St. Augustine Bankruptcy Lawyer
Are you drowning in debt? Do you worry about your future financial security because you see no possible way to ever pay off everything you owe? Are you receiving threats of foreclosure or repossession? If any of these situations is true for you, bankruptcy might be the answer to your financial troubles and your pathway to a financial fresh start and future economic security. This federal debt relief option can serve as an excellent form of foreclosure defense and debt defense.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Debt Defense
- Foreclosure Defense
- Loan Modifications
- Military Bankruptcy
- Short Sale
- The Means Test
- Wage Garnishment
Debt Relief Solutions
If you are dealing with insurmountable debt, foreclosure threats, or another scary financial situation, do not hesitate to speak to our firm. We are experienced St. Augustine bankruptcy lawyers who understand the Florida and federal bankruptcy laws that could potentially impact your situation. We are here to help you regain the financial stability and independence you need! Some of the areas we can help you with include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcies are for people who do not have the financial capacity to repay their loans. This form of federal debt relief allows Americans who are struggling beneath truly unpayable debt to restart the clock by discharging most if not all of what is owed. If you are dealing with overwhelming debt and are unsure of what to do, don’t lose hope! Call our firm to talk about whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13
If you wish to repay your loans in a manageable time frame while holding on to your property and other assets, filing for reorganization, also known as Chapter 13, bankruptcy could be the best option for you. This bankruptcy chapter is designed for people who have some income but just need more time to repay their debt.
- Foreclosure Defense
If you are receiving foreclosure threats or notices in the mail, do not fall for the common misconception that all hope is lost and you have no options. As a matter of fact, our firm has been able to help many Florida residents hold on to their homes by providing them with strategic and helpful counsel and foreclosure defense.
- Debt Defense
The Constitution of the United States guarantees your right to file for bankruptcy. This is just one of the viable debt relief options available to you. If you are being sued for debt or are receiving constant calls and notices from creditors, do not lose hope! Contact the St. Augustine bankruptcy lawyers at our firm for the tough and tenacious debt defense you need.
- Loan Modifications
One of the alternatives to bankruptcy that you may wish to consider and talk over with our legal team is the loan modification process. This debt relief option allows you to work directly with your individual creditors to come up with new terms that allow you to repay what you owe without declaring bankruptcy. Many creditors are willing to agree to loan modifications in the current economy. Our bankruptcy attorneys are skilled in negotiation and can work directly with your debt collectors to pursue a satisfactory resolution to your loans.
- Short Sale
When your mortgage is higher than the value of your home, this is termed an “upside down” or an “underwater” mortgage. If you are willing to walk away from both your home and your debt, talk to your lawyer about letting go of your home in a short sale and gaining a clean financial slate.
- Wage Garnishments
Are your debt collectors garnishing your pay? Call our law firm for the tough advocacy you need if you are the subject of harsh debt collection methods such as wage garnishment or frozen bank accounts. We can talk to you about your debt relief options about how to get your life back.
If the bank or debt collection agency is threatening to repossess your car, call our firm immediately. We understand how to help you get out of debt and achieve the fresh financial start you need and deserve. Are you worried that bankruptcy will destroy your credit? Don’t be! This is one of the most common bankruptcy myths. With guidance from our experienced bankruptcy lawyerss, you can regain a good score again!
Filing for Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common forms of bankruptcy, but before you can file, you must receive credit counseling from an approved institution. This must happen within six months prior to filing. In order to receive a bankruptcy discharge, you are required to attend a debtor education course after you officially file the paperwork.
You can choose which judicial district you want to file in:
- Northern District of Florida
- Middle District of Florida
- Southern District of Florida
Whether you choose Chapter 7 or 13, you will have to determine the bankruptcy exemptions for which you qualify. It is then time to fill out and submit your bankruptcy paperwork. The forms include a bankruptcy petition, as well as other schedules based on the chapter under which you file. It is important that you also fill out any additional forms required by your judicial district, or else your entire bankruptcy proceeding could be nullified and considered illegitimate.
Florida Bankruptcy FAQs
The fastest path to knowledge is to ask questions. In anticipation of what our clients have needed to know in the past, we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bankruptcy in Florida. Review it as you wish but know that you can always call us at 904-471-3434 anytime if you would like to speak directly to one of our bankruptcy attorneys.
- What happens after I file my bankruptcy petition?
All of your property will be collected in a temporary estate for easier management and access during the bankruptcy; an automatic stay will be put over your estate to stop creditors from taking from it or harassing you for payments; and the bankruptcy court will notify all interested parties that you have created an estate through a bankruptcy filing.
- Will I need an attorney for my bankruptcy filing?
If you make a mistake in your bankruptcy case and wind up losing property that could have remained yours, the court will not be interested in any excuses, such as “I did not understand.” As with any legal matter, your chances of success increase dramatically when you use the help of a professional attorney.
- Is it possible to have the bankruptcy petition filing fee waived?
As strange as it may seem, filing for bankruptcy is not free. The court’s fees can either be staggered through an installment plan or waived entirely if you submit the appropriate requests and qualify based on your income and the type of bankruptcy you seek.
- How do I know what bankruptcy type is right for my case?
If you think you need to wipe out your debt entirely at the sacrifice of some or all of your nonexempt property, you may want to file for Chapter 7. If you believe you can repay a portion of your debt over time and would like to keep most of your nonexempt property, consider Chapter 13. Your own circumstances and finances will weigh heavily on what is best for you, so review your options with your attorney before committing to a decision.
