Bankruptcy Attorney Okeechobee
Helping Members of the Okeechobee Community Find Financial Relief through Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Can Discharge Debt and Help You Move On with Life
Okeechobee is one of the best small cities in Florida. Unfortunately, many who live in this amazing city are dealing with mounds of debt that they may not be able to overcome. Whether you were careless with a credit card when you were younger or had to take out loans to pay for medical bills, it might seem like taking charge of your debt is impossible.
The good news is there are options for you if you’re struggling to make your payments. You may be able to work with your creditors or even a debt consolidation company to restructure your payments. But if this isn’t possible, and you’re being constantly harassed by your creditors, bankruptcy is an option.
Filing bankruptcy and going through the court process can be complicated. You need to file the paperwork properly, get all of your financial statements and asset lists in order, and make sure you’re following all requirements set by the bankruptcy court. With the help of an Okeechobee bankruptcy attorney, the process can be made easier.
The skilled attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have been helping residents of Okeechobee through the process of filing for bankruptcy for over 30 years. Call us at 866-460-1990 today or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Bankruptcy Is an Option, but It’s Not the Only Option
When you’re facing an ever-growing mound of doubt, you may think bankruptcy is the only (or at least the best) option for you. But it’s important to understand that you do have other options that are less impactful than bankruptcy. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of all of the options available to you. Before you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you should speak with an experienced attorney about all the different options you have.
You can take advantage of state and federal laws that protect you from harassment from creditors. You can also negotiate with your creditors on your own. However, that may be less successful than working with a credit counseling agency to negotiate on your behalf. Your attorney may discuss these options before he or she recommends filing for bankruptcy.
The legal team at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd knows how stressful this time in your life can be. We’ll help you explore all of your legal and financial options before we start discussing the process of bankruptcy. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
For private citizens, there are two types of bankruptcy available: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These each offers their own advantages and are open to different groups of people.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. There is a means test that must be passed, meaning if you make above a certain amount of money, you cannot file Chapter 7. Essentially, this type of bankruptcy is for those who are unable to pay their debts. It allows you to discharge your unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical debt. Secured debt, such as mortgages and student loans, cannot be discharged.
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most (if not all) of your property and assets will be sold to cover your debts. There are some exemptions, but your attorney can explain them to you. But once the debts are either settled or dismissed, you can move on with your life with a clean slate. The biggest downside, aside from having to sell all of your assets, is the fact that Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to 10 years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debt to more easily pay it off. You must have a regular income, and you must have no more than $394,725 in unsecured debt, and/or no more than $1,184,200 in secured debt. If you qualify for Chapter 13, your debt will be restructured so that you can pay it off over 3 to 5 years.
However, there are certain requirements that must be met while you’re under a Chapter 13 repayment plan. First, all payments must be made either on time or early. Late payments are not accepted. If you lose your job or otherwise find yourself unable to continue making payments, it’s up to you to negotiate with your creditors. Other requirements may be put in place, and not following these requirements will mean your case is dismissed and you’re again in charge of paying your debts immediately.
Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy only stays on your credit report for up to 7 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Student Loans Be Discharged?
One of the most common questions our attorneys get is whether student loans can be discharged by bankruptcy. Unfortunately, student loans can only be discharged if you can prove they will cause undue hardship, either permanently or for most of the remaining life of the loan note.
In addition, debts for alimony or child support cannot be discharged. If you have other debts that weren’t discharged in previous bankruptcies, they can’t be discharged now. The US Bankruptcy Code lists 21 different types of debt that can’t be discharged by bankruptcy.
Can I keep my tax refund in bankruptcy?
Many people who file for bankruptcy in Okeechobee want to know if they will lose their tax refunds. The answer depends on the circumstances of each case. While some individuals who file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be able to keep their tax refund, others will have to forfeit it. Below we provide some information on what determines if you can keep your tax refund in bankruptcy.
In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a tax refund is seen as an asset. It does not matter if you already received your tax refund for that year or if you expect to receive it at a later date; the tax refund is still an asset. You will be expected to disclose in your bankruptcy documents whether you have received your tax refund or if you expect to receive one.
Tax refunds are the number one asset that trustees routinely take from individuals who file for bankruptcy. This is because tax refunds are checks that can go towards paying off some of your debt.
However, there are ways to protect your tax refunds. In Florida, exemption laws allow you to protect cash and certain assets. For some, this includes your tax refund. The best thing you can do is speak with an Okeechobee bankruptcy attorney about your options.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our experienced Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys have helped hundreds of people get a fresh start. We can review your case, provide you with information about the bankruptcy process, and discuss your options for moving forward. Our Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys can also help you protect your tax refund. Call us at 866-930-6435 to schedule your free, no-obligation bankruptcy consultation.
