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Law Office of Adam I. Skolnik, P.A. Motto
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Deerfield Beach Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Chapter 7 offers individuals with a high amount of consumer debt the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start. You don’t have to wait until you are completely broke and facing homelessness to do something about money troubles. Bankruptcy was written into the U.S. Constitution and offers protection to people in need. Chapter 7 lets you take back control of your finances and put an end to unbearable worry, stress and sleepless nights. If you are struggling with one or more types of debt described below, call the Law Office of Adam I. Skolnik, P.A., in Deerfield Beach. Our Deerfield Beach chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney helps individuals and families in communities throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties make a fresh start.

Medical Debt

Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in America. Serious health issues can’t be ignored, regardless of the enormous cost of healthcare and the likelihood of a health crisis sending a family into debt. Medical bills can’t be blamed on irresponsible spending habits or bad money management. If a severe injury or illness saddled you with bills you can’t pay and put you out of work at the same time, bankruptcy can help. Medical debts can be eliminated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Credit Card Debt

Whereas medical debt only affects some people, just about everyone carries some level of credit card debt on their backs. The average household holds over ten credit cards, including gas cards and store cards, as well as major charge cards like Mastercard and Visa. Credit cards are revolving accounts, meaning as long as you make the minimum payment each month, you can continue to maintain a balance without ever having to pay it off. Interest accrues on that balance, however, and at alarming rates. Some cards charge up to 25% in interest, and the balance on a card can quickly get out of hand and grow to proportions that are impossible to pay off. The average household carries over $10,000 in credit card debt from month to month.

Credit cards are easy to get, and they are heavily marketed to students and low-income people who are glad to have a way to pay for groceries, clothing and other necessary expenses. Credit card debt follows medical debt as the second-leading cause of bankruptcy, and at least some credit card debt is present in just about every bankruptcy filing. Fortunately, credit card debt, like medical debt, is unsecured debt that is dischargeable in Chapter 7.

Tax Debt

Federal income tax debts can be discharged in Chapter 7 if they meet certain criteria. Generally speaking, the debt in question must be related to a tax return with a filing deadline more than three years old, including extensions, and that was actually filed more than two years ago. In addition, the assessment of tax has to be at least 240 days old. Finally, there cannot be any evidence of tax evasion or a fraudulent return related to the debt.

For other tax debts, bankruptcy can offer relief by eliminating other debts and freeing up disposable income to deal with debts that can’t be discharged. You can also pursue options like installment payment plans or negotiating an offer in compromise to settle your tax debt for less than you owe. If you dispute the tax debt, litigation is another option, as well.

Student Loans

Despite what you may have heard, student loans can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Special rules apply to student loan debt, and it can’t be discharged as easily as, say, medical debt, credit card debt or a personal loan. To get a student loan discharged in Chapter 7, you have to prove that paying off the loan is an ”undue hardship.” Courts used to apply a strict standard and rarely found undue hardship, but that has been changing as of late.

Student loans have been granted temporary forbearance and 0% interest during the current coronavirus pandemic. You can also obtain forbearance or stopped collection status while your application for the student loan borrower defense is pending. The borrower defense is one of the common causes of action our firm handles in our bankruptcy and debt litigation practice.

Personal Loans

A personal loan is a loan you get from a bank, credit union or other lenders that you can use to make purchases or pay off debt. For instance, people sometimes take out personal loans to pay off high-interest credit cards, since the interest rate on the loan is typically lower than the credit card interest rate. Like any other debt, though, paying back the personal loan can become burdensome if you run into trouble due to a job loss, extended illness, major necessary expense, or some other financial setback. Personal loans are unsecured loans, however, meaning they are not secured by collateral such as a home or car. As unsecured debt, personal loans can get eliminated in bankruptcy.

Get a Fresh Start with Chapter 7 in Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale

Chapter 7 can also help if you are facing lawsuits or had a judgment entered against you, if your wages are being garnished at work, or if a creditor put a lien on your property. Call an experienced Deerfield Beach Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer today to find out how you can benefit from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In Palm Beach or Broward County, call the Law Office of Adam I. Skolnik, P.A., for a free consultation.

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