BANKRUPTCY LAWYER

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legal matter  with the utmost importance.

IS A “CHARGED OFF” DEBT STILL COLLECTABLE?

IS A “CHARGED OFF” DEBT STILL COLLECTABLE?

If you have a debt that has been “charged off” this means that your original creditor has written your debt off their books. However, this DOES NOT mean that you are not responsible for the payment of the debt. Creditors often sell individual debts to third party collection companies whose business is debt collection.  The collection company will first contact you in an attempt to collect the debt and if unsuccessful will take further actions such as filing a lawsuit and obtaining a judgment. After a judgment is entered, the creditor has the power to garnish wages, seize assets, or assert a lien against your property.

If you are uncertain whether or not an “old debt” is still valid, you should pull a credit report to obtain the date of your last payment to each creditor to determine whether the time has expired for the creditor to collect against the debt.   If you are dealing with a creditor pursuing a debt that has been “charged off” or old debt and want to evaluate whether or not the debt is valid feel free to contact me to discuss your options.

Investment Property and Filing Chapter 13

During the height of the market, many people purchased investment properties that they could no longer afford.  As a consequence, if the mortgage is not paid, the lender will initiate foreclosure proceedings.  There are options available that will allow you to keep both your homestead and your investment property and save money in the process.  For example, if your investment property in underwater, you are delinquent on the mortgage and you owe the lender $150,000 but the appraised/fair market value of the property  $80,000 you can “cram down” the mortgage payment and pay the lender back $80,000 + 5.25% interest over a 5 year period, keep the property and potentially wipe out the $70,000 to the lender.

Married or Separated – How to file for Bankruptcy without your Spouse

Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney Gina Rosato Whether you are married or separated, you can still file for bankruptcy on your own. There is no requirement that your spouse file for bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you are married and maintaining the same household, then the trustee will consider your joint income to determine if you are over the median income qualifications for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or to determine what you are financially able to repay in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you are separated and maintaining separate households, you expenses should also be listed separately.

Contact Gina Rosato Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your Bankruptcy Options

Come speak with me regarding whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy maybe right for you and your spouse.

Can I re-assign Joint Debts to my Ex-Spouse in a Divorce?

Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney Gina RosatoYour divorce decree is a contract between you and your ex-spouse. This is completely separate from any contractual obligations you have with your mortgage lender or your credit card company.

Therefore, if you have a joint debt, even though your divorce decree says your ex-spouse will assume all the debt, your creditors can still come after you for the debt.  For example, suppose you and your ex-spouse had a joint credit card with Bank of America for $20,000.  During your divorce, your spouse assumes payment of the $20,000 debt.  Your ex-spouse does not make a payment on this debt or files for bankruptcy.  Bank of America can come after you for the $20,000 debt.   If this happens you would need to pay it or file for bankruptcy.  If you end up having to pay a anything to Bank of America you would have a cause of action against your ex-spouse once you have re-paid the creditor.  If you and your spouse have  significant amount of joint debt, it maybe beneficial to consider bankruptcy prior to filing for divorce to resolve these issues that may cost you more down the road in payments to creditors and additional attorney fees.

Contact Gina Rosato Law Firm to discuss your Bankruptcy Options

Come speak with me regarding whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy maybe right for you and your spouse.

Bankruptcy or Divorce, which should I do first?

Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney Gina Rosato It is common for a bad financial situation to spiral into marital discord. One spouse may incur a significant amount of debt, fail to work for an extended period of time, or does not consult the other spouse when making purchases on joint accounts.

Divorce and Bankruptcy

If you and your spouse have a significant amount of joint debt it may be best to entertain bankruptcy as an option prior to filing for divorce. Bankruptcy is a much cheaper alternative to racking up a large bill with a family lawyer to argue about who is going to take over which debts when both people may be able to get rid of all the debt.

Furthermore, your spouse cannot assume your debt in a settlement agreement.  For example, if you have a joint judgment against you from Company A for $50,000 and your divorce decree says your spouse should assume all debt from Company A.  Company A can still pursue you for the debt despite what your divorce decree says.  You would then have to sue your spouse to recover what you paid Company A.  Therefore, if both spouses owed money to Company A, that could have been discharged in a bankruptcy, that would obviate the need and expenses to file suit against the other spouse for collection of debt after the divorce is finalized.

Contact Gina Rosato Law Firm to discuss your Bankruptcy Options

Come speak with me regarding whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy maybe right for you and your spouse.

How Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affects Car Repossession

How Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affects Car RepossessionFiling for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can wipe out your obligation to pay the loan, but the lender can still retrieve the vehicle if you are not current on your payments.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Car Repossession

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates unsecured debts and may free up more of your income to pay for your vehicle.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Car Repossession

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan will assist you in avoiding the repossession of your car and allow you to continue making affordable monthly payments on the loan. You can redeem your car and pay only the fair market value instead the full value of the amount borrowed if you have had your vehicle 910 days prior to filing bankruptcy. This can be very helpful for people with bad credit who are paying exorbitant interest rates on their vehicles.

Car Repossession Example

For example if you have a car loan for $10,000 on a vehicle now only worth $5,000 you can “cram down” the loan amount to $5,000 to make the payments more manageable or instead of paying an 18% interest rate you maybe able to lower it to the current standard interest rate which can potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest.

Contact Gina Rosato Law Firm to discuss your Car Repossession Options

If you car payments are unmanageable or if you have missed payments, contact me today for a consultation at: 813-463-8000.

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