Tampa Financial Law Attorney
Everyone incurs some type of debt at one point in their lives. Sometimes, though, that debt becomes impossible to pay and creditors and debt collectors may even take legal action against you. A Tampa financial law attorney can outline the options available to you that can help you avoid this action and become debt free. Below, our skilled attorney outlines two of the most popular options, which include debt settlement and bankruptcy.
What is Debt Settlement?
When you settle a debt, you agree to pay a lower price than the total that is owed to a creditor or debt collector. The payment is usually made in one lump sum and an agreement is signed that prevents the creditor or debt collector taking legal action against you in the future. Such legal action could include a lawsuit, a wage garnishment, a bank levy, and more.
It is important to work with a Tampa debt settlement attorney when taking this route. Debt collectors and creditors are unlikely to accept a lower amount if they believe you can repay the entire debt. A lawyer will know how to negotiate with the entities owed money so you can pay a lower amount.
A lawyer can also advise you of the drawbacks of debt settlement and how to overcome them. For example, when you settle your debt, it does not erase the fact that the debt ever existed. It will still remain on your credit report for a certain period of time, and your credit score may drop. A lawyer can also explain how to avoid these consequences, such as applying for a secured credit card after your debt is settled.
Sometimes, debt settlement is not a viable option. Perhaps you have far too much debt and your income will not currently pay it. In these cases, filing bankruptcy can clean the slate and give you a new financial start. There are two types of bankruptcy you can file, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The type you file will depend on the circumstances of your case.
A Chapter 7 will allow you to completely discharge your debt, so you are no longer responsible for paying any of it. It is very difficult to qualify for Chapter 7, due to the means test that came into law in 2005. A financial law attorney can provide more information about the means test and can determine if you qualify under it.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge your debt, although you may be able to eliminate some of it. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the debt is placed into a repayment plan and gives you three to five years to repay it. Due to the fact that it is easier to qualify for Chapter 13, many people file this type of bankruptcy if they are ineligible for Chapter 7.
Our Financial Law Attorney in Tampa Can Help with Your Debt
If you are struggling with debt, our Tampa financial law attorney at HD Law Partners can advise you of your legal options and help you determine which one is right for you. Call or text us now at 813-964-7878 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case.