Skip to main content
Timothy J Sierra

Timothy Sierra’s Answers

98 total


  • Can I keep unsecured debt after chapter 7

    Timothy’s Answer

    You can but the creditor will probably revoke your credit regardless. You have to include the debt but you can voluntarily repay it after the bankruptcy. But why? The creditor will revoke your privileges.

    See question 
  • Question about charging dental treatment shortly before filing bankruptcy?

    Timothy’s Answer

    Take care of your child first, worry about the debt later. Incurring more debt prior to filing is not advisable unless you have an emergency, like you do. If it poses a problem in the bankruptcy, it will be a small one. People get in to trouble in bankruptcy when they run up debt on luxury fun items with the intent not to repay it.

    See question 
  • Car title in someone else’s name & that person is filing Ch7 bankruptcy, is my car being taken?

    Timothy’s Answer

    Some trustee in the Tampa division understand if a third party maintains the vehicle by insuring it, paying for it etc. and may allow you to keep it, but the case law is against you, in my opinion. You may want to appear for the 341 hearing and present your argument.

    See question 
  • Can I file for chapter 13 and then in 6 months file as a 7 or best to just stay on 13 if it has less impact on credit?

    Timothy’s Answer

    You have a couple of choices but a lot depends on your income. While unemployed you may qualify but there are many considerations to take into account before filing. Most people for better off filing for chapter 7 but if you make enough money to repay your creditors some money, then you may be in a payment plan under chapter 13.

    See question 
  • How to protect assets and residence from creditors, hospital bills and both federal and private student loans?

    Timothy’s Answer

    Your homestead is protected from creditors. A spouse is not responsible for another spouse's debts by virtue of the marriage. The private and federal student loans will pass along with the death of the ailing spouse. Please consult a financial planner or bankruptcy attorney if you need follow up.

    See question 
  • Is filing bankruptcy right for me?

    Timothy’s Answer

    Those are good questions for an attorney. Usually the bankruptcy will appear on your credit report 7-10 years, but it seems like it may be worth it in order to live a decent lifestyle. Most consultations are free.

    See question 
  • Have questions about filing credit card bankruptcy. I am disabled and have 6 credit cards, approximate 30,000 to 35,000.00 owe?

    Timothy’s Answer

    A consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer is generally free of charge and the attorney will quote you a fee for his/her services based upon the work anticipated. Find one that will accept installment payments and remember you can pay the filing fee in installments after you file.

    See question 
  • What is the maximum amount of secured debt that a joint couple can having a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tampa?

    Timothy’s Answer

    If both parties are on the promissory note, each party may allowed to take 1,184.200 each. I had a similar case in which the parties exceeded the unsecured debt limit. The trustee indicated that each individual is entitled to the cap provided their total individual debt in their name alone was under the cap. But I have read case law in Florida where stacking or doubling the cap was not allowed. But it may be fact specific. Do you want to strip the second mortgage in a chapter 13? If the second mortgage is stripped, that becomes unsecured debt in a chapter and you might have to repay it or some of it.

    See question 
  • How do I find out how much more I have to pay on my student loan for which they are garnishing my wages?

    Timothy’s Answer

    There is a database that you can go https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/ that will provide that information to you. Or the servicing agent that is representing the government can tell you the amount. Register at the database and you will find a wealth of information. The database only contains your federal loans. Your private loans, if any, will not be listed on that database as it only contains federal student loans. You have several remedies to garnished student wages. You should look into them.

    See question 
  • Have been served papers for a debt. May need to file bankruptcy. Need to know cost.

    Timothy’s Answer

    Generally, the fees run about $1500.00 for an attorney competent in the area of consumer bankruptcy. Often, attorneys will structure a payment plan while they the bankruptcy petition is being processed. But most attorneys require all fees be paid prior to filing. In addition to legal fees, they are filing fees.

    See question