About Corporate Bankruptcy

In today’s bad economy, not only are individuals faced with bad debts, companies are, too. As a result, many companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in order to remain in business. As many businesses file bankruptcy, a lot of consumers also end up with the possibility of losing money on a lot of things such as gift cards, prepaid purchases and so on.

Below are some of the tips that could help you avoid problems of losing money when a business is filed with bankruptcy:

1.  When a business/company is about to file for bankruptcy, do not pre-pay for the products or services that they offer as far as possible. If a you pre-pay for a product or services of a business or company in financial difficulties, you may not be able to get what was promised to you once the business or company files for bankruptcy.  This is because once a bankruptcy petition is filed, your money and the product/service you purchased will become part of the company’s assets.

2.  As far as possible, try to avoid purchasing gift cards from companies/businesses that are nearing bankruptcy as well. In the past, it was considered safe to purchase gift cards from large retailers offering such cards. However, after the incident of big companies filing for bankruptcy (such as the Shaper Image and Circuit City), it is now recommended that you use your gift cards right away after purchasing to avoid losing money on that gift card especially if the gift card’s company is nearing bankruptcy.

3.  It is okay to choose companies that offer warranties to their products even if they file for bankruptcy but you have to demand they honor their warranty even after bankruptcy has been filed.  Bankruptcy does not absolve the company from honoring their warranty to their products. So making sure the warranty is valid is the first thing you have to make sure of especially when buying big/expensive purchases such as cars, 3D flat screen tv, etc.

Keep these tips in mind so that your money won’t be wasted. It is important to be aware of this matters to prevent having to deal with these kinds of issues.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy for your business (or yourself personally), call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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    How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

    One of the best feelings to experience is having overcome and solved a problem such as crippling debt through bankruptcy. You’ll really feel light as all of the heavy burdens on your shoulder are finally gone. So what’s next to do after being able to successfully file bankruptcy? Well, try to repair your credit as your first step.

    You can really tell the difference before and after your bankruptcy. Previously, creditors always annoy you with their nonstop calls reminding or demanding payments that are clearly impossible for you to afford. However, this time you get to receive credit applications instead of those stressful demand letters.

    But don’t get too happy after coming out of bankruptcy such that you easily get tempted to work with so-called credit-repair companies or rush to apply for high credit lines. Instead, you should start living thriftily and try to rebuild your credit just by yourself. Take time, this process doesn’t really have to be done quickly. I recommend you do not engage the services of credit-repair companies as whatever they say they can do for you, you can actually do yourself and save on their fees.

    You should not take up any loans from credit-repair service companies who offer loans to you. It would only be another form of encumbrance that you don’t need. Some companies claim they can help you remove legitimate items from your credit report. You should also avoid engaging them for this because if the item is legitimately on your report, you can remove it yourself by paying off the debt.

    In time, you’ll be getting a lot of credit card offers again just like when you just turned 18. All of these temptations might put you into the same place that got you into insurmountable debt in the first place.

    If you do apply for a credit card, make sure you only get one that offers a low fee and interest rate. Control how you use your credit card. Be wise in your spending. Don’t just go on a spending spree using your credit card; you should use them only when you really have to such as booking a room for a hotel or renting a car. It doesn’t have to be used in everything!

    One more thing to remember is that you have to pay more than the minimum due per month so that your outstanding credit card balance does not get out of control.

    Now that you have exited bankruptcy, you should obtain your credit reports to check your debts and make sure that you have zero balances. You can get these reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. And do not just check your reports once.  You should check your reports regularly to make sure your good spending and payment records are noted. This is one of the most important steps to take to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

    To file for bankruptcy, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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      How Bankruptcy Gives You a New Financial Life

      For those debtors who have encountered creditor law suits, wage garnishments and foreclosure due to a distressing debt, they sometimes get stunned by the transformative power of bankruptcy. In case you didn’t know, a debtor is always required to record all of his/her debts including his/her income, secured/ unsecured family/friend loans and even expenses. Through this, it is easier for the debtors to get a clear unbiased look of their financial situation easily. With this process, the debtors will be able to determine the mistakes they have made and get an opportunity to correct those mistakes they did. Apart from realizing the mistakes as they look at their records, the debtors can also take a look at their long-term financial goals. That way, the debtor can try to plan things out on how to achieve those goals.

      The following questions are commonly asked by those debtors who have filed bankruptcy:

      With my current salary, will I be able to afford this kind of lifestyle?

      Should I really need to own a late-model car and can pay the monthly payments and insurance?

      Am I be able to afford living in an expensive subdivision (including the accompanying high taxes) as one of my long-term financial goals, health and well-being?

      All of these questions will come into a debtor’s mind once he/she is filed for bankruptcy so consider on thinking about this before you get yourself involved in debts.

      There can also be some benefits once you are able to overcome bankruptcy such as a lot of debtors actually improve their financial literacy radically and not to mention their financial lives as well. Well, there is always something to learn from our experiences, right? So this kind of situation can also help you learn and improve something.

      Don’t get too down and lose hope while you encounter such problems in your life, remember to keep striving and never lose the determination to solve your problems because in the end, there is something good waiting for you.

      To learn more about bankruptcy and what it can do for you, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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        How to Pay for a Bankruptcy Lawyer when in Debt

        One of the biggest reasons people do not file for bankruptcy is the notion that they can’t afford a bankruptcy attorney.  Due to this belief, numerous debtors try to file bankruptcy by themselves (going Pro Se).  As a result of this, they may lose some assets or have their bankruptcy cases dismissed by the bankruptcy court because they looked fraudulent.

        Employing a bankruptcy attorney could be budget friendly and many attorneys provide some type of payment plan for those debtors who are on a really tight budget.  In addition, sometimes bankruptcy attorney rates could be paid out via a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.  Furthermore, if you’re thinking about bankruptcy and come across a skilled bankruptcy attorney, he/she can offer you some helpful suggestions on how you can rebuild your finances as a way to pay for your bankruptcy.

        So don’t ever think that you could not afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney at all or that hiring one could just give you more problems because it will cost you more money.

        Keep in mind, hiring a bankruptcy attorney is without a doubt an investment.  The lawyer’s fee that you pay is your investment and in return for paying this fee, you obtain peace of mind.  When you, the debtor work together with an established attorney to file bankruptcy, you can rest assured that the bankruptcy lawyer will certainly comprehend the ins/outs of the law and can file the suitable documents within the appropriate time.

        Moreover, the bankruptcy attorney could deal with any creditor or trustee challenges that may crop up throughout the bankruptcy case, thus freeing you to focus on repairing your finances while not having to study the specifics of bankruptcy law.

        Having a bankruptcy attorney is very useful for you, so don’t think that it will be just a waste of huge money. You just need to find a great attorney with an affordable rate.

        If you are thinking of filing a bankruptcy petition, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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          About Debt and Property in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

          Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor has to repay all or a portion of his/her debt in a span of 3 to 5 years.  When it comes to dealing with your debts and property , there are certain actions that are restricted.  Here are the broad guidelines pertaining to debt and property under Chapter 13.

          1.  The debtor is not permitted to sell or “give away” any property without prior approval of the bankruptcy court. For example, if you own an old piano and wish to give it to a relative of yours, you still need to ask for the permission of the bankruptcy court in order to give your piano away. Another popular situation could be if you the Chapter 13 debtor plan to sell your car.  In order to sell a car while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must have the bankruptcy court’s approval before doing so.

          2.  When it comes to debt, you cannot accrue more debt without getting bankruptcy court approval.  A debtor in Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not permitted to lend more money unless he/she gets the authorization of the bankruptcy court.  For instance, if a debtor wishes to give away an old car and purchase a new one, the bankruptcy court would have to grant the debtor permission first.  The rationale is if you can accrue new debt, you should be able to use that money to pay off your existing debt instead.

          Note that these actions should be avoided in order to prevent more issues.  As much as possible, a debtor should not take any unnecessary action without the consent of the bankruptcy court.

          If a debtor mistakenly takes an action without having the authorization of the bankruptcy court, oftentimes the bankruptcy attorney may be able to assist the debtor get the court approval despite the fact that he made a mistake in the first place.

          Awareness is very important to avoid more conflicts.  There are other restrictions in Chapter 13 bankruptcy so be cautious with your actions to prevent more issues.  That way you won’t have to make mistakes and get yourself into trouble for not knowing the consequences of your actions.

          If you wish to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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            Bankruptcy Protects Students’ Loan Money

            If you are a student who is struggling with your student loan repayment, read on. Many students like you go through needless stress in trying to keep up with your financial obligations. At the same time, you are receiving disbursements from your loans to cover your tuition fees, purchase of books and payment of living expenses. While struggling to keep up with payments, you may be reluctant to file for bankruptcy because you think it would result in all your money being taken away to repay your loans.

            If that describes you, do not worry because I have good news. All your student loan money is protected from garnishment by creditors and cannot be used by a bankruptcy trustee to repay debt. Therefore, even if you file for bankruptcy with thousands of dollars in student loan money is in your bank account, the bankruptcy trustee will not seize that money because it is exempt under the bankruptcy law. Furthermore, there is no exemption limit for student loan money, so it does not matter how much student loan money is in the debtor bank account.

            So if you are a student who finds it difficult to meet your financial obligations and are drowning in debt, consider filing a bankruptcy petition. Call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation on how bankruptcy can help you eliminate your debt and give you a fresh start.

             

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              How Bankruptcy helps You Eliminate Medical Debt

              With the rising cost of healthcare these days, it is no wonder that medical bills have become a major reason for financial problems to many people. Not everyone possesses health or medical insurance coverage and even those who do may still find their insurance inadequate to pay their medical bills in full. Furthermore, with so many Americans losing their jobs or taking pay cuts due to the economic downturn, it has become difficult to maintain a health insurance policy.

              Under such circumstances, debt collectors acting for hospitals and other medical facilities have become more aggressive in their debt collection. For example, you may find debt collectors knocking at your door the moment you fall behind in your payment because the hospital sends your case to their debt collectors earlier than you expect. You may also find yourself being slapped with a lawsuit to recover the medical debt you owe.

              Most people facing high medical bills also have maxed out their credit cards and have other unsecured debts. All these make debt collectors’ visits ever more likely. When faced with these daunting situations, you may wish to consider filing a bankruptcy petition especially if your present level of income makes it impossible to pay off your debts. Trying to pay only the minimum on your credit card or negotiating a deal with your creditors may be only postponing the inevitable. Eventually you may still have to file for bankruptcy protection.

              Bankruptcy protection is your legal right. Once you file a successful bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay is imposed on your creditors. No one is allowed to pursue any collection effort on you anymore. The bankruptcy also prevents further wage garnishment, stops legal action being taken against you and prevents your property from being seized.

              If you are facing mounting debt from medical bills or other payments you owe, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free discussion on how bankruptcy can help you eliminate your debts.

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                How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may help You Keep Secured Property

                It is very common to put up some property as collateral for a loan. Thus if you are unable to repay your loan, the creditor has a right to take possession of your property (like a car) or foreclose on it (like a house). When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often you are told you have 2 choices, either you pay up your loan or liquidate your property to pay off your debt. However, although this is often the case it is not always true that you have only these 2 options.

                When you offer a property as collateral, the creditor places a lien against the property. This means the creditor imposes his right to take possession of your property or liquidate it in the event of a default on the loan on your part. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may give a lien another chance to survive if you promise to pay or return the property. Here are the other options you can consider in relation to a secured property in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

                1. Reaffirm your debt so that you can keep your secured property. Reaffirming basically means you acknowledge your obligation towards your loan with the agreement of your creditor and pay up the outstanding debt you owe.

                2. Redeem your secured property at fair market value (may not include mortgages).

                3. Give up your property and “walk away” if you are not able to pay up the outstanding debt on your loan.

                4. A ‘ride through’ may be available under certain circumstances where your creditor is unable to enforce the lien against the property. For example, this may be the case if your creditor has committed a breach of contract. Then you may be able to discharge the debt.

                If you have secured property against a loan that you do not wish to surrender, call us at (813) 200 4133 to discuss if Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you retain your property.

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                  What “Good Faith” Declaration in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Means

                  Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay off your debts through a payment plan. When you make a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to declare your assets, debts, creditors, income and expenses to your bankruptcy trustee. Based on this information, your bankruptcy trustee will work out what payments can be made to pay off your outstanding debts. This refers to all types of debts – priority ones (like child support), unsecured ones (like credit card debts) and secured ones.

                  Once your bankruptcy trustee sets the amount you are to pay each month and draws up your repayment schedule, then you are to make a declaration of “good faith”. This means you are proposing that you will make payments according to the payment schedule in “good faith” for the duration of the bankruptcy.

                  From then on, it is up to the bankruptcy court to approve your payment plan. If the court is satisfied that you will be faithful to paying off your debts according to your payment plan, then the judge will approve your bankruptcy petition. Although there are differing views on what the court considers “good faith”, the intention remains the same. The judge must be convinced that you will honor your commitment towards the payment plan. So it means you have to be honest in revealing all your asset and finances. Sometimes, the court may want to verify your declarations before approving your plan to be certain you are acting in “good faith”.

                  Your bankruptcy trustee also plays a vital role in your bankruptcy petition being approved. If he or she discovers some discrepancy in your list of assets, debts and finances, he or she will reject your plan. Discrepancies may be in the form of a salary raise that you did not report or an inaccurate listing of your assets. This is why you must review your list of assets, debts and finances with your trustee before submitting it to the bankruptcy court for approval.

                  If you are considering filing for bankruptcy to eliminate your debts, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

                   

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                    What a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer Looks Like

                    If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, there are two ways to do so. The first is to go through the entire process by yourself without a lawyer’s assistance (doing it ‘Pro Se’ in legal jargon) and the second is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to advise you through the process. For obvious reasons, most people choose the second option which is what I would advise you to do also. The bankruptcy code is a complex piece of legislation that those who have not been trained would be hard pressed to interpret. So going Pro Se might cost you more money than hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. But if you wish to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, you should make your choice wisely. Here are some tips for hiring a good bankruptcy lawyer.

                    Make sure he or she is experienced in bankruptcy law

                    The whole purpose of making a bankruptcy filing is to gain a favorable outcome to your application. The bankruptcy court will decide on your petition based on how you comply to the bankruptcy code and court procedures. Only a bankruptcy lawyer with sufficient experience in these matters will be able to help you navigate through the process and gain you the best chance for your petition to be successful.

                    Make sure he or she is familiar with the bankruptcy code

                    The bankruptcy code differs to some extent from state to state and at federal level. In addition, there are local and district bankruptcy regulations as well as area trustees that a bankruptcy lawyer needs to be familiar with in order to best help you in your bankruptcy procedures.

                    Compare fees between bankruptcy lawyers

                    The fees lawyers charge may vary significantly so it is wise to compare between one and another. In some states, the law governs how much bankruptcy lawyers can charge but there are other charges that are discretionary. Another factor that determines your cost is the type of bankruptcy you apply for (for individuals, it is either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy). So you should ask for a quote from the lawyer and a breakdown of the cost upfront. This way, you will not be caught by surprise when the invoice arrives. Most lawyers actually bill you when your bankruptcy case is completed.

                    Make sure he or she communicates well with you

                    Communication is the key to your bankruptcy process success. So if your lawyer does not return phone calls or reply emails promptly, this should raise a red flag to you. Choose a bankruptcy lawyer that is responsible to communicate with you well.

                    If you wish to engage a bankruptcy lawyer to help you overcome your financial problems through bankruptcy, call us at (813) 200 4133 for a free consultation.

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