The stagnant economy and depressed housing market has created a huge financial burden for millions of Americans. Many Americans are unemployed and having a difficult time keeping up with their debt obligations. Furthermore, declining home values are exacerbating the financial strain put on families. Millions of homeowners now owe more on their mortgage than the property’s current market value. These problems are leading to a record number of bankruptcy filings. Filing for bankruptcy will result in some serious consequences; however, it may also provide relief for homeowners overwhelmed with debt. If you are struggling to fulfill your monthly debt obligations you should speak with a Tampa Bankruptcy lawyer about the possibility of seeking bankruptcy protection. The Tampa bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on all the possible consequences and benefits of filing for bankruptcy.
Borrower’s often overlook the impact a bankruptcy filing will have on their credit. A Tampa bankruptcy attorney should always help to minimize the impact a bankruptcy petition will have on a petitioner’s credit report. All major credit reporting agencies will report a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy on a borrower’s credit report for at least 7 years. Credit reporting agencies do not disclose exactly how many points a bankruptcy filing will lower a person’s credit score. However, I have seen bankruptcy filings decrease a credit score as much as 150 points. One way to minimize this hazard is to stay in constant contact with the credit reporting agencies and ensure they have up to date and accurate information. The sooner the credit agencies are notified that the bankruptcy has been discharged, the sooner the borrower can start rebuilding their credit. A Tampa bankruptcy attorney can communicate directly with the credit agencies on his client’s behalf; however, the client should not be complacent and should also actively monitor their credit report.
On the other hand, one big advantage of seeking bankruptcy protection is that it may prevent a foreclosure of your home. Under bankruptcy law, when the court receives a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition the court issues an automatic stay on all collections. The automatic stay prevents the mortgage lender and all other creditors from taking any collection action until the stay is lifted. The automatic stay should even postpone or prevent a foreclosure sale that is already scheduled. The automatic stay typically remains in effect throughout the bankruptcy proceeding, which usually takes about 4 months to conclude. However, under certain situations a creditor may be able to lift the stay and proceed with the foreclosure while the bankruptcy proceeding is still ongoing. A Tampa bankruptcy lawyer should be well aware of the possible situations when a stay may be lifted and make his client aware of the risk.
Bankruptcy law can be very complex and frightening to most Americans. If you are contemplating seeking bankruptcy protection you should always seek the advice of a Tampa Bankruptcy attorney.
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