About Our Firm

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Founded in 1997 we are experienced and knowledgeable Tampa attorneys practicing exclusively in Divorce, Family, Stepparent/Relative Adoption, Criminal Defense, and Personal Bankruptcy. We practice primarily in the cities of Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Carrollwood, Northdale, North Tampa, Plant City as well as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County and Pasco County. We have offices conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay. Our lawyers have extensive experience practicing in contested and uncontested divorces, including military divorces, and family law, child support, child custody and visitation, relocation of children, alimony, domestic violence, distribution of assets and debts, retirement/pensions (military and private), enforcement and modification of final judgments, paternity actions, adoptions and name changes as well as criminal defense. We offer a free consultation to discuss your options. Please call us at 813-672-1900 or email us at info@familymaritallaw.com to schedule a consultation. Our representation of our clients reflects our dedication to them. We look forwarding to hearing from you! Se habla EspaƱol.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Modification of Mortgage in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

There are many mortgage borrowers struggling to make their monthly loan payments and falling behind in their payments. The Tampa Division of the Florida Middle District Bankruptcy Court has devised a mortgage bailout program formally named a mortgage modification mediation program under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This program is intended to help borrowers to obtain a modification of their mortgage or home loan under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So if you are behind in your mortgage and/or finding it difficult to make the monthly payment, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney as this may be beneficial to you.

If so, the Chapter 13 Plan, which is either 36 or 60 months depending on the borrowers income as determined in the bankruptcy, includes a request to modify the monthly mortgage payment of a mortgage on real property owned by the borrowers.  The borrowers will have to make a payment equal to 31% of their gross income each month as adequate protection payments to the mortgagee, which will include property taxes and property insurance.  Therefore, if 31% of your gross income is more than your mortgage payment including taxes and insurance, then a modification would not be beneficial to you.  That is unless you are behind on your loan payment which will be cured in a modification and your total payment will be 31% of your gross income.  Even if a modification would not be beneficial to you, if you are behind in your payments then a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will help you to catch up with your payments by the end of the plan period and to help you save your home and avoid foreclosure. 

A mediation must be scheduled with the lender within 6 months of filing the bankruptcy petition, as the automatic stay which protects a borrower from foreclosure is automatically terminated at the end of six month period.   A neutral "mediator" attempts to negotiate an agreement between the parties.  If an agreement can be reached, then the mediator will prepare the modification agreement.

Contact our office for more information on this procedure and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.  Furthermore, if you decide that a mortgage modification through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to your benefit, we can provide an attorney to attend the mediation with you to make sure your interests are properly represented, as the lender will have its attorney(s) at the mediation.

Friday, August 17, 2012

IRS TAX TIP 2012-08: Don’t be Scammed by Cyber Criminals

The Internal Revenue Service receives thousands of reports each year from taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the IRS. Many of these scams fraudulently use the IRS name or logo as a lure to make the communication appear more authentic and enticing. The goal of these scams – known as phishing – is to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information. The scammers can then use your information – like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers – to commit identity theft or steal your money.

Click on the link below to read more about phishing information from the IRS.

IRS TAX TIP 2012-08: Don’t be Scammed by Cyber Criminals

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Requirements for Obtaining or Renewing your Florida Driver's License

The requirements to obtain a new or to renew a drivers license in Florida have become stringent.  Please make sure that you have all the documents required prior to attempting to either renew or obtain a new Florida Driver's License.  Note that if you renew late, you will have to pay a fine. 

Your name has to be consistent in the identification you provide.  If not, you may have to change your name to the name you are currently using.  I.e., maybe you're using a name that is different from your birth certificate or your name on your social security card. 

All persons requesting a new or renewed driver's license must present the following: We are seeing an increase in the number of clients whose name must be legally changed prior to obtaining their driver's license.  Visit http://www.familymaritallaw.com/CM/Family-Law/Name-Changes.asp for more information on our name change services or contact our office at (813) 672-1900, if you reside or work in Hillsborough County.

Furthermore, if you want to obtain a Florida I.D. Card, these same requirements apply and, unfortunately, you cannot obtain an I.D. online. 


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