A Bankruptcy Law Firm and Debt Relief Agency Proudly Serving the People of Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton, the county seat of Manatee County, is far more than the balmy retirement destination you might expect for a city its size. With the Village of the Arts and the Lakewood Ranch community among other attractions, Bradenton is simply an extraordinary place to live. Bradenton residents, however, are subject to many of the same stresses that everyone else is.
And there's no stress like financial stress. Like chronic pain, it grinds you down day by day and affects everything you do. One of the ways out of a messy financial situation is to declare bankruptcy and get a fresh start. Bankruptcy is not for everyone, of course – but it might be a more viable alternative than you realize. Holland Law can help.
Give Yourself Some Breathing Room
Once your bankruptcy petition is accepted, the judge will issue an automatic stay that paralyzes your creditors by preventing them from taking collection action against you without the court's permission. This includes the harassing phone calls you may have been receiving. What happens after that depends on what type of bankruptcy petition you file (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13).
We Don't Peddle “Cookie-Cutter” Solutions
In all our years of practice, we have never seen two debtors with identical financial circumstances. Your circumstances are unique, and we respect that by crafting individualized solutions for our clients. You may not even need bankruptcy – a negotiated arrangement with creditors might serve your interests better. At Holland Law, we've got your back.
“On our very first meeting, Attorney Holland put me at ease right away. He answered all my questions and gave me really good advice. Since that time, I feel very secure that if I ever need legal help or advice, I know who to turn to. Attorney Holland, for sure. “
– Jack Daoust
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions list types of property that you can keep even if you file for a Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. Federal bankruptcy law includes Chapter 7 exemptions. Exemptions may also vary from state to state. Florida maintains its own list of exemptions.
Should I use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions – or can I choose which exemptions I want to use?
Some states that maintain their own bankruptcy exemptions allow you to choose between the state exemptions and the federal exemptions. Florida requires you to use the state exemptions. That is good news, however, because Florida applies some of the most debtor-friendly bankruptcy exemptions in the U.S. For example, Florida allows you to exempt:
- Your homestead property (with limitations).
- Equity in a vehicle up to $1,000.
- Personal property up to $1,000 if you claim a homestead exemption.
- Personal property up to $5,000 if you do not claim a homestead exemption.
- The Earned Income Credit portion of your tax refund.
- Segregated savings derived solely from SSI or SSDI.
- ERISA qualified retirement accounts.
- Certain other items.
What is the statute of limitations for a debt, and why does it matter?
The Florida statute of limitations sets a deadline by which a creditor must file a lawsuit against you in order to maintain the debt. The applicable deadlines are:
- Five years from default if the debt is in writing.
- Four years from default if the debt is not in writing.
- One year for a deficiency judgment incident to a real estate foreclosure.
It can be tricky to determine the date that the limitations period begins and ends.
What's the difference between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your non-exempt property is sold and used to pay creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you repay a portion of your debts over a three- to five-year period and you can keep your property. The amount owed to creditors depends on a variety of factors including assets and income. It is possible to be considered too rich for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or too poor for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Don't Allow Your Financial Problems to Fester – Act Decisively
It is human nature to hesitate before tackling a difficult and complex problem that confronts you. In all likelihood, however, you're going to feel much better once you get the process started – especially with a seasoned professional on your side. The Bankruptcy Code is, to be honest, complex and arcane. But appropriate use of its provisions can sometimes work miracles.
If you are under financial distress and feel ready to take decisive measures to fight back against the chaos, contact Holland Law today. Call 941-306-3601 or fill out our online case evaluation form to speak with an experienced bankruptcy and debt defense attorney and set up a consultation in our Bradenton office. Let's start exploring your options today.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.