Paul E. Riffel, Attorney at Law
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Tampa Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Many people in the United States face financial struggles for a variety of reasons. Unemployment, sudden medical issues, or simply lapses in judgment can lead to overwhelming debt and difficulty paying your bills. If you have fallen behind on your credit payments, you do not have to simply deal with the harassing collection calls, legal judgments, garnishments, and other tactics used to collect debts. For many households and individuals, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you the relief you need and allow you to start over with a clean financial slate.In these situations, experienced Tampa Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney Paul E. Riffel can assist you in obtaining the help you need by filing under Chapter 7.

The Benefits Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are many benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy that can improve your financial situation almost immediately. First, when you file your bankruptcy petition, the court will order an “automatic stay.” This order prevents any further collection attempts or judgment enforcement from your creditors. This will give you relief from constant phone calls and payment juggling. Additionally, Chapter 7 does not require you to enter a payment arrangement with your creditors. Instead, qualifying debts will be completely discharged at the close of your case. A few examples of dischargeable debts include:

  • Credit cards and related late fees;
  • Personal loans (from both banks and from family member or friends);
  • Past due rent;
  • Medical bills;
  • Certain unpaid taxes; and
  • Certain legal judgments.

Even if some debts–such as a mortgage or auto loan–do not qualify for discharge, eliminating your unsecured accounts will hopefully free up funds to cover your remaining bills.

The Chapter 7 Process

Before you can qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you must pass the “means” test, which is based on your income and expenses. If your income is too high, you will not qualify for Chapter 7. However, many people make errors on the means test and an experienced attorney can help you complete this process accurately so that you have the best chance of qualifying.

Once you pass the means test, the following will occur:

  • File your petition and various forms with the bankruptcy court;
  • The automatic stay goes into effect;
  • The court takes control over your pre-filing debts and property;
  • The court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to verify your information and obtain nonexempt property to pay your creditors;
  • A “creditors meeting” occurs during which the trustee may ask questions regarding your forms and information; and
  • If the bankruptcy is granted, your qualifying debts will be discharged and you will no longer have the obligation to pay them.

Though the Chapter 7 process may seem relatively simple, it is imperative to have the assistance of a qualified legal professional when filling out all paperwork, during the creditors meeting, when claiming property exemptions, and more. Any mistakes you make during the Chapter 7 process may result in less favorable results or may completely jeopardize your bankruptcy approval.

Call For An Appointment With A Qualified Tampa Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help many people overcome financial struggles, however, this type of bankruptcy is not right for everyone. If you would like to know if Chapter 7 is an option for you, do not delay in contacting experienced Tampa Chapter 7 attorney Paul E. Riffel at 813-265-1185 to discuss your situation today.

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Paul E. Riffel, Attorney at Law

Paul Riffel Law is located in Tampa FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Tampa, Valrico, Odessa, Thonotosassa, Gibsonton, Sydney, Dover, Land O Lakes, Oldsmar, Apollo Beach, Lithia, Safety Harbor, Trilby, Plant City, Durant, Holiday, Hillsborough County and Pasco County.

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