Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney serving Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk County, Florida for over 20 years!
Michael Barnett is a lawyer representing consumers and small businesses in Chapter 7, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in west central Florida. Mr. Barnett is board certified by the American Board of Certification in consumer bankruptcy law, and has been board certified since January 1993. While the main office is in Tampa, appointments are also available in Lakeland and Dade City.
There is no charge for initial consultations regarding the filing of a bankruptcy case for the client.
Notice required by BAPCPA: We are a debt relief agency agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Nothing on this website should be considered an offer to represent the viewer in any matter.
Only Mr. Barnett can determine whether he will take any given case, after reviewing the situation in an appointment with the person.
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, review the section disclosing Mr. Barnett's qualifications and experience.
The firm is dedicated to helping individuals and small businesses through financial problems with individualized attention to the clients.
We can file bankruptcies to stop foreclosures, deal with tax debts, and stop most lawsuits. We make every effort to treat the clients as we would want to be treated by similar professionals.
Now that some firms are charging extra to represent clients after the case is filed, we are offering a new service. We will review the bankruptcy filing in these cases for free, and if there are no problems with the filing for typical cases we will represent clients through completion of the case for only $500.
Thought for the Day
It does make a difference what attorney you hire. There are a number of attorneys with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but some of the ones you see the most advertisements for actually have an F rating. Check your attorney before you hire them. Note the big firms may have a different hometown, and different city for the rating, but the link to those should be from the local bbb site.
In order to become board certified, an attorney must have been engaged in the full-time practice of law for five years, and had substantial involvement in bankruptcy law for the three years prior to certification. Further, references must be obtained and a written examination passed. Finally, the attorney is required to take 60 hours of continuing education each 3 year period for certification, which is double the continuing education required by the Florida Bar. For more information, see the American Board of Certification's homepage.
Michael Barnett obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Furman University, and the law degree at University of Florida in 1985. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1985. After becoming a partner at the law firm of Isaak & Barnett, he opened his own firm in 1992 and has practiced as a single lawyer firm since then.
He is admitted to the Florida Bar and the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Mr. Barnett will handle Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation cases for individuals and corporations, Chapter 13 bankruptcy debt repayment plans for individuals and small unincorporated businesses, and Chapter 12 bankruptcy farm repayment plans for individuals and small businesses. He is also one of the few local consumer attorneys that handle bankruptcy appeals. Michael Barnett has briefed and argued bankruptcy appeal cases up to the 11th circuit court of appeals.
Mr. Barnett's analysis of the 2005 bankruptcy law has been linked by the primary national bankruptcy website, Abiworld, the American Bankruptcy Institute and he is a contributing author to Strategies for Consumer Bankruptcy Appeals found on Amazon and Thomson Reuters.
DJ is the paralegal in the firm, and has been with the firm since 1995.
Analysis of BAPCPA: 2005 bankruptcy Law
Mr. Barnett has prepared a free analysis of the 2005 bankruptcy law and cases interpreting it. This analysis is designed primarily for other attorneys or legal professionals rather than clients or potential clients. However, his expertise in this field will enable him to give a more accurate an analysis of the client's situation.
Choosing among Tampa bankruptcy attorneys:
Be aware there are many companies advertising, both for personal injury and now Tampa bankruptcy lawyers, which are only referral services. Almost all of these have minimal or no qualification requirements for the consumer bankruptcy attorneys, but simply charge the attorneys to refer cases to them.
There are also national law firms that have recently expanded to the Tampa Bay area and hired local attorneys with limited experience who are filing huge numbers of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Be sure to determine the qualifications of the attorney actually representing you in the bankruptcy court before you have any attorney represent you.
Report: Beware scam artists pretending to assist in avoiding foreclosure:
A report out from the National Consumer Law Center warns of scam artists targeting homeowners in foreclosure. Scams may involve someone charging fees for trying to work with the mortgage company to avoid foreclosure, and never carrying through; or purchasing the home from the owner and claiming to allow the owner to live there with reduced rent (which does not stop the foreclosure and the owner is kicked out anyway); or signing documents purporting to refinance the house that actually transfers ownership to the scam artist.
Free mortgage counseling: see HOPE or call 1-888-995-HOPE