How can you know if you should be considering Bankruptcy?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding if Bankruptcy could be right for you:
1. Are creditors and bill collectors calling you all the time?
2. Are you falling further and further behind on your home mortgage, rent, credit card, or other payments?
3. Have you had a disastrous event happen to you or your family, such as a serious medical illness or loss of job that will affect your ability to make payments on your outstanding debt?
4. If you own a farm, have you experienced significant losses that are preventing you from keeping up on your land or operating payments?
5. Does all of your paycheck go to cover your debt payments and leave little, if any, money left to buy groceries, medicine or clothing?
Did you answer “Yes” to any of the above questions? Keep reading….
It’s NOT a good idea to “wait” things out. Many times clients wait too long before filing Bankruptcy. They wait for a foreclosure to begin. They wait until a judgment has been entered. They wait until their wages have been garnished. Basically, they wait until the last minute and then they put themselves in a position where a Bankruptcy needs to be filed overnight. As a general rule: when an attorney is contacting you about collecting a debt, it’s time to talk with us.
Many people file Bankruptcy each day because difficult circumstances prevent them from paying their bills. Job and medical problems are the most common reasons people cite for filing Bankruptcy.
Although you may want to explore alternatives to Bankruptcy, such as credit counseling and debt negotiation, you should learn the terms and conditions prior to entering into a debt settlement/management/consolidation agreement. For example, will there be an income tax consequence, will the payments go directly to the creditor, have your creditors agreed to particpate in a settlement/payment and/or consolidation plan? The “debt management plans” offered by credit counseling agencies are rarely able to reduce your monthly debt payments and sometimes the minimum monthly payments actually increase. Debt management plans might reduce the number of years you have to pay off your debts by decreasing your interest rate and eliminating late fees. But if you’re having trouble keeping up with your monthly minimum credit card payments and other obligations, the debt management plans offered through credit counseling agencies are unlikely to help. In addition, estimates are that only 4% of debt management plans survive the first year of what is typically a 3-5 year repayment program.