Archive for March, 2013

Call your Bankruptcy Attorney

Saturday, March 16th, 2013
article from Bankruptcy Law Network

Before, during and after bankruptcy, if you’ve hired an attorney to help you through the process: use her!

The first thing that happens upon retaining (hiring) a bankruptcy attorney is that you can direct all of your creditors to call her. They can’t speak to you if you are represented by counsel and you tell them that. Thank heavens for the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

And, if you are going to file bankruptcy, it’s usually okay and often advisable, to stop paying your unsecured non-priority debts. These are the bills that are probably going away. Stop paying them. If you’re not sure if you should pay something or not, call your bankruptcy attorney and ask.

Once you file the paperwork for the bankruptcy, you’ll have many questions. Speak to your attorney. She’ll know. She’ll be able to tell you what to expect at the Creditor’s meeting. She’ll be able to tell you what to do with the nasty bill or letter you got even though you filed bankruptcy. Call her.

After the bankruptcy is over, ask your attorney what happens next. And call your attorney when a creditor calls. And always call when a creditor says you still owe them or the debt didn’t go away.

Recently, a client called me to ask if she did the right thing in having her father use his credit card to pay the creditor who called and told her she was going to jail that week if she didn’t make a payment right away! Amazing what lies creditors can come up with and what they can get naïve debtors to believe. We stopped the credit card charge, and I’ll deal with the creditor, but all that angst and up-set could have been avoided if the debtor had simply called her attorney!

Call your bankruptcy attorney. That’s why you hired one.

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.

Why You Should List All Your Debts

Friday, March 1st, 2013
article by admin

You should list all medical bills even if you believe them to be covered by insurance, because the insurance company may later deny the claim. You should list cosigned or guaranteed debts of others even if payments are current, because a future default means the debt comes back on to you.

This is due to a First Circuit ruling that an unlisted possible indemnification obligation (a type of guarantee of another’s debt) was not discharged. The debtor didn’t list the contingent debt in his no-asset case because nothing was owed at the time of the bankruptcy filing – it arose one year later, when the other party defaulted on a future construction performance. Too bad for the debtor.

Many people filing bankruptcy worry about not listing a long forgotten creditor in their bankruptcy case. They fear that if the debt isn’t listed in their case, the creditor will have the right to pursue them for payment. This is not necessarily true.

The fact is that these circumstances don’t exist in the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases. In a Chapter 13 case the discharge is granted only for debts provided for in the Chapter 13 plan. Therefore, it is important that all creditors are listed in a Chapter 13 case

Occasionally a creditor will attempt to collect a debt after a bankruptcy case is over, and assert that because the person filing bankruptcy failed to list them, they get to collect the debt. If this happens to you, you should contact your attorney right away so that he or she can send the creditor a letter explaining what your rights are, and demand that they immediately stop collecting the debt from you.

Clearly, the best thing is to avoid the stress of dealing with an unlisted creditor after a bankruptcy. Getting a credit report before you file bankruptcy can be very helpful in ensuring that you list all your creditors.  It is important to note that your credit report may not contain all the creditors who have claims against you. Many times medical providers don’t report to credit reporting agencies, and it is also possible that certain debts can be missing from your report temporarily.

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.