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July 2013 Archives

Co-signing a loan can put you at risk for creditor harassment

Of course you want the best for your loved ones, including their financial security. If you have the chance to help a close relative improve his or her credit, it’s natural to want to do everything you can to help. However, if you have a child or close friend asking you to co-sign a loan, you’ll want to proceed with extreme caution. Co-signing a loan is a risky move that can ruin your own good credit, put you into credit card debt or other forms of debt that aren’t your own, and make you liable for other financial penalties.

Out-of-pocket medical expenses higher than ever

These days, everyone knows the cost of medical care is through the roof. Last year, about 32 million Americans spent at least 10 percent of their income on medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. Deductibles and co-payments are getting higher all the time, having doubled within the past ten years. Being responsible for more out-of-pocket expenses is hard for every Florida resident, but faced with smaller incomes and increasing medical needs, it’s impacting retired people the most.

Mortgage and credit card debt reducing for many Floridians

Good job, Floridians! CreditKarma.com and other consumer agencies have reported a decrease in harmful credit card spending habits in our state, while in other areas of the country, credit card spending is on the rise. In Florida, millions of consumers continue to chip away at their credit card debt, reduce their monthly payments, and ultimately pave the way toward a more solid financial footing.

Student loans hurt economy

38 million Americans face a staggering $1 trillion in student loans. Instead of investing in their future by purchasing a home, the graduates face the daunting task of repaying their student loans. The housing market was fueled at one time by these first time buyers, but no longer. First time buyers generally accounted for 40 percent of home purchased on the market. In May 2013, that number has shrunk to 28 percent. Americans paying off student loans are, depending on income, 25 to 36 percent less likely town a home than those who are free of student debt.

Student loan interest rates- Stafford loans

The interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans went from 3.4% 6.8 % on Monday July 1, 2013. Congress' Joint Economic Committee estimated that the cost passed on would be about $2,600.00. Students borrow money for only one school year at a time. Subsidized Stafford loan taken before Monday are not affected by the rate hike nor are federal PLUS, Perkins, or unsubsidized Stafford loans slated for the coming year.

Many Tampa homes still abandoned while prices increase

Housing prices are quickly increasing in Florida. Especially in Tampa, investors, developers, and homeowners are picking up homes almost as soon as they arrive on the market, even with rapidly rising prices that some even say are rising too quickly. This is positive news for our state’s economy and housing health. However, there are still many homes going through foreclosure that are just sitting empty and dragging down neighborhood values.

The Federal Student Loan Lifecycle

When the funds are disbursed, no payment is due while enrolled in school. There is a grace period after separation from school- 6 months for Stafford loans and graduate Plus loans; 9 months for Perkins loans. You do not have to graduate from school for the grace period to run. If you stay out of school for 6 months or longer though you intend to re-enroll thereafter, yours student loan will become due. Once the grace period runs, you need to pick a payment plan and try to stay current. If you do not pick a payment plan, one will be picked for you and that is the 10 year payment plan. Payments not made from day 1 to day 270 are considered delinquent. If you do not make payments for 270 days for loan is subject to being in default. For Perkins loans, default exists on day one. If defaulted, a loan can be cured and after curing, a payment plan will need to be picked.

  • "When I first came to the decision to file for bankruptcy, I had no idea where to start. I began researching attorneys on the internet and came across the information for Tim Sierra. Since he specialized in bankruptcy and had a lot of experience......"
  • The process of going through bankruptcy could be very overwhelming but Tim made me feel at ease and I felt that my needs were being taken care of. I truly feel that he had my best interests in mind and the lines of communication were always open....
  • "I had to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I didn't know anyone who could refer someone so I took a chance and just looked on the Internet. I don't remember exactly why I chose Mr. Sierra, but I am glad I did..."
  • He was honest, straightforward, and hard-working. In my case I ended up with some extenuating circumstances and he handled the matter professionally even though I'm sure the work probably exceeded what he originally felt it would be....
  • I don't ever write reviews, and I had no prior relationship with Mr. Sierra. This review is simply being written as a service to others that Mr. Sierra is an excellent attorney and should be considered for your needs if you need one....
  • "I'm very happy to have been referred to Tim for my Chapter 7 filing. He was knowledgeable in his field and very responsive in replying to any questions or concerns I had. Tim was also very accommodating with meeting times..."
  • " I recently was in need of Mr. Sierra's services and I found him to be very understanding and helpful in my particular circumstance. He met with me and explained everything in full detail and also answered every question that I had....."
  • " I recommend Timothy Sierra a loyal and dependable lawyer. When you talk to him you feel that you are with a friend or a member of your family. Timothy is able to lead you in every step of the process. Good job Timothy."
  • " Bankruptcy is a private and personally devastating life event. Timothy Sierra and his assistant, Nancy, made the process as painless as possible. They kept in close contact via phone and email so I always knew what was happening in my case...."
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