Bankruptcy Lawyer Tampa, Florida

Basics on Filing for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Lawyer Tampa, FLYou might find yourself considering bankruptcy at some point in your life, as a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, Florida knows all too well. You might find that you’ve accumulated debt from medical expenses or the loss of a job. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, here’s what you need to know.

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.  

How Do I File for It?

Before you file for bankruptcy, consider if other options, like a repayment plan or a settlement. 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 the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. 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.

Is My Credit Ruined Now?

Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for ten years, but during that time you will still qualify for credit cards and an FHA home loan. It’s important during this time to focus on your finances and plan for a future in which you do not file for bankruptcy again.

For some, filing for bankruptcy is the best option and can lead to a happier and more secure life. Know how the process works and how it can benefit you before you file for bankruptcy.

If you have any questions or are looking to know more about the bankruptcy process, please call a bankruptcy lawyer from Tampa, FL at the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L.

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