Boca Raton Debt Lawyer
Not all debts are equal. From a legal standpoint there are unsecured and secured debts. And within each of these categories the law assigns different priorities to certain kinds of debt. Many Florida residents are understandably confused by all this, which is where an experienced Boca Raton debt lawyer can help.
At Nowack & Olson, we can assist you in figuring out the best ways to reduce–and even eliminate–your outstanding debts. In many situations your debt is so overwhelming that bankruptcy is your best option for getting a fresh start. If that is the case, we can help you to understand what debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy, and which may pose greater difficulties.
Is My Debt Secured or Unsecured?
A secured debt is one that is attached to some sort of property, which is called collateral. For most Boca Raton residents, the most common types of secured debt are their home mortgage and their car loan. Each is secured by their respective property. So for example, if you fail to keep current with your mortgage payments, the lender can foreclose on your home and sell the property at auction.
An unsecured debt, in contrast, has no collateral. Credit card debt is typically unsecured. And while your credit card company may not be able to foreclose on your house or repossess your car, it can obtain a civil judgment against you. This gives the creditor the right to initiate certain collection activities, including garnishing your wages and filing a lien against your real property.
How Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Debt?
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can generally discharge all of your unsecured debts. Chapter 7 is known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy. This means that after a creditor sells any non-exempt property you own–which for many debtors is nothing–the bankruptcy court releases you from any further obligation to repay the unsecured debt.
However, not all unsecured debt is treated the same in bankruptcy. Credit cards and medical debts are almost always dischargeable. But student loan debt–which is a major issue for many Florida families–is generally not. This is one reason, among many, why it is critical to work with a Boca Raton debt lawyer who understands the bankruptcy system and can advise you on your particular case.
With respect to secured debts, bankruptcy can discharge your obligation to pay–but the lender may still seize the collateral. So if you are looking to keep your house or car in bankruptcy, you may need to consider filing for Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. Once again, our qualified debt lawyers can advise you on the best course of action.
Call the Boca Raton debt lawyers of Nowack & Olson at 561-463-2265 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our debt management and bankruptcy team today.