St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Lawyer
From his office in St. Petersburg, attorney Stephen Barszcz helps individuals and families throughout central Florida find relief from debt through bankruptcy in the Middle District of Florida. If you’ve suffered an injury other serious setback that has left you with bills piling up beyond your ability to repay, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the answer. Find out more about consumer bankruptcy below, and contact St. Petersburg bankruptcy lawyer Stephen Barszcz for a free consultation about whether bankruptcy is right for you.
Make a Fresh Start with Chapter 7
A Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy offers a way to get out of debt and start over with a clean slate. In Chapter 7, all of your unsecured debt can be discharged, meaning you will no longer be responsible to repay the debt. Examples of unsecured debt include credit card debt and medical debt. Certain types of tax debt can also be discharged, and despite what you may have heard, student loan debt can even be discharged in some situations. The first step is calling the Law Office of Stephen Barszcz to talk about your specific situation and your unique needs.
In theory, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows the bankruptcy trustee to collect and sell your non-exempt property and use those funds to repay your creditors before you can receive any discharge of debt. However, Florida bankruptcy exemptions provide a number of different exemptions that protect your property from being liquidated or sold. We’ll walk you through the Florida bankruptcy exemptions and examine your assets. In most cases, we can file your case as a “no-asset” bankruptcy, and you won’t have to sell any property to get your debt discharged. We’ll also walk you through the bankruptcy means test to make sure you’re eligible to file for Chapter 7. If you’re not eligible, we’ll talk to you about how you may benefit from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Save Your Home with Chapter 13
If you make too much money or have too many assets to be eligible for Chapter 7, you may still find effective, lasting debt relief through Chapter 13. Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 does not involve a straight discharge of your debts. Rather, your debts are adjusted (some are reduced, some are discharged) and put on a payment plan where you can pay off your debts over a three or five-year period, emerging debt-free at the conclusion of your bankruptcy. If you are working or otherwise have a steady stream of income and monthly disposable income to put toward a payment plan, Chapter 13 may be the solution to your financial problems.
One of the most attractive features of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is its ability to help you save your home from foreclosure. If you are in default on your mortgage and have missed several payments, you can get current by rolling those missed payments into your payment plan. Also, if you owe more on your mortgage than the home is worth, the bankruptcy process can strip away a second mortgage or lower the balance owed on a first mortgage to come into line with the market value of your home. Chapter 13 can also help you save other secured property from being repossessed, such as a car or home furnishings and appliances.
Stop Creditor Harassment with Bankruptcy
Whether filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, bankruptcy puts an immediate stop to creditor harassment and the constant calls and threats of bill collectors. Once you file for bankruptcy, all collection activity must cease, and creditors must obey the court’s “automatic stay” on collections. This includes not just calls and letters but also attempts at foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishments, liens and other collection methods. Filing for bankruptcy gives you the breathing room to step back and take control of your finances on your terms, rather than being at the mercy of creditors and bill collectors.
Effective Debt Relief from an Experienced St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’ve been struggling with overwhelming debt and don’t know what to do, call the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz in St. Petersburg for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your options with you, let you know whether you may benefit from bankruptcy, and guide you toward a solution that works for you.