Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Clearwater, FL
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Clearwater, Florida
Before filing for bankruptcy, there are some things you should know about the immediate and future repercussions of such a decision, and discuss your options with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer serving Clearwater, FL. While many people may believe that bankruptcy will just eliminate all of their debts and never return, that is not necessarily the case for everyone. This can be a useful resource for those who are having trouble obtaining the financial stability they have always imagined. Filing for bankruptcy can have lasting impacts, so anyone considering filing should talk to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, FL and contact The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. in order to understand what it truly entails in order to make the best decision.
Are there rules for who can apply for bankruptcy?
Just because someone applies for bankruptcy does not mean they are automatically approved. There are variables that must apply to the applicant, in order for him or her to have a chance at being approved. A Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer will share with you that anyone who wants to file paperwork for bankruptcy must have one of the following:
- A permanent residence
- Opened a place of business in the U.S.
- Currently own property
How much debt must a person have to file for bankruptcy?
When it comes to bankruptcy, the focus is on someone’s earnings in comparison to how much they owe in debt. The exact number does not matter so much as is one’s realistic ability to pay it off. If someone does not make enough money to where they can afford to pay for living expenses and outstanding monthly dues, then this can result in immense financial hardship. If you find yourself unable to pay even a small amount back into your debts each month, then you may want to meet with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer for Clearwater, FL to get advice on whether applying for bankruptcy is right for you.
What does it mean to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
There are a couple types of bankruptcy, referred to as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Someone applying for bankruptcy may want to meet with a Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, for advice regarding which chapter may work best in their favor. As for Chapter 13, this may be best for people who do not want to chance their vehicles, property or other items being taken away. But, in exchange for being able to keep belongings, the applicant must make payments for these items on loan over the course of three to five years. The downside to Chapter 13 is that the applicant cannot have a total debt that surpasses the maximum unsecured (credit cards, utilities) and secured debts (loans for home or vehicles).
Who may be better suited to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A person who has accrued a large amount of debt through medical care costs, loans, and credit card bills, may want to apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under this chapter, the applicant may have his or her debts eradicated. However, in order for these debts to be erased, a trusted Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers stresses that the person’s property may be relinquished. Someone who does not mind their belongings being taken if it means they can start fresh financially, may want to choose this chapter in their application process.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should explore your options with an experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer Clearwater, FL at The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. Take your first step towards a better financial future and call us today!
Can I Use Bankruptcy to Stop a Foreclosure?
If you are at risk of losing your home due to the foreclosure process, please understand that a number of legal and financial strategies and tools may be available to you. Depending on the unique nature of your situation, one or a combination of these tools may allow you to stall your foreclosure or even remedy the risk that you will be foreclosed upon. It is important to understand that not every strategy and tool available is appropriate for every homeowner. As a result, it is generally a good idea to schedule a confidential consultation with a Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer before creating a specific foreclosure avoidance plan.
If your financial situation meets certain criteria, it may make sense to file for bankruptcy in order to stall the foreclosure process or save your home from being foreclosed upon. It may seem odd at first to contemplate filing for bankruptcy in order to address a risk of foreclosure. But in the end, the legal tool that is bankruptcy may both free up certain income and re-prioritize specific debts in ways that allow you to potentially keep your home. A Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer will be able to clarify your legal and financial options after learning about your unique situation.
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Foreclosure Risk?
When an individual applies for bankruptcy, a so-called “automatic stay” is granted that pauses the ability of many creditors to collect on debts owed. Depending on the details of your financial situation, you may be able to take advantage of this automatic stay in order to delay the foreclosure process. Unless an exception applies, your mortgage debt should be covered by this “pause button.” You can then use this time to become current on your debts or otherwise reposition your finances in order to keep your house.
If bankruptcy is not the best option for you and your family, please know that you may qualify for a repayment plan through your lender, or for programs designed to keep homeowners in their homes. Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer located in Clearwater, FL may also have alternative ideas to help you avoid foreclosure. Please be aware of scammers whose offers seem too good to be true. If you are not working with a licensed Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, please know that these professionals are likely your best available resource. They will generally be able to tell you if a certain program, offer or organization is actually a scam in disguise.
Foreclosure Defense Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about bankruptcy and/or foreclosure, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, Florida at your earliest possible convenience. As time passes, your legal options may become more limited. As a result, seeking legal guidance as soon as you develop concerns about bankruptcy and/or foreclosure is generally a good idea. Once our Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer understands your unique situation, he or she will be able to advise you about any legal options that may be available to you and answer any questions you may have. Struggling with the potential risk of losing your home is a uniquely stressful reality. Please understand that you do not need to navigate this situation alone. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. is here to help.
Chapter 13 vs Chapter 7 Bankruptcies
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you probably have many questions for your Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, FL regarding the process. One of the most common initial questions many people have is what the difference is between the two most frequently used types of bankruptcy for individuals, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can provide relief in a detrimental financial situation, many factors, including an individual’s desires and intentions should be considered when filing for bankruptcy. Read on for a summary provided by our Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, FL for key differences between the two types of bankruptcy proceedings.
- In exchange for discharge of debt, the petitioner surrenders certain items of property that will later be sold to satisfy their debt.
- There are stricter standards for eligibility for Chapter 7 then for Chapter 13.
- The petitioner must pass the “means test” in order to be eligible for a Chapter 7 filing, meaning the petitioner must earn less than the median income for a family of the same size in the area in which they live. Working with a Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help to explain to you the criteria necessary for passing the means test.
- The petitioner must not have previously filed for a Chapter 7 in the last 8 years, or a Chapter 13 in the past 6 years.
- Certain items of property are exempt from being surrendered to satisfy the petitioner’s debts, including his or her primary residence, primary vehicles, insurance policies, personal property, retirement plans; and the petitioner has a certain degree of control over which items of property they decide to keep. However, a Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer will tell you that certain items are only exempt up to a certain value.
- Any property that is not exempt is available to the trustee for the purpose of paying creditors.
- Provides the petitioner with an automatic stay, which prevents creditors from attempting to collect on a debt.
- Is more common than Chapter 7.
- The petitioner enters into a repayment plan to repay the debt over time.
- The petitioner’s specific repayment plan will depend on various factors, including their income, their total amount of debt, and other property they own.
- Items of property do not need to be surrendered, unless the petitioner decides he or she does not want to assume the debt.
- Eligibility for Chapter 13 depends on the amount of secured and unsecured debt, and that the petitioner earns sufficient income to repay debts through the plan. Our Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, FL can help to determine if you qualify for this form of bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 can help the petitioner avoid foreclosure on their primary residence by continuing to make mortgage payments and entering into a repayment plan for the amount that is past due on their mortgage, provided the petitioner meets eligibility requirements.
Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated process. If you live in Florida and are considering filing for bankruptcy, a Clearwater, FL Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help answer your questions about this intimidating process, and guide you through it with ease.
Contact The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. today for a more thorough discussion about the bankruptcy process, and which options would be best for you. Call our office to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with our trusted Clearwater, FL chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer today.
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