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Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

Interesting Ways to get Student Loans Forgiven

Student loans for anyone are a pain. Thousands of Americans are struggling with student loan debt and sometimes find themselves in over their head. However, even though many are unaware of this, there are several ways to get student loans forgiven.

One way is that if you are a doctor of a nurse you can get a large amount of your student loans dismissed in exchange for your services as a health care professional. For example the Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program helps those you are health care professionals serving in the military repay up to $50,000 in student loans per year of their service.

Taking a look at Chapter 13 bankruptcy

The United States Courts provides excellent information regarding Chapter 13 bankruptcy on their website, such as the perks that come with filing Chapter 13 and an overview of the process. For some people in Tampa and throughout Florida, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best way to reduce debt and finally find a fresh financial start. However, it is very important for anyone who is thinking about filing for Chapter 13 or moving forward with any other debt relief strategy to closely analyze their situation and identify the proper course of action before getting started.

There are many reasons why people turn to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some people may want to reduce interest rates on a loan they took out, while others want to stop foreclosure. Regardless of the reasons why people file for Chapter 13, it is imperative for debtors who have had their bankruptcy plan approved by the court to ensure that they do everything in their ability to make the plan succeed, including making arranged payments.

The New "Student Aid Bill of Rights" Could Improve Debt for Many Borrowers

Last week President Obama proposed the "Student Aid Bill of Rights", which offers improvement to borrowers dealing with student loans. This loan improvement hopes to make things simpler and easier for when it comes to paying back student loans. 

What are some examples of creditor harassment?

Whether someone uses their credit cards to cover living expenses after losing their source of income or is dealing with unanticipated financial challenges after an accident, there are many reasons why Americans take on debt. If you are struggling with credit card debt, you probably know how stressful it often is to be in this position. Unfortunately, in Tampa and throughout Florida, people who are going through this may face a wide variety of problems, such as high interest rates and creditor harassment. Creditor harassment takes many forms and it is important for you to take action if you believe debt collectors are harassing or abusing you.

The Federal Trade Commission published an informational piece on how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers who are struggling with credit card debt from harassment. According to the FTC, there are many examples of unacceptable harassment from debt collectors, including the publication of lists which show the names of those who are not paying their debts, constantly harassing people on the phone, using vulgar language and threatening to harm someone. Other examples of forbidden debt collection practices include making false statements, threatening arrest or unlawful wage garnishment and using fake company names. If you believe that you have dealt with any of these prohibited practices firsthand, it is important for you to understand all of your options, address the violations as soon as possible and put an end to the harassment.

Avoid Retirement 401(k) and Tax Mistakes

With tax season in full swing we as tax payers, and especially those who are thinking about retirement, should be aware of some mistakes we might make when filing tax advantage accounts such as 401(K) s and others. Here are some mistakes people tend to make and tips to avoid these common mistakes.

Not taking your employer's match on your 401(k) is a huge mistake. They will match the amount you contribute each month, and by not taking the match you are basically walking away from free money! If the option is present, take it! Make sure that you are putting the amount in your retirement account that your employer will match.

Americans took on less credit card debt in January

There are many reasons why people take on credit card debt and find themselves unable to repay what they have borrowed. For example, someone may experience unexpected financial challenges after being laid off from work or they could have turned to credit cards to deal with medical expenses. Regardless of the reasons why people rack up credit card debt, it is important for borrowers in Tampa and throughout Florida to deal with their credit cards as soon as possible.

In January, revolving credit (which includes credit card debt) fell by more than 1.5 percent in the United States, following an 8.41 percent increase in December. The decrease in credit card debt shows that American consumers are still being careful when it comes to spending, regardless of recent job growth.

Tax Deductions that Might be Over Looked this Tax Season

For tax payers all over the nation, tax season is a stressful time; especially when tax laws change every year. There are many deductions that are available through filing taxes that many people seem to miss due to the confusion in laws. Here are some that one might want to give more attention to this 2014 tax season:

Mortgage Interest. With the housing market rising a lot of homeowners are refinancing or taking out home equity loans to pay for their homes. Any points that a borrower pays on the loan directly, including mortgage interest, are deductible. However, if the loan is solely for home improvements then the points can be deducted all at one time.

Social Security Tax. You might be paying too much in Social Security Tax this past year. According to an article by the Tampa Bay Times, the maximum that can be withheld for a whole year is just over $7,000. Any extra money paid in this tax can be claimed as credit.

Assisting people who are facing foreclosure

Every year, far too many people throughout the country lose their home to foreclosure. Sadly, this can make life incredibly difficult and at the law firm of Timothy J. Sierra, we know hard this can be. As a result, if you are worried about losing your home to foreclosure, it is crucial to do everything you can to prevent foreclosure, closely analyze your situation, determine which steps to take and act as soon as possible. In Tampa, Florida, and across the nation, people who are in this position should thoroughly review the details of their financial situation and make sure they understand all of their options.

If you are experiencing financial challenges due to unemployment, lost income, unexpected medical problems or any other hardship, you may feel incredibly stressed out and have no idea of how to tackle the problem. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you may be able to stop foreclosure. For some people, bankruptcy is an ideal option that can help them keep their family home. However, before filing for bankruptcy it is smart to compare different strategies (such as the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) and determine which method will work out best. While the threat of foreclosure can cause some people to feel overwhelmed, once the issue is addressed they may feel like they have been given a fresh start. When it comes to preventing foreclosure, there are many considerations (such as time limits on loan modification applications) that are important to keep in mind.

Debt or Savings? Where Should We Put Our Money Toward?

When it comes to saving and paying off debt, consumers today seem to find themselves asking where they should put their money toward. Debt, or the future? The answer is possibly both, at the same time. It is important to realize that there needs to be a balance when it comes to paying off debt and saving. When finding that balance we need to look at our life situation, and where we have our financial goals set.

Florida start-up moves forward with Chapter 7

When a company is struggling with debt, they may have a number of debt relief options to explore. However, it is very important for firms that are dealing with this to closely analyze their situation and determine which strategy makes the most sense. In Tampa, Florida, and around the country, successfully addressing financial challenges can provide a fresh financial start and new outlook on life. Before filing for Chapter 7, it is important for people to ensure that they take the proper approach.

A start-up company based in Fort Lauderdale recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after accumulating $1.4 million worth of debt. However, the start-up showed promise in the years following its formation (the software company reportedly saw its revenue double each year after launching in 2011).

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Timothy J. Sierra, Attorney at Law
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Tampa, FL 33606

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