Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney in Tampa, Florida

Many of our potential clients ask us whether they should file under Chapter 13 or under Chapter 7. We have found that in most cases, Chapter 7 is the best option, but this video discusses when Chapter 13 may be more appropriate.

Peter Zooberg is a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, FL (813) 990-7944.

Video Summary: Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7

Chapter 13 is typically only recommended as a backup option to Chapter 7 cases. There will be certain cases where a particular client is not a great candidate for (the more common) Chapter 7, and these are the clients who will end up filing under Chapter 13.

In some cases, we have clients who make too much money to file under Chapter 7. Also, late payments in monthly car or mortgage payments would make it a good idea to file under Chapter 13, because filing under Chapter 7 may cause you to loose that property.

Chapter 13 provides a mechanism to save property that you might otherwise loose under Chapter 7.

If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the process usually lasts for about 3-5 years, wherein you make a monthly payment to the Bankruptcy Trustee, who then allocates a portion of that payment to a certain portion of your debt.

Certain debts like car payments and mortgage arrears, can be paid for in full through the Chapter 13 plan. This is how you are able to save property that you otherwise would have lost.

Call (813) 990-7944

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, then give us a call for a no obligation consultation.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer – Tampa, FL – How to File

Peter Zooberg is a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa, Florida (813) 990-7944.

This video discusses the process for filing Chapter 7 in Florida and a few interesting points that each potential client should be made aware of.

Video Summary – Ch. 7

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy we will list all of your debts and all of your assets, and certain other facts about your recent financial history. This paperwork will be filed with the bankruptcy court. Approximately one month later we will attend a hearing with the Bankruptcy Trustee’s office.

About 2 months after the hearing at the Trustee’s office, you will receive a copy of discharge from the Bankruptcy court. This letter states that your debts have been discharged and is really just a fresh start for you financially.

Certain Debts Are Non-Dischargeable in Ch 7

Some debts will not get wiped out when we file the case.

Examples of Non-Discharegeable Debt: Federal & State Taxes, Student Loan Debt, Child Support Payments.

Clients Who Are Not Good Candidates for Chapter 7

Certain clients make too much money to file under Chapter 7 and may need to file under Chapter 13.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Tampa, Florida

After the last financial downturn, many in Florida felt the economic crunch. Many workers lost their jobs. Home values plummeted and equity in property plunged. This has caused many people in the Tampa area to consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is sometimes known as liquidation bankruptcy, and it can be used to liquidate your nonexempt assets to pay debts.

Many people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida have a large amount of debts on credit cards, and possibly medical bills. Florida law allows you to keep some assets, per the state and federal property exemption statutes. Some of these exempt assets may include:

  • Home
  • Car
  • Clothing and some personal possessions

If there is any nonexempt property that may be sold or auctioned to pay creditors, it can be liquidated by the bankruptcy trustee.

While many people are upset at losing some of their nonexempt assets, this does not always occur. And remember that if you do have to give up some assets, you are able to wipe out most of your debts, which is a huge benefit.

It can be a very tough call on whether to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or not. Sometimes it is the best financial option to simply cancel out most of your outstanding debts and to start fresh. To determine if this is the best financial move, please contact our experienced Tampa, Florida bankruptcy attorney for a no-obligation consultation.

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Florida Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Info Sheet FDCPA

The Florida Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (linked here) (FDCPA) is an important Florida law that protects consumers.

In an attempt to keep consumer debt collectors in line, the law explicitly defines what abusive debt collection practices are. It also provides legal recourse for those who have been illegally harassed by creditors.

Under the FDCPA, as well as the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), it is illegal to:

  • Contact you after the debt collector knows you have retained an attorney
  • Contact you after 9 pm at night or before 8 am in the morning
  • Contact you at your place of employment after you told them not to
  • Call you neighbors about the debts that you owe
  • Use any type of abusive or profane language when they mail or call you
  • Threaten a lawsuit or threaten jail time for not paying a debt

If you have been victimized by an aggressive debt collector in violation of the FDCPA or FCCPA, you may want to speak with a consumer rights and bankruptcy lawyer.

Certain Florida law firms sue creditors for illegal harassment of debtors. Under Florida law, if a creditor harasses you, you could be entitled to statutory damages from the creditor.

Consumer rights attorneys are typically paid on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay anything out of pocket, and the attorney only gets paid if you win.

In most cases, all fees and attorney costs are paid from the recovery proceeds.

If we prove that your creditors have been harassing you, you may be entitled to the following:

  • Actual damages
  • Statutory damages not more than $1000
  • Potential punitive damages
  • Attorney’s fees and court costs
  • Stopping Creditor Harassment With Bankruptcy

If you decide to file for bankruptcy, the court will issue what is called an automatic stay. This is essentially a restraining order against creditors. It forbids them from contacting you to collect debts. They also may not seize your property or place a lien on your home.

Note that there are some exceptions to an automatic stay in bankruptcy. A stay will not stop criminal or tax proceedings, lawsuits for child support or eviction.

Considering Bankruptcy (813) 990-7944

If you are in a difficult financial situation and are being harassed by your creditors, please contact our Tampa legal practice. We can provide you with more information about your bankruptcy options.

By working with us, we can bring a quick halt to creditor harassment. Our law firm offers a no obligation consultation. Call now.


Debt Relief from Medical Bills – Florida Bankruptcy Attorney

Tampa, Florida Attorney Peter Zooberg talks about how to get debt relief from your unpaid medical bills. Call (813) 990-7944 for a no obligation consultation.

Huge medical bills can financially devastate any family, especially when the person in need of medical care is the primary wage earner in the home.

If you are confronted with massive medical bills that you cannot pay, talk to a medical debt discharge attorney in Tampa, Florida.

We can assist you in getting relief from your unpaid medical bills, including, possibly filing for bankruptcy.

How Medical Debt Is Treated in Bankruptcy

When filing for bankruptcy, your debts will be broken into different sections. Some debts are tagged for priority treatment, and may not be eliminated.

The good news is that medical debt is not among them. In a bankruptcy proceeding, medical bills are treated as unsecured debts. They are no different than credit cards, personal loans and other unsecured debts. So, medical bill debt can be canceled with a bankruptcy filing.

However, there are certain criteria you must meet to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, and you should contact your attorney immediately to get the specifics on your case.

Under Chapter 7, there is not any limit to the amount of medical bill debt that can be discharged. However, your income must be under a certain amount to qualify.

Under Chapter 13, your medical bills are combined with all other unsecured debts in a repayment plan. The amount that you have to pay back over the three or five year term will depend upon one’s income, expenses and assets.

Call (813) 990-7944

Many people end up in serious financial jeopardy due to medical debt and unpaid medical bills.

Our Tampa, Florida bankruptcy attorneys can help you to decide what to do about your unpaid medical bills. Our law firm offers a no obligation consultation so that you can consult with an attorney about your bankruptcy situation.

Call now to discuss your financial situation with a bankruptcy attorney.

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