How is debt settlement different from bankruptcy?
Debt settlement and bankruptcy are solutions to the same problem—they both help you get out of debt. However, the two options are very different.
Debt settlement is like a negotiation. If you are having trouble paying off your debt, you may enter into a debt settlement agreement with your creditors. This process does not require a formal court filing and can often be handled without a lawyer or financial counseling. In a debt settlement agreement, you meet with your creditors to create a plan for how you will pay off the debt. Debt settlement generally applies to individuals with low to moderate levels of debt.
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding through which people or businesses who cannot repay debts to creditors seek relief through the court. Unlike a debt settlement, bankruptcy does require a formal court filing. While you do not need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, having an Okeechobee bankruptcy attorney on your side will improve the outcome, speed up the process, and remove stress from the situation.
In general, there are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you are facing a significant amount of debt, an experienced Okeechobee bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you decide which chapter is right for you.
What is a 341 meeting?
Also known as the “Meeting of the Creditors,” the 341 meeting is a formal meeting that takes place approximately 1 month after filing your bankruptcy petition. It is usually brief, lasting around 15 minutes, and its purpose is to put a “face” to the bankruptcy forms that were filed.
During the 341 meeting, a trustee, who is the administrative supervisor of your case, will ask you questions about your bankruptcy paperwork. In general, the trustee will have you confirm your identity and your home or business address. He or she will ask you about your employment, your assets, and any other financial information that may be relevant. Essentially, the 341 meeting is a way for the trustee to confirm whether or not the information you submitted in your bankruptcy petition is accurate.
If you have hired a bankruptcy attorney, your attorney will accompany you to the 341 meeting. Your attorney will also help prep you for the questions that the trustee will ask.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys handle the entire bankruptcy process on behalf of our clients. We complete all the necessary paperwork from start to finish and we will represent you at the 341 meeting. Learn more about how we can help you through the bankruptcy process by calling us at 866-930-6435.
Is there a downside to filing for bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Okeechobee, you are probably experiencing mixed emotions. You may be relieved that you are taking action to help alleviate your financial hardship, but you are also probably feeling nervous and anxious about how bankruptcy will affect you in the long-term.
While the word bankruptcy tends to carry negative connotations, it’s important to remember that filing for bankruptcy can be positive. There are several pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy in Okeechobee.
- You are granted an automatic stay. When you file for bankruptcy in Okeechobee, you receive an automatic stay from the court which means creditors are prohibited from contacting you or taking action against you.
- Certain debts can be discharged. When you file for bankruptcy in Okeechobee, you can have certain debts completely eliminated. These are known as dischargeable debts and they include credit card debt, medical and utility bills, and personal loans.
- You are protected from further legal action. One of the biggest benefits of filing for bankruptcy in Okeechobee is that you are protected from future legal action that may arise from you not paying your debts.
- Debts will be settled for less than what you owe. While bankruptcy will absolve you from paying off certain debts, you may still owe payments for other types of debt. Filing for bankruptcy enables you to pay only a portion of what you previously owed. Our Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys can help you create a reasonable payment plan.
- Trouble renting in the future. After filing for bankruptcy in Okeechobee, you may experience difficulty renting an apartment or home. Some landlords will run a credit check on you and may deny your application if they deem your bankruptcy a potential liability.
- Student loans do not apply. In most cases, federal student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. You will likely still owe a payment. However, our Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys can help you develop a payment plan that makes this debt much more manageable.
- Your credit score will be impacted. On average, a bankruptcy will appear on your credit score 7 to 10 years after filing. This could impact your ability to buy or rent. It’s important to remember though that many people who file for bankruptcy often see their credit scores improve.
- Your bankruptcy is a public record. When you file for bankruptcy in Okeechobee, it’s a matter of public record. This means that landlords, employers, or creditors could run a credit check on you and see your bankruptcy.
Since there are pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy, we highly recommend speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions. Our Okeechobee bankruptcy attorneys have helped thousands of residents on the Treasure Coast and in Okeechobee County get a fresh financial start. Call us today at 866-930-6435 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your case and provide you with information about your options.
Speak to an Experienced Okeechobee Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly or hastily. It’s important to consider all of your different options before deciding on this path. At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our legal team has been assisting our local community members to navigate their financial and legal options for over 30 years.
To speak with an Okeechobee bankruptcy lawyer about your situation, call 866-460-1990 or contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
We are a debt relief agency and attorneys. We help people file for Bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free information about our qualifications and experience.