West Palm Beach Debt Lawyer
The Port Law Firm in West Palm Beach and Port Saint Lucie Helps Consumers Struggling with Many Types of Debt
There are many different types of debt, and many ways in which consumers can find themselves overwhelmed and unable to pay their bills. Bankruptcy is often a way out, helping consumers pay off their bills over time or make a fresh start. Below are some of the main categories of debt which are commonly resolved in bankruptcy. For help understanding your financial situation and how bankruptcy can help, call The Port Law Firm at 561-721-1212 or in Port Saint Lucie at 772-323-2320, to speak with a compassionate, understanding and effective West Palm Beach debt lawyers.
Doctor and hospital bills are a major cause of debt problems that lead to bankruptcy. Health care costs are skyrocketing, and a serious illness or injury is also likely to place you out of work for a time. Additionally, as a medical patient you often have to deal with numerous providers billing you for the same incident, generating mountains of confusing paperwork (and billing errors) that are impossible to stay on top of. After a debilitating injury or illness, many people find they simply cannot pay their bills. Many healthcare companies are unsympathetic and quick to turn over unpaid bills to collections, with the constant and intense creditor harassment that follows, not to mention the damage to your credit report from being marked as a later payer or in default.
Medical debt is typically unsecured debt, making it dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have been covered in an avalanche of doctor bills that you cannot afford to repay, talk to The Port Law Firm about your options for debt relief through bankruptcy.
Credit Card Debt
The typical American household has around a dozen credit cards, and more than half of all cardholders carry a balance from month to month averaging over $10,000. Although consumers in general are responsible for their own spending, credit card companies certainly bear some of the blame for out-of-control credit card debt, by charging ridiculously high interest rates and actively marketing their cards to students and low-income populations – the people most likely to rack up large balances and not be able to pay them off.
Some amount of credit card debt is present in most consumer bankruptcy cases. This does not mean the debtor was an irresponsible shopper; many times the loss of a job or health problems lead people to charge basic necessities just to get by, and credit card companies are more than happy to allow people to charge and charge. Fortunately, most credit card debt is unsecured and can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Credit card companies, however, are known to fight the discharge of their debt in bankruptcy, so it is important to have a knowledgeable and effective attorney on your side who can help see to it that you are relieved of this debt.
For many people, buying on credit is the only way to afford expensive items such as furniture or household appliances. Many stores offer their own in-house financing as a way to purchase the item, as opposed to using credit cards or trying to get a loan from the bank. But hidden fees, interest rate hikes and balloon payments can increase the cost of the item beyond your ability to pay. Your furniture can be repossessed, and you may still owe the company the remaining balance.
Purchase money loans can often be discharged in bankruptcy. While it may seem like the furniture you purchased is collateral for the loan, whether the debt is actually secured or unsecured depends on a number of different factors, such as the precise terms of the contract and how much you have paid under the agreement. Also, if the item has depreciated considerably, it may not catch the interest of the creditor or the bankruptcy trustee. At The Port Law Firm, we can help you understand the type of debt you have and advise you on your options to affirm, surrender or redeem the property, and how your furniture loan will be handled in your bankruptcy.
Creditors and collection agencies use various means to try and collect on a debt, including wage garnishments, executing a levy or lien on your real or personal property, or dragging you into court to answer questions under oath about your assets. All of these methods for debt collection come only after the creditor has instituted a lawsuit and secured a money judgment against you. Although it is better to avoid getting sued in the first place, if you already have a money judgment against you, it may be possible through bankruptcy to keep the creditor from garnishing your wages or levying your property. If the judgment against you is based on an unpaid debt, and that debt was unsecured and could have been discharged in bankruptcy (such as a credit card debt), then we may be able to have the judgment discharged in bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy discharge is not available for every type of judgment. Judgments based on negligence or intentional torts, such as car accidents or assaults, are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Because of this, it is vital to engage an attorney for asset protection before you are sued. The Port Law Firm can help you through various methods to protect your hard-earned property from being lost to a civil money judgment.
Call Today for Immediate Help with All Types of Debt
No matter what types of debt you are facing, The Port Law Firm can help you find solutions to overcome outstanding obligations and get back on your feet. Call 561-721-1212 in West Palm Beach or 772-323-2320 in Port Saint Lucie for a free consultation with a caring and knowledgeable Florida bankruptcy attorney.