Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2011 – Personal bankruptcies increased to nine percent in 2010, affecting more than 1.5 million people. With estimates showing that in 2011 families and individuals will still be battling with high debts, stagnant job and income growth, it is hard to know which way to go with bills piling up.
TV and newspaper ads hawk the benefits of debt settlement one minute and bankruptcy the next. Debt settlement agencies negotiate directly with creditors to try to reduce debts for unsecured debt like personal loans, credit cards and medical bills, but not secured debt. Costly up-front fees and requirements to make monthly deposits into a debt settlement savings accounts can tie up quite a bit of money. Some companies want to collect monthly fees until all of the debt is settled, so they can prolong the length of time in the program to get more of an individual’s money.
And beware of any company that instructs you to stop paying monthly bills – late fees, defaults, higher interest rates, and even harassing calls could start to be the norm. Some creditors will try to take an individual to court, garnish wages or put liens on property. Overall, many individuals are left in a worse financial position with a negative credit report than when they started the debt settlement program.
“It can be devastating to hear a client’s story about how much money and effort has been spent, only to be left with no resolution and oftentimes more debt,” said Reginald Osenton, Tampa bankruptcy attorney at Osenton Law Offices, P.A.
The quicker an individual or struggling family speaks to an experienced bankruptcy attorney, the earlier problems can be avoided and assets protected. Bankruptcy can give individuals a fresh start and help them on the path to rebuilding their finances and life. Creditors will be prohibited from making constant phone calls and collecting on debts.
With a competent bankruptcy attorney, individuals can determine which chapter bankruptcy is approved for their income and debt levels. Chapter 7 will give an individual a fresh start by wiping out debts. Chapter 13 is for clients who have larger assets, better wages and will be put into a monthly cycle to make payments to a trustee for their debt.
Osenton Law Offices, P.A., has extensive experience representing individuals and businesses in bankruptcy for more than 20 years. They understand that each case is unique and requires tailored strategies that work for the client. Oftentimes, they hold info sessions and bankruptcy seminars where individuals can find out what their choices are for the steps ahead.
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777