Archive for October, 2011

Bankruptcy…. The Intersection of Debt And Freedom

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Article From Bankruptcy Corner

Oct. 3, 2011

Bankruptcy can be a solution that allows you to clear up your outstanding debts and start fresh without the harassment of debt collectors and threat of foreclosure or repossession. It can be a difficult process and persons who are considering bankruptcy should consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in their area to evaluate every aspect of their financial situation.

Most personal bankruptcy cases are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. Federal law determines most aspects of the bankruptcy process, but some state laws play a part in the process also. Consulting an attorney can help you navigate through the confusing and complicated maze of bankruptcy law.

Filing Bankruptcy

When a person goes about filing bankruptcy, all of their property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. A trustee takes control of the bankruptcy estate and uses the assets to satisfy your creditors. Federal or state law, depending on where you live, determines what items are exempt from the bankruptcy estate. Exempted items are items that you are allowed to keep after filing bankruptcy.

You should evaluate the amount and types of debt you have. There are secured debts and unsecured debts. Those debts are also divided into dischargeable debt and non-dischargeable debt.

Secured debts are those that have a lien against some property or asset. They range from home mortgages and car notes to loans that were made with an item of jewelry or bank deposit used as collateral. Unsecured debt is described as debt that has no guarantee, other than your word, that you will repay. It is most often credit card debt.

Dischargeable debt is the debt that you will not have to repay if you cannot afford to do so. Non-dischargeable debt is debt that will not go away after bankruptcy, such as student loans, alimony, child support or fines from criminal acts. You will be required to pay back all of the non-dischargeable debt even during your bankruptcy

A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine how best to maximize the assets you will be allowed to keep after bankruptcy. Debt relief is available for those who need it.

Carolyn Secor is a Clearwater bankruptcy attorney and Clearwater foreclosure attorney serving Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole, St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area.

If you would like more information on our practice, please consult our website at:

www.bankruptcyfortampa.com
or call (727) 254-1704.

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying My Bills?

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Article by Eugene Melckionne

Posted in Bankruptcy Basics

Sept. 30, 2011

Yup.

Scared? Well, it just not so simple as that, so don’t believe the collectors when they call and say they will have you arrested and put in jail for not paying a debt. While it is possible, there are a lot of safeguards for consumers in financial trouble.

So, if its illegal, how can I go to jail for not paying my bills? Easy, ignore a court order. When a creditor sues you, the court will order that you pay the bill most times in weekly installments. The Judges recognize that you probably don’t have the money to pay it all at once. But beware, most judgments do carry interest at various rates set by rule or statute. If you don’t pay the installments, the Court won’t order you to jail, but it will give the creditor some power to pursue your assets. This can come in various forms such as a lien on your home, a pay garnishment, an attachment of your bank account or some other seizure of your property. If you have nothing to seize, no worries; still no jail time.

The final step in frustration for the creditor who has a judgment is to subpoena you to an examination to see what they can recover from you. This is where you get into trouble. Ignore that subpoena and no you are in contempt of court. You are ignoring a judge’s order to appear and that IS punishable by jail time and sometimes a hefty bail bond.

Now if you file for bankruptcy first, the Federal Bankruptcy system preempts the state court system and you’ve avoided going to jail. You can think of bankruptcy as a ‘Get Out of Jail free’ card.

Carolyn Secor is a Clearwater bankruptcy attorney and Clearwater foreclosure attorney serving Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole, St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area.

If you would like more information on our practice, please consult our website at:

www.bankruptcyfortampa.com
or call (727) 254-1704.