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Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

A comparison of Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a serious matter and should never be taken lightly. If a person in the Tampa area is considering filing for bankruptcy or has already decided to file for bankruptcy, then perhaps the first decision he or she will have to make is which kind of bankruptcy to file: either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

These two types of bankruptcies have some similarities, but they are also different in many other regards. According to USCourts.gov, the purpose of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to allow people the ability to start over fresh, without the weight of creditors and debt holding them down. When people file for Chapter 7 they turn over their possessions to a trustee, who then converts those assets into cash and pays back the creditors with that money.

Post Grads Still Deal with the Troubles of Student Loans

Student loans seem like a good investment; you take out a loan, and then you can afford to graduate with a degree. Then, after graduation you will get your dream job and be able to pay off your debt within a few years. However, for thousands of college graduates that is not realistic.

Some people who have graduated over 20 years ago are still dealing with the troubles that come with student loans; for recent graduates it is worse. In a recent study, people who graduated in the past four years with more than $50,000 of debt are significantly less likely to feel their lives serve purpose; they don't have supportive relationships, lack financial security, a sense of community and physical well-being, than those who graduate without debt.

Don't let debt ruin your retirement

When it comes to debt, none of it is good. Whether its credit card debt, medical debt, student loan debt or mortgage debt, they all have the ability to leave you in financial despair now and for many years to come. Being in debt is bad for everyone in the Tampa area, as well as for anyone else in the country. Now it appears that debt is starting to affect people who would otherwise retire successfully.

According to reports from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 30 percent of homeowners age 65 or older had mortgage debt in 2011. Compare that to the year 2001, when only 22 percent of homeowners in that age bracket had mortgage debt. Meanwhile, the news was even worse for those 75 and older. Their rate jumped from just 8.4 percent to 21.2 percent.

Raise Tuition to College, Raise Revenue

In a recent article posted in Forbes Magazine this week, they discuss the source of tuition price in college across America, and the formula created to essentially raise revenue for colleges, even if that means cutting aid to students who truly need it.

The article shows the method colleges use in deciding what their endowments should fund. First they say that the tuition price people see when applying to college should be high. Second, colleges put a good amount of their money into perks for students and campus amenities, which in turn boost their rankings among the Nation's schools. Finally, the school's financial aid is used not solely to benefit those who actually need it to afford school, but for wealthier kids, to get them to attend a school if a discount is given to them, and then they will be able to afford the rest of the full price tuition.

Keeping your home after bankruptcy depends on several factors

When a person in Tampa files for bankruptcy the first question he or she will often have is: “Can I keep my home when I file for bankruptcy?” There are a lot of factors that play a role in determining the answer to this question, including which type of bankruptcy one files and how much equity one already has in his or her home.

When people file for bankruptcy they first have to decide if they want to choose Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. One of the biggest differences involves the varying exemptions that are available with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, which according to Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute, is the property an individual can keep under Florida law. The difference between the two, according to Findlaw, is that the exemptions for Chapter 7 are stricter and offer less flexibility than Chapter 13 exemptions. That means keeping one’s home is usually easier with Chapter 13 than it is with Chapter 7.

Student Loan Debt Relief

A recent article posted earlier this week, spoke about warnings against the student loan debt relief industry. To prevent borrowers from getting hurt by deceitful debt relief companies, the National Consumer Law Center suggests some alternatives to combat debt.

One suggestion is to look for services such as mediation programs. These programs provide borrowers with an unbiased review of complaints and concerns involving debt. However, such programs are not designed to handle complex situations and might not be the best option for borrowers.

Debt Settlement Might Not Be As Helpful As You Think

Debt settlement advertisements are very familiar to us; they promise us to be debt-free with in some odd months and lowering debt by 50% if we use their services. However, the debt settlement industry is not as reliable as their ads make them seem. Borrowers are better off avoiding these companies all together; they tend to turn into an unwanted risk.

Debt settlement involves a client defaulting on most if not all of their debts. Then with the money that they would put toward paying credit card monthly payments gets taken and put into an account to fund their settlement. By doing this, debtors' risk their money on a settlement that might not work; while they wait for that to happen or not happen, their credit card debts grow, leaving them in the end owing more money than when they began.

Valuable tips for avoiding medical debt

There are all kinds of debt that people get into, including credit card debt, mortgage debt and school loan debt. No debt is good and for many people debt can lead to long-term financial problems, including foreclosures and even bankruptcy. There is another kind of debt that often gets overlooked, but it can be just as serious for anyone in the Tampa area, as any other kind debt. That is medical debt.

Medical debt is actually the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. In fact, according to statistics from NerdWallet Health about 60 percent of all bankruptcies are due to medical related debt. Medical debt is not something that only affects the lower class either. According to research, most people with medical debt are well educated, have jobs that are, considered middle class professions and they own homes.

Recover from Credit Card Mistakes of the Past

People who find themselves swarmed by credit card debt, that could possibly be from years ago, sometimes are overwhelmed and do not see a way to bounce back. It might seem impossible to recover, but there are ways to get back to financial stability. Here are tips to help ease some past credit card mistakes:

1. Regret the credit card charges of the past? Stop charging everything on cards, leave them at home, and pay with cash. Cut unnecessary spending and put the money you would have spent toward paying off cards. Track spending, and stick to a budget.

Florida continues to lead the way in number of foreclosures

Anyone who owns a home knows the thrill of being able to have a place to call his or her own. Although no one ever really expects to lose his or her home, unforeseen financial troubles can occur and sometimes people are no longer able to make their mortgage payments. When that happens to someone in the Tampa area, or elsewhere, he or she needs to understand all of the implications.

According to the latest report from RealtyTrac, Florida continues to lead the country in foreclosures. During the first half of 2014, RealtyTrac reports that Florida led the way with one in every 74 homes filing for foreclosure during the first six months of the year. The five metro areas in the state with the top foreclosure rates were Miami, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, the Space Coast and Tampa.

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