- What are the main four types of debt?
Secured debt is tied to the collateralized property, which can be seized to satisfy the debt. Unsecured debt is not bound to any property. Priority debt takes precedence over any other debts bound to the same collateralized property. Administrative debt is money owed to professionals after you file for bankruptcy.
- What is a bankruptcy discharge?
When you have completed your bankruptcy filing and done what you can to repay creditors as defined by it, your debt will be discharged, barring creditors from seeking payments or collateral from you for those debts. For the most part, debts that are dischargeable include taxes, alimony, money owed through civil lawsuits, and student loans that have been guaranteed by the government.
- What is a trustee’s role?
The trustee appointed to your bankruptcy case will act as an administrator or someone who ensures the process is being respected and conducted in a reasonable timeframe. They can also be responsible for collecting your nonexempt assets as well as determining if what debts you can feasibly repay. Sometimes the best choice is to have your own lawyer appointed as your trustee so that you know the person in charge of your bankruptcy filing is capable.
- What is a 341 meeting of creditors?
Remember that you are not the only one affected by your bankruptcy – your creditors are concerned about it as well. A 341 meeting of creditors will be scheduled to allow any interested creditors to gather voluntarily and interview you about your debt. You must answer their questions to the best of your knowledge while under oath. As creditors have free reign over what they ask you, they could be posing leading or loaded questions to make it seem as if your bankruptcy is not justified. For this reason and more, it is highly advised you attend your 341 meetings of creditors with your bankruptcy attorney by your side.
- Will my bankruptcy last forever on my credit report?
No. While the media and movies like to make bankruptcy seem like a permanent stain on your reputation and credit report, this is an exaggerated untruth. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that your bankruptcy filing will only stay on your credit report for 10 years maximum. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the legal help you retain, it could be possible to have it disappear off your report even sooner.
- Is there something I can do if creditors keep harassing me after I file for bankruptcy?
Do not assume that the creditor is harassing you out of maliciousness, as a miscommunication on their end could have prevented them from ever hearing that you had filed for bankruptcy. First, respond promptly by giving them your case name and number, as well as a filing date. Should they persist, you can move for an official court order to stop them. If the court finds that they were intentionally ignoring or violating the automatic stay placed on your bankruptcy estate, they will likely be fined heavily.
Find out If Bankruptcy Is the Right Solution for You
Contrary to what some people think, bankruptcy is not new, it is not immoral, and it does not ruin people for life. Did you know that the United States Constitution gives Congress the power to set laws relating to bankruptcy? Bankruptcy was even part of the Mosaic Law in the Old Testament. In addition, many successful companies and talented individuals have gone through financial hard times that forced them to pursue this debt relief option in order to regain financial stability before going on to achieve greatness. Notable people who filed bankruptcy include:
- Abraham Lincoln
- Henry Ford
- Walt Disney
- Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s Chocolate
- Burt Reynolds
- Mike Tyson
- MC Hammer
- Willie Nelson
- Thomas Jefferson
Bankruptcy is not the end; for many people, it can be a whole new beginning. Each St. Augustine bankruptcy attorney at the Albaugh Law Firm is experienced in helping our clients file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Our lawyers view this debt relief option as an opportunity for people drowning in out-of-control debt and endless harassment from creditors to get a fresh start and a clean slate from which they can rebuild their lives. We understand that each individual client has unique circumstances and challenges that landed them in the situation where bankruptcy is their best and last resort, so we strive to provide our clients with a compassionate, non-judgmental setting in which to work through this vulnerable time in their lives.
If you are drowning in a sea of debt or facing wage garnishments or other forms of extreme debt collection, do not hesitate to secure the strong legal support you need to move on from this difficult chapter of your life. At the Albaugh Law Firm, we are prepared to offer the counsel and assistance you need during this time! There is hope, and we are here to help you recover your financial well-being. Call our office today to discuss your case. We can help you assess whether bankruptcy is right for you or if another debt relief option – such as obtaining a loan modification, offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or arranging for a short sale – is a better resolution to your debt problem.
Our bankruptcy attorneys have extensive experience in helping people across the First Coast put an end to their problems with debt. We know you have questions, and we encourage you to check out some of our recent articles and visit our bankruptcy blog to learn more.
Contact The Experienced St. Augustine Bankruptcy Lawyer At Albaugh Law Firm
Our main goal is to ensure that our clients receive the most favorable possible outcome to their bankruptcy case so that they can springboard into a brighter and more prosperous future. Our array of experience includes loan processing for a mortgage broker, so we understand how credit works and how potential lenders evaluate people’s creditworthiness. We are prepared to help you not only file for bankruptcy but also successfully rebuild in order to regain financial stability.
As part of our service to our bankruptcy clients, we share our wealth of knowledge in this area with the individual men and women we represent and offer practical advice about what they can do after their bankruptcies to repair their credit as quickly as possible. In many cases, filing for bankruptcy can actually help our clients’ credit in the short term while creating a long-term situation through which they can actually achieve an excellent credit rating.
You do not have to continue struggling through life from paycheck to paycheck under a mountain of debt. There is hope! Call the Albaugh Law Firm today to take the first step toward a brighter financial future. Our bankruptcy attorneys are waiting to discuss your financial situation and how filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. Our initial case evaluations are always free of charge, so you have the opportunity to learn about the services we offer and how our firm may be able to help you without feeling pressured to make an immediate financial commitment.