Bankruptcy attorneys get very busy this time of year as people try to get their personal finances in shape. The New Year is a happy occasion for most people, and it also is a great time to take stock of your overall economic picture. With all the recent news about debt and the “fiscal cliff” the country is in danger of falling over due to unruly and runaway debt, many families are sitting down to consider how to improve their own economic picture.
Bankruptcy May Be the Best Option
Debt can be ruinous, not only to your family’s financial stability, but also to your personal relationship. Money problems are the