection, you should not have to liquidate any assets. Your bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL  will help set up a restructuring of debts and a repayment plan that allows you to catch up on mortgage payments, car payments, taxes, or child support that must be repaid within a three to five year period. For an exempt item, the amount you must pay to creditors in a repayment plan depends on whether the value is equal or less than the exemption amount. If the item is only worth slightly more than the exemption, it may not be worth selling, as it could end up costing more than it is worth to sell it.

To understand the differences between the types of bankruptcy protection available to you or to learn more about the exemptions in your state, contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL.

Common Myths About Bankruptcy

While no one wants to file for bankruptcy, sometimes it’s a necessary thing to do. Bankruptcy has been around for many years and allows people to discharge the majority of their unsecured debts. However, a Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer can attest that there are still so many myths involving bankruptcy. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy soon, it’s important to be able to differentiate fact from fiction.

Bankruptcy Gets Rid of All Debts

While it would be nice if bankruptcy discharged all your debt, it just doesn’t work that way. While bankruptcy can discharge most unsecured debts, like credit card bills, medical bills and personal loans, it can’t get rid of secured debts, like student loans and child support payments. It’s best to speak with a Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer to evaluate your specific situation and learn of the debts that you may be able to discharge versus the ones that you will still be responsible for. 

You’ll Lose Your Home

A common fear people have about filing for bankruptcy is that they’ll lose their home. The fact of the matter is that you’ll likely get to keep your house and the majority of your other assets. 

Bankruptcy Will Ruin Your Credit Score

Another misconception that Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyers have heard from clients is the fallacy that bankruptcy will destroy your credit forever. While your credit rating will take a hit in the beginning, it won’t stay that way forever. In fact, it’s possible to improve your credit after filing for bankruptcy. It helps remove all the negative consequences of your unpaid debts.

You Won’t Qualify for Credit Afterwards

There isn’t much of a stigma about bankruptcy as there was years ago. That’s why it’s possible to qualify for credit after you file. In fact, you can start rebuilding your credit right away. Lenders may charge you higher interest in the beginning, but you at least will be able to establish credit.

You Can Only File for Bankruptcy Once

This isn’t true either. A Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer will tell you that , in many cases, people are allowed to file for bankruptcy more than once in their lifetime. You can file for Chapter 7 every eight years and Chapter 13 every two years.

It’s Better to Pay Off Your Debts

While it would be nice to be able to pay off all your debts yourself, sometimes it isn’t realistic. For example, if your debts are more than 50 % of your annual income, it may take you a very long time to pay them off. By filing for bankruptcy with the help of a Tampa, FL bankruptcy lawyer, you can get rid of these debts and start with a fresh financial state.

Bankruptcy Means You’re a Failure

Many people shy away from filing for bankruptcy because they think it makes them a failure and bad person. However, it’s important to realize that bankruptcy is actually just a way to take control of your finances. It’s there for a good reason, filing doesn’t make you any less of a good person.

If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer offered in Tampa, FL as soon as possible. Bankruptcy is a complex process, you will want to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer at Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters on your side, every step of the way.

By reaching out to us right away, you can schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters regarding your financial situation. For your appointment, bring along as much information as you can about your finances. This will allow us to perform a thorough evaluation. Please do not wait to get into further debt before you reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer that Tampa, FL trusts, let us help you get to a place of financial stability. Call Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters as soon as possible for a reliable and experienced bankruptcy lawyer that Tampa, FL residents recommend.

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