Blog


Mortgage Refinancing Vs. Mortgage Modification
April 5, 2016

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, you might already be considering mortgage refinancing or mortgage modification. They are two different things. Mortgage refinancing replaces the existing loan with a new one but with different terms. Mortgage modification changes the existing loan terms. They may sound the same but the benefits and disadvantages are different for each. You can consider mortgage refinancing if any of the following are true: Better interest rates are available You want to change the length of your loan Changing from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan You need cash from your home’s equity Your… Read More

Consumer Rights: Consumer Protection Laws
March 29, 2016

Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces several of these laws. They make sure the rights of consumers and businesses are protected in the marketplace, and help prevent exploitation. These laws exist primarily to protect the consumer. A consumer is someone who buys goods and services for direct or personal use, not resale. Sometimes, these laws aren’t enough, and lawsuits get filed when consumer rights are violated. In the event your rights are violated, you may need to seek legal counsel. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. may be able to help.… Read More

Predatory Lending
March 22, 2016

Predatory lending is the use of unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices by a lender during the loan process. Predatory lending specifically targets the less educated, the elderly, the poor and minorities. In reality, anyone can be a victim of this practice. These lenders make huge profits by taking advantage of a person’s ignorance on how loans work. For example, a lender will lead a borrower to believe the interest rate is lower than it is, or that it can be easily repaid. These loans are usually backed by collateral like your car or home. When the loan goes unpaid, the… Read More

Debt Relief: Litigation and Negotiation
March 15, 2016

Despite signs of an upturn in the economy, for many Americans, debt continues to be a problem. Financial stress will wear you down to the point that you may believe there is no hope of recovery. Not being able to keep up with your debt financially takes a toll on your life. This includes your health, ability to focus at work, and quality family time. If you are struggling, it can be an asset to hire legal counsel skilled in debt negotiation and litigation to help. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. focuses on debt negotiation and litigation. Our… Read More

How to File for Bankruptcy
March 8, 2016

Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision to make. It is often a last resort for people that find themselves in dire financial situations. People think of bankruptcy as having all debt wiped and starting over with a clean slate. Before you decide, don’t be afraid to seek legal counsel. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. serving Tampa Bay and Clearwater Florida can help you with filing for bankruptcy. First Steps Before you file, first you must get credit counseling within 6 months before filing. Afterwards you must complete a financial management instructional course. This must be done… Read More

Handling Creditor Harassment
March 1, 2016

Many people fall into debt for a variety of reason. From lost wages, medical issues, divorce, to cost of living. To paraphrase the great Forest Gump, “debt happens.” However, just because you owe a company money, that doesn’t give them the right to harass you, your family, neighbors, and employers. There are state and federal laws established to protect consumers from collection harassment. These laws include the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Florida Consumer Protection Practices Act (FCCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and others. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. serving Tampa Bay and… Read More

Home Loan Modification
February 23, 2016

Struggling to pay your monthly mortgage may have you considering a home loan modification. Modifying your mortgage can help reduce your monthly payments. It doesn’t matter if you are in default or bankruptcy, and it is an alternative to foreclosure. Only certain terms of your home loan can be modified and you must qualify. Also, be aware of scams that target people whose homes are facing foreclosure. If you are considering a home loan modification, The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. serving Tampa Bay and Clearwater Florida can provide you with a free consultation. Terms of Home Loan Modification The terms… Read More

Help for Foreclosure
February 5, 2016

Foreclosure is when mortgage payments are no longer being made, and so the lender forces the sale of a home. The loss of a home is devastating. The stress of facing foreclosure causes some people to stop making their payments altogether. Ignoring the problem will not magically make it go away. It is imperative to seek legal counsel right away to review your options. The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. serving Tampa Bay and Clearwater Florida, can review your individual circumstances and help you decide how to handle your foreclosure. Housing Bubble Collapse The state of Florida, specifically the Tampa… Read More

11th Circuit Decision Broadens Rights for Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions
May 31, 2015

In Valone v. Waage, No. 14-11457 (11th Cir. 2015), the 11th Circuit opined on an issue that has been hotly debated regarding Florida bankruptcy exemptions. That is, is a debtor forced to take the homestead bankruptcy exemption where they want to remain in their home. Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions The exemptions in a bankruptcy case play an important role. For a Chapter 7 case, the exemptions define the property that a bankruptcy filer is allowed to keep in their “fresh start.” In a Chapter 13 case, the exemptions influence the amount of money that a bankruptcy filer has to pay into the Chapter 13… Read More

How to Deal with Financial Stress: Dangerous Health Effects
January 20, 2015

Stress is a fact of life, but financial stress is one of the worst offenders & figuring out how to deal with financial stress can be difficult. If you are worried about money, know that you are not alone. In 2014, over 860,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy, the average American family had about $8,000 in credit card debt, and three in five families worried about paying their bills every month. It’s easy to image the ever-looming cloud of financial stress can negatively affect our mental health, but did you know stress can damage our physical health too? Effects of Financial Stress Managing… Read More