TAMPA Bankruptcy FAQ 813-222-8210
TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY’S
ANSWER TO FAQ:
How do I file Bankruptcy with a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney? 2. Will a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney speak with me over the phone? 3. How much does it cost to hire a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney and to file my Bankruptcy? 4. Do Tampa Bankruptcy Attorneys work in other cities, such as Sarasota, St. Pete, and Brandon? 5. How can a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney help me? 6. Can a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney discharge all of my debt? 7. Can a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney save my home from foreclosure? 8. What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy? 9. What assets are exempt in Florida? 10. What type of bankruptcy do I file? 11. What questions may help me to determine your what Chapter I should file? 12. Can my Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney protect me from the bank after a foreclosure? 13. I have assets and income can I still file Bankruptcy? 14. When should I contact my Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney? 15. How does my Tampa bankruptcy Lawyer explain the 341 meeting of Creditors?
QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
I am surrendering a home to a mortgage lender to help consolidate my debt, may I still collect rent on the home, and does this change after filing a chapter 7? If you have rental income from property but are planning on surrendering the property to the mortgage lender, either in bankruptcy or foreclosure, the rental income may belong to the mortgage lender. Please refer to your mortgage and note for details, but often rental income is assigned as part of the mortgage. If you were to file a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you may still not be able to keep the rental income. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy estate would own the rental property and they would be the proper party to collect the rent. Even if the rent is paid to you, you may be required to turn over the rent to the bankruptcy trustee. If you file a chapter 13 or reorganization, the rental income may be used in calculating your income for purpose of determining your discretionary income and ultimately your chapter 13 plan payments. I am up-side-down or have negative equity in my home, can a Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer help me? If you owe more than your house is worth, your Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer may help you decide between four options: pay for the house until the home value increases, return the home to the bank, attempt to negotiate with the bank for a loan modification or sell the home. If you sell the home, a Tampa bankruptcy attorney may help you to negotiate a short sale with the bank, so you do not need to bring money to sell. If you decide to give the house to the bank, this may be done, with or with out a the help of a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney. If you do not file a bankruptcy the Court may grant the bank a deficiency judgment against you for the difference between the sale price and the amount owed. The bank may attempt to collect the difference from your personally or may file a 1098/1099 with the IRS, and treat the deficiency amount as earned income. You would then be personally liable for the difference as if it were earned income from that tax year. A bankruptcy or reorganization may save you from the deficiency judgment and the 1099 taxable gain. It is often easier for your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney to obtain a discharge from the Tampa Bankruptcy Court prior to the foreclosure sale. A bankruptcy mediation may help you reduce or modify your mortgage, Call your Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for more information.Click here to learn about Mortgage modification in bankruptcy.
HOW DO I FILE BANKRUPTCY WITH A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY?
Contact a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney for a no cost, no obligation phone conference or in-person consultation to determine under which Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code you may file or read our section on the different types of Bankruptcy a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney may help you file. Then either download the appropriate bankruptcy package or contact a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney to have one sent to you.
WILL A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY SPEAK WITH ME OVER THE PHONE?
Yes, your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney will either speak with you when you call in, promptly return your call or will set up a specific time to have a telephone conference with you.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY AND TO FILE MY BANKRUPTCY?
The hiring of a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney is quite affordable considering the financial obligations and benefits that go with Bankruptcy. Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney may be retained in routine cases starting at $1200, plus costs and filing fees. A Sample engagement letter is attached to each of the respective bankruptcy questionnaires below. Keep in mind that these are sample engagement letters and your costs may exceed those listed if unforeseeable complications arise. The Galewski Law Group and your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney reserve the right to charge an additional fee for non-routine matters.
DO TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS WORK IN OTHER CITIES, SUCH AS SARASOTA, ST. PETE, AND BRANDON?
Yes. Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney covers most of Central West Florida. The Tampa Court is the hub of most cases filed in the Middle District of Florida, west of Okeechobee, from Naples to Ocala. There is a court building in Fort Myers, however the clerk of court and the judge reside in Tampa and work from the Tampa Federal Court Building.
HOW CAN A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY HELP ME?
A Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney may be able to help you to gain a fresh start by filing for protection under the Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy is a court process that offers some protection from creditors by stopping collection activity against you and affording you an opportunity to gain control. Bankruptcy offers you two avenues to choose how your debts and assets are handled. Your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney will help you either liquidate (Chapter 7) or reorganize (Chapter 11 and 13). Liquidation trades your non-exempt assets for repayment of dischargeable debt. Reorganization allows you to keep or back your assets over time through a proposed plan where you repay a portion of your debt in return for discharge of the dischargeable debt. You must repay some debts in full; others may be repaid only partially or not at all, depending on what you can afford. The bankruptcy Code offers a broad range of power to the debtor including the power to stop court action including foreclosure. When your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney files your bankruptcy, a court order called an “automatic stay” goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits most creditors from taking any action to collect against your debt to them, without court approval. This automatic stay or moratorium on collection activity can be used to stop state court litigation including, but not limited to, foreclosure.
CAN A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY DISCHARGE ALL OF MY DEBT?
Certain debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but such debt may be open to renegotiation in bankruptcy. These debts include, but are not limited to, certain taxes debt, student loans, child support, alimony, and certain kinds of tax debts. Student loans will not be discharged unless you can show that repaying the debt would be an undue burden, which is a very tough standard to meet. And other types of debts might not be discharged if a creditor convinces the court that the debt should survive your bankruptcy.
CAN A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY SAVE MY HOME FROM FORECLOSURE?
Often Yes. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may stop a foreclosure and allow you to bring your mortgage up to date by paying the past due amount over time or by modifying the mortgage in or out of bankruptcy.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAPTER 7 AND CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY?
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets. You must immediately turnover to the bankruptcy estate all assets that are not covered under your allowed exemptions, unless you purchase them from the bankruptcy trustee. Most people do not have assets outside of the exemption level, but you must seriously and truthfully review your assets with your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney before filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Click here to learn more about the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Liquidation Test. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a reorganization of debt. The case states with the creation of a plan of reorganization in which you pay a portion of your debt back. The repayment plan in part is based on a repurchase of non-exempt assets from the bankruptcy estate; accordingly you may keep most, if not all, of your assets. Click here to learn more about the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Means Test.
WHAT ASSETS ARE EXEMPT IN FLORIDA?
The largest and most common bankruptcy exemptions are: • Homestead. Generally, you may keep the Equity in your home. • Insurance. You usually get to keep the cash value of your policies. • Retirement plans. Most retirement benefits are protected in bankruptcy. • Personal property. A personal property exemption ranging between $1,000 and $4,000. • Vehicle. Equity in a vehicle of up to $1,000.
WHAT TYPE OF BANKRUPTCY DO I FILE?
The best way to determine what type of bankruptcy you should file is to contact a Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney for a no cost, no obligation phone conference or in-person consultation to get an expert opinion. Typically people do not have much of a choice between Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
THERE ARE VARIOUS CRITERIA TO DETERMINE WHICH CHAPTER OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE APPLIES TO YOU AND YOU SHOULD SEEK EXPERT COUNSEL FROM A TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY PRIOR TO MAKING ANY DECISION. THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS MAY HELP YOU TO FIND THE CORRECT CHAPTER:
Is your individual income, or marital income, above the local median as set by the Internal Revenue Service? If so you may have to file Bankruptcy under Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. b. Do your secured debts exceed $1,010,650 and unsecured debts exceed $336,900, then you cannot use Chapter 13. c. Are you trying to save a house or vehicle that you are behind on? If so you may have to file under Chapter 11 or 13. d. Do you have assets that exceed the exemption level that you will need to back from the estate over the next 3-5 years? If so you may have to file under Chapter 11 or 13.
CAN MY TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY PROTECT ME FROM THE BANK AFTER A FORECLOSURE?
There are no guaranties, but your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney can often help to reduce the repercussions from a foreclosure or a short sale. The Tampa Bankruptcy Courts now allow your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney to request an order compelling the mortgage lender to attend mediation to modify your mortgage and possibly reduce the principal on your mortgage. The goal would be to set your mortgage payment to 31% of your income.
I HAVE ASSETS AND INCOME CAN I STILL FILE BANKRUPTCY?
Yes. You should contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation and evaluation of your situation. Even if you have assets, cash, or equity, you still may qualify for different chapters under the Bankruptcy Code.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT MY TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY?
You should contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney early. Often people make serious mistakes in the financial planning, including draining equity or value from protected assets. Certain assets, such as your house and retirement accounts may be protected from your creditors. Draining the value from them may be an injustice to you and your family. Contact your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney today for free information.
TO START THE PROCESS WE WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
Chapter 7 Questionnaire PDF WORD Chapter 13 Questionnaire PDF WORD
WHAT HAPPENS AND WHAT QUESTIONS ARE ASKED AT THE 341 MEETING OF CREDITORS?
412 E. Madison Street * Suite 1106 * Tampa, FL 33602 * Stan “The Man” Galewski * www.Galewski.com * 813-222-8210