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Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How to handle garnishment of wages

Not making payments on time and failing to pay debts off can mean more headaches for American debtors. Millions of American debtors get their pay garnished, due to lack of payments on debts. However, garnishment can be avoided by taking action before it is too late.

Negotiate a payment plan with your creditor or the debt collecting firm. Tell them your financial situation and state a realistic amount you are able to pay each month. This will work in some situations, but creditors might decide otherwise, and still want to take part of your monthly wages; they usually have to get this approved in court, so you will have to right to contest it.

How often can you file for bankruptcy?

There are many different financial situations in life that can lead a person to consider filing for bankruptcy in the Tampa area. However, bankruptcy is a serious matter and it should never be entered into lightly. That being said, sometimes people have no other choice than to file for bankruptcy. Some people even have to file for bankruptcy more than once, but are there limits on how often you can file?

There are several rules and limitations to keep in mind when filing for bankruptcy. Those regulations will also differ depending on which kind of bankruptcy you file. According to BankRate.com, you cannot file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a bankruptcy discharge more than once within an eight-year period. However, you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if it has been at least four years since your Chapter 7 filing.

Should Millennials Avoid Credit Cards?

Credit card debt is a big issue for many Americans today, however, you cannot have credit card debt without having a credit card in the first place. Today 60 percent of Americans from the ages of 18 to 29 do not own a credit card. Millennials are opting out of having credit cards to avoid getting themselves into debt.

Credit card debt jumps by $28 billion in second quarter

Just about everyone in America, including most in the Tampa area, have credit card debt. Credit cards can be a convenient way to purchase things but too many times people are unable to control their spending and they wind up in debt. Unfortunately, despite the negative effects of having debt, most people still get into this financial trap; and it appears that the problem might be getting worse.

According to CardHub.com, during the second quarter of this year, Americans added more than $28 billion to their credit card debt. That is the highest amount in the last six years. What’s more, that number is 200 percent more than in the second quarter of 2009, when the country was coming out of the “Great Recession.” 

Student Loan Debt is Hindering the Housing Market

We all have heard the news recently that student loan debt is a rising problem in America. Now to add to all the problems it causes, student loans are causing a drastic decline in Americans 20- 39 years of age from purchasing homes. Today national student loan debt is now at $1.1. Trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Risks Behind Credit Card Companies' Interest Rate Offers

Credit card debt seems scary and can lead us to want to jump at the first card offer of "zero interest for six months". We think that this is a great offer so we can transfer a higher interest card balance to the new card, and then have more time to pay off the balance. Credit card companies that offer things such as low interest rate for a promotional time usually carry added risk. Credit card users need to be aware of these risks, or they can get into a lot of debt trouble.

The risks involved with these card companies' offers can be financially crippling to card holders. Especially those who have struggled with paying off debt in the past, for some of these card if a borrower does not pay the balance off in full by the end of the promotional offer they can be hit with high interest rate charges. Other risks are, if you transfer a balance to a new card or make large purchase on that card for the zero interest rates, any additional purchases made on the card will be charge with the full interest rate the card possesses. Cards that have the low interest rate offers for a certain period usually have unexpected interest attached to them.

Dealing with unlawful debt collection

There are many people across the country, including in the Tampa area that have some kind of debt. At Timothy J. Sierra, Attorney at Law, we work with people who are in debt every day so we understand the many difficulties that you can face when you are in this kind of situation.

One of the most difficult things about being in debt is dealing with debt collectors. Debt collectors can be relentless in their efforts to collect on the money you owe your creditors. Although debt collectors do have a right to do their job, there are certain things that can cross the line. In fact, sometimes, debt collectors utilize unlawful practices in their efforts to track you down and get you to pay.

Is Taking Out a Private Student Loan the Right Decision for Graduate School?

Today many private student loan lenders have displayed attractive options for graduate students to take out loans with them. They make their loans appealing by advertising low fixed interest rates, which look significantly lower than Federal student loan rates. Along with fixed rates private lenders offer they also offer variable rates, which are subject to change at any time thus they are a riskier option.

If only looking at the lower interest rates private loans offer compared to government loans, it seems more appealing to borrowers, there are still other factors to consider when deciding which loan is right for your situation.

How to choose competent credit counseling

There are many people in the Tampa area who face credit, as well as other types of financial problems. When someone is in deep financial trouble he or she should probably look for help to get out of that situation, there are many different options for someone who has credit problems. Some options are better than others depending on a person’s specific situation. One method of relief is to find a credit counselor.

However, when a person decides to seek help from a credit counselor there are some important factors to consider before choosing whom to use. According to the Federal Trade Commission, most trustworthy and reliable credit counselors offer their debt relief help as a non-profit service. That does not always mean that their services are free, which means people need to research any possible credit counselor thoroughly.

Student Loans Aren't Just an Issue for College Students

When it comes to student loans we usually associate recent graduates or sometimes parents who helped their children pay for school, but retirees would not be the first to come to mind of those who carry student loan debt.

Americans the age of 60 and older are part of the borrowers who have debt from student loans. 2 million borrowers 60 and older were reported from the Federal Reserve Bank, in 2005, to hold about $700,000 in student loan debt. Their debts are usually from going back to school, helping their children pay for school, or in some cases not being aware that there loans were still outstanding. From the latter, interest builds up and payments for going into default from not making loan payments, which could severely increase the amount you owe.

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Timothy J. Sierra, Attorney at Law
118 South Rome Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606

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