Articles Posted in Chapter 7

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaThe American dream of home ownership has become a nightmare for thousands of Floridians. But you don’t have to face foreclosure proceedings alone; there are many ways to fight foreclosures and protect your assets. Savage & Villoch, your bankruptcy lawyers in Tampa, can help you plan the best alternatives for this stressful time.

Your alternatives depend on a thoughtful examination of your financial situation. Your attorney can guide you in the labyrinth of decisions to be made, such as whether your inability to make mortgage payments is short- or long-term and what relief programs apply to each situation, whether you qualify for a wide array of mortgage modification programs, or whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. We can help demystify the process and let you know what to expect. Most of all, you are not alone in this stressful time.

Make sure you learn the specific options in your case. Such problems as “underwater” mortgages–those in which the home’s value has decreased–have their own set of alternatives and relief programs. You may have also heard about the “show me the note” defense, which many people have used to defend against foreclosures by showing the court that the loan was made pursuant to fraudulent practices. It’s a tricky defense, and whether it applies to you will have to be investigated by your attorney. Mortgage modifications are often fought tooth-and-nail by lenders, so it is in your best interests to have a knowledgeable advocate getting you the best modification possible.

investment and bankruptcy lawyers serving tampaEveryday, people contact attorneys to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While there are several reasons for doing so, the top five are:

  1. Medical Expenses – According to a study conducted at Harvard University, this is the number one reason for bankruptcy as it makes up 68 percent of the filings. Almost all filers had health insurance, but if someone has a rare or serious condition, it’s still expensive, especially if the co-pay is high.
  2. Job Loss – If people don’t have an emergency fund, it creates a bigger financial hardship if they lose their job. Many charge daily living expenses to their credit card and often find they can’t pay the bill when it arrives in the mail.

svAlthough the idea of filing bankruptcy might not be pleasant, there is a good chance that filing bankruptcy is exactly what you should do to get back on track. Dealing with financial issues can be difficult, but hiring a Tampa Chapter 7 lawyer to help you file bankruptcy could be life changing. These are a few signs that it’s time to look into bankruptcy as an option to get your finances on track.

1. You’re Getting Constant Collection Calls

Few things can be as unsettling and disruptive as receiving constant collection calls from your creditors. Plus, it can be embarrassing to receive calls when you’re around friends and family, and getting these calls while you’re at work can cause trouble for you at work. Once you file bankruptcy, however, you can help avoid these problems because your creditors will no longer be allowed to contact you via phone.

logo-squareFinancial setbacks are among the most difficult challenges people face. If you are considering bankruptcy, you may be struggling with anxiety, confusion, guilt, and even depression. However, with competent legal guidance, the bankruptcy process can go smoothly, and you can regain financial security.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about bankruptcy run rampant, and they may be increasing your confusion and anxiety. The first step to getting your life back on track is getting the facts.

Three of the Most Common Myths About Bankruptcy:

Despite recent appearances in TV and film, rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy on July 13. Many individuals file for chapter 7 or chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and choosing which type of bankruptcy to file for is an important decision. When considering bankruptcy, a chapter 11 or chapter 7 attorney in Tampa might be able to advise you.

Bankruptcy Filings

50 Cent filed for chapter 11, and court documents indicated that he has a large amount of consumer debt that may total as much as $50 million. The entertainer’s boxing company called SMS promotions also filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11. The financial trouble 50 Cent faces was likely exacerbated by a July 10 jury verdict that ordered the rapper to pay $5 million in damages to Lastonia Leviston. She sued after 50 Cent made a video mocking a sex tape featuring her, and she believes the video was posted to embarrass rapper Rick Ross as Leviston and him have a child together.

logo-squareWith the new laws that are in effect, it’s very confusing to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You need an attorney to help you. Qualifying for a Chapter 7 is not easy anymore. The new restraints make it difficult and many have to file a Chapter 13 and repay their debts. However, a bankruptcy attorney can help you decide which chapter you qualify for.

Before you file your petition, the attorney needs to know all the transactions of the past 60 days. The court wants to know about any cash loans or any expensive items that you’ve purchased. They consider residency requirements, and you must attend credit counseling. It’s a lot to take in and it’s overwhelming to the average person. That’s why it’s so important to have a bankruptcy attorney handling the matter.

A Chapter 7 attorney in Florida can help you complete the “means test” and see if you qualify for this chapter. When you met the qualifications, the attorney files the petition, and the court appoints a trustee. You don’t lose everything; the court allows you some as exempt. The court sells non-exempt property. Debts like student loans, tax bills and any bill accumulated through fraudulent means are not discharged through bankruptcy.

logo-squareYou may have heard that taxes are not discharged in bankruptcy. Tax debt, as “priority” debt, gets paid first before other creditors in bankruptcy. However, the Bankruptcy Code includes exceptions depending on the type and timing of the tax, and the bankruptcy chapter filed.Before knowing which taxes qualify for discharge, however, you must first understand which do not qualify under bankruptcy law. There are 7 types of taxes you cannot avoid paying:

  • Taxes on a past due return not filed within three years (plus extensions) before filing bankruptcy.
  • Taxes assessed within 240 days before filing bankruptcy.

It happens: you run into a bit of financial difficulty, and you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you’re in the Tampa area of Florida, you will need to hire a Tampa chapter 7 lawyer to represent your best interests immediately!

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as the “fresh start” bankruptcy, because it wipes out all your debts and gives you a chance to start over again. When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, a trustee sells (or liquidates) all of your assets (some assets are protected under the Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions, such as personal property and certain pensions, and are therefore excluded from liquidation) to pay off your creditors. After liquidating your assets, the trustee then receives a commission that covers his/her fees.

Not all debts can be discharged with a Chapter 7 filing. You will still be responsible for some of your debts, such as alimony, child support, and student loans. In addition, some of your assets — such as your home and your car — can only be protected if you sign a Reaffirmation Agreement, which prevents you from wiping out (or re-bankrupting) that asset for the next eight years.

Tampa, Florida, Chapter 7 lawyers are experts in the Florida statutes that govern which of your assets you can keep–and which must be surrendered to the Court trustee who liquidates (sells) them to pay back your creditors.

According to an overview of the Florida bankruptcy process, filing Chapter 7 allows most debtors to completely cancel out their significant credit card debts and get a “fresh start.” And, after the Court trustee pays off your creditors, he (or she) will give you back any monies/items that are “exempted.” These “exemptions”(assets/items not surrendered)–per Florida statutes–include:

  • disability, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits,

logo-squareWhile he once had a 10-bedroom mansion on Palm Island and a 2007 Bugatti Veyron worth $1.6 million, hip hop producer and musician Scott Storch is no longer the big spender he used to be. Storch filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June 2015 and cited his current personal assets at $3,600.

Storch filed for protection under Chapter 7 in Florida, and this is not his first brush with financial trouble as the man filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2009 while going to rehab in the same year. At the time, he spent an estimated $30 million in three years. While Storch worked with famous artists like Beyonce and Snoop Dog, his spending habits and cocaine addiction have reportedly left him $4.4 million in debt.

As this story shows, even those who are rich and successful can have problems that lead to debts. Anyone might find themselves facing repossessions or threats from creditors while not knowing how to act. A Chapter 7 attorney in Tampa can advise you about your options when considering filing for bankruptcy.

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