Carolyn Secor, P.A.
FREE CONSULTATION. PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE.
A bankruptcy is a legal proceeding which allows you to get out of debt
and get a fresh start. The bankruptcy process is governed by an act of
Congress known as the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
Procedure, and local rules of bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process also
utilizes state laws to determine exemptions which vary from state to
state and rights of parties within the proceeding.
Bankruptcy does not discharge most mortgages or liens. If the Debtor
decides to keep his/her house or automobile, then payments must continue
to be made. If the Debtor is facing a foreclosure or has had an
automobile repossessed, then the Debtor may use a Chapter 13 to make
payments over time to cure the past due payments and bring the loan
Are there different forms of bankruptcy relief?
There are two types of bankruptcy relief that are available to you under
the federal bankruptcy code. What kind of bankruptcy is right for you
depends on your income and individual situation.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may eliminate most kinds of unsecured debt.
Some examples of unsecured debts are credit cards; medical bills; most
personal loans; judgments resulting from car accidents; and deficiencies
on repossessed vehicles.
Technically, the debtor's assets are to be taken and sold so that the
proceeds can be distributed to the debtor's creditors. However, you
typically can keep all of your property. This is because of many
important exemptions that protect consumers. For further explanation of
these exemptions, please see below. Also, contact us today for a free
consultation and we will explain how these exemptions will affect your
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an interest-free debt repayment plan
through which you consolidate your debts and make a payment on your debt
over a 3 to 5 year period. While in a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan,
the creditors cannot collect from you, and the creditors are required by
a Federal Court order to adhere to the terms of the plan. One very
important thing to remember about Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you must
be working or have a consistent source of income for your repayment plan
to be approved by the court. Not only must you be able to pay for your
monthly living expenses, but you must also be able to make a payment to
the court to consolidate your debts.
Debts that are generally consolidated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are
mortgage arrears, balances on vehicle loans, student loans, credit card
debts and other unsecured debts. All outstanding debts must be included
in the Chapter 13 consolidation.
The individual(s) or business filing for bankruptcy is referred to as
the "Debtor." Once the Debtor files a "petition," the bankruptcy court
clerk mails out notices to all creditors advising of the "meeting of
creditors," which the Debtor is required to attend.
The meeting of creditors is conducted by an individual known as the
"Trustee," who is assigned to oversee and review the petition, ask
questions of the Debtor, and conduct a due diligence investigation of
the cases assigned.
At this meeting, the Trustee will ask questions of you under oath, to
which you are required to respond. If the Trustee finds that you have no
assets, then you should receive a discharge 60 days after the meeting of
creditors, if no creditors object during that period of time.
The above is designed to give you a brief summary of information and
detail involved in filing for bankruptcy relief. Our job is to give you
the best representation possible, while helping discharge as much debt
and keep as many assets as possible under the law. Please contact us at
your earliest convenience for a free personal consultation to find out
the best remedy for your situation, and to discuss your available
I heard the laws changed a few years ago and that bankruptcy is no
longer possible for most people. Is this true?
The federal government passed new bankruptcy reform legislation in
October 2005. However, don't be discouraged! Most studies indicate that
the new law affects less than 15% of individuals who could have filed
previously. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debts and considering
filing bankruptcy, it is highly probable that you fall into the category
of the 85 percent of people who are still eligible to file.
Will I be able to rebuild my credit?
Bankruptcy laws are in place for a purpose. The laws exist to help
people like you get debt relief and to begin a fresh start!
Unfortunately, People commonly misconceive the effect filing for
bankruptcy can have on their lives and believe they will never be able
to reestablish their credit, never get a credit card again, or never buy
a house. This is not the case. You can reestablish your credit after
bankruptcy! Typically, you will start to receive offers for credit cards
within 1 or 2 years after your filing.
Saving your house and your car
Typically, Florida is regarded as one of the best states in which to
file bankruptcy because it has the most encompassing list of exempt
property in the country. This list includes your home and your car.
In order to keep your house and car, you must keep making the payments
on your mortgage and auto loan. Florida's homestead exemption law allows
you to keep your house, regardless of its value. These exemptions are
limited to $125,000 in cases in which you have owned your home for fewer
than forty months.
Other important exemptions
There are unlimited exemptions on 401Ks and pension plans, Social
Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income, prepaid tuition for
your children's education, and workers' compensation benefits. It is
important to be aware, however, that bankruptcy does not discharge child
support, student loans, drunk driving debts, and certain federal taxes.
Taxes and Student Loans
Most taxes are non-dischargeable, however, there are exceptions. Some
federal taxes may be excepted from discharge. Income taxes under three
years old are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Student loans generally are never dischargeable in a Chapter 7
bankruptcy but there are exceptions. We can explain the process to you
and help you understand the choices that are available to you to manage
Areas of Law Practiced
- Bankruptcy Chapter 7, known as liquidation
- Bankruptcy Chapter 13, known as reorganization
- Debt Settlement
- Foreclosure Assistance/Defense
About Carolyn Secor, P.A.
Ms. Secor attended the University of South Florida and Stetson University
College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar. After admission to
the bar, Ms. Secor has practiced law specifically in the areas of
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Landlord/Tenant law. She has also completed
her M.B.A. from Stetson.
It is our commitment to provide aggressive advocacy on behalf of each
client to stop creditor harassment and to help individuals and families
get a fresh start. We have devoted our professional careers to helping
our clients with their problems and take extreme pride in the results we
achieve for them through Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy and foreclosure
defense. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debts, or if you
are facing foreclosure on your home, we can help. Trust our
experience and our dedication to providing effective representation.
Attorney Secor will personally handle your bankruptcy case. Contact our firm today to discuss your need for debt relief in a FREE
Thanks for visiting Carolyn Secor, P.A.
on Go Local Tampa Bay!