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Chapter 7 may help you get a fresh financial start

Many Floridians are struggling with debt, and are probably at their wits' end as to how to get themselves out of their financial mess. There are a few options for debt relief, such as mortgage modification, debt consolidation, and even short-term loans. Many of these options, particularly adding new loans to your debt, can result in even worse financial challenges. A growing number of people are considering filing for Chapter 7 to give them a fresh financial start.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an attractive option for people with overwhelming debt. However, no form of bankruptcy comes without consequences, so it's important to be informed as to what can happen during and after a bankruptcy. It also helps to know whether you would qualify for Chapter 7, and if the option would be best for your particular situation.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually best for people with few assets, including equity in their homes. People who are interested in this type of bankruptcy need to pass a "means test" to qualify. Non-exempt property must usually be surrendered to pay off creditors before the rest of the debt is discharged. In most cases, people under Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be allowed to keep the tools of their trade, clothing, and household goods.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another option, for individuals who have assets and would be willing to repay their debt within three to five years, as established by the bankruptcy court. During the bankruptcy process, consumers are protected from foreclosure, collections, and repossessions.

However, filing for bankruptcy is seen by many as a last resort, since it will affect your credit for seven to ten years. It's recommended to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to see if this is the right decision for you.

Source: Jackson Sun, "BBB: Learn the ins and outs of bankruptcy filing," Randy Hutchinson, April 18, 2013

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  • "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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