Jacksonville Business Debt Relief and Debt Settlement Lawyers: Navigating Your Options
Running a business is hard work. You have to manage employees, inventory, marketing, regulations, and so much more. On top of that, many businesses struggle with overwhelming debt. If your Jacksonville business is facing unmanageable debt, you have options. A knowledgeable Jacksonville business debt relief lawyer can help you navigate debt settlement, bankruptcy, tax relief, and other strategies to find the right solution.This article will provide an overview of debt relief options, laws, and strategies that Jacksonville business lawyers commonly use to help local companies get out of debt and secure a more stable financial future.
Debt settlement involves hiring a company to negotiate reduced lump sum settlements on your behalf. The debt settlement company will set up a special account where you deposit funds every month to save up enough to pay the negotiated settlements.In the meantime, the debt settlement company often tells clients to stop paying their creditors. The idea is that creditors will be eager to settle for a lower amount if they think you are unable to pay.This can sound enticing, but debt settlement comes with serious drawbacks:
- Debt settlement companies make big promises but often fail to deliver. There is no guarantee they can actually negotiate a settlement.
- Halting payments to creditors tanks your credit, leads to late fees, penalty interest rates, and persistent creditor calls demanding payment.
- Many debt settlement companies are outright scams, charging fees upfront without settling any debts.
Before signing up for debt settlement, vet the company thoroughly. Get fee information and settlement guarantees in writing. Understand the consequences of halting payments. Know that settled debt may count as taxable income. Consult a debt relief lawyer to evaluate if the program could help or harm you.
Filing bankruptcy may provide superior debt relief compared to debt settlement. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you liquidate non-exempt assets to pay creditors, while discharging remaining debts. With Chapter 13, you keep assets and repay creditors through a 3-5 year payment plan.While bankruptcy damages your credit initially, you are freed from burdensome debt and get a fresh start. Your credit score can recover within months. Bankruptcy stops creditor harassment, wage garnishment, lawsuits, and more. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer guides you through the process.
If back taxes are dragging your business down, a tax relief attorney can help in several ways:
- Negotiate with the IRS – Your lawyer can negotiate deals like penalty abatement and installment plans. This avoids aggressive IRS collection tactics.
- Settle for less – In some cases, attorneys can settle tax debts for pennies on the dollar through Offer in Compromise deals.
- Innocent spouse relief – If tax issues stem from your spouse’s actions, you may qualify to be freed from liability.
- Remove liens – Tax liens can be removed from property through lien subordination or discharge. This facilitates selling assets.
- Halt levies – Your lawyer can request that the IRS halt asset seizures and wage garnishments.
- File bankruptcy – As a last resort, business bankruptcy can discharge tax debt in some circumstances.
Other Relief Options
- Debt consolidation loans – Combine multiple high-interest debts into one lower monthly payment. This simplifies repayment, though total interest paid may increase.
- Business cash advances – Receive a lump sum in exchange for a percentage of future sales. The amount due fluctuates based on your revenue.
- Credit counseling – Non-profit credit counseling provides debt management plans with reduced interest rates and consolidated payments.
- Balance transfer cards – Transferring high-interest credit card balances to a 0% introductory APR card saves on interest while you pay down debt.
- Sell assets – Selling unused equipment, vehicles, property or other assets generates funds to pay off debt.
- Renegotiate terms – Ask creditors about hardship programs, reduced payments, lower interest rates, or extended repayment timelines.
- Cut expenses – Reducing operating costs frees up cash flow to direct towards paying off obligations.
Key Debt Relief Laws and Protections
Jacksonville business lawyers utilize certain laws and legal precedents to maximize debt relief for their clients. Here are some key ones:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – This federal law limits harassment tactics debt collectors can use and sets requirements for validating and disputing debts. Read more.
- Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act – State law further regulating debt collection. Violations can lead to damages awards. Overview.
- Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act – Made it harder for individuals to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but did not change bankruptcy rules for businesses. Details.
- Florida “Homestead Exemption” – Protects homes from creditors during bankruptcy. Lets you keep up to 0.5 acres in municipalities or 160 acres elsewhere. Analysis.
- Corporate Veil / Alter Ego Doctrines – Laws preventing business owners from being personally liable for company debts in most cases. Explainer.
Finding the Right Strategy
As this overview illustrates, you have options for finding relief from oppressive business debt. The right solution depends on your specific situation.I recommend consulting an experienced Jacksonville business debt relief attorney. They will thoroughly assess your debts, assets, income, expenses, business structure, tax status, credit score, and other factors. After getting a complete financial picture, they will explain debt relief alternatives and give expert advice on the optimal strategies for your business.With an attorney guiding you, the process will go smoothly. You can get out of debt without liquidating your company. Before long, you will be back to stable financial footing and smooth operations. Don’t wait – seek help from a Jacksonville business debt relief lawyer today to start resolving your debt and securing your company’s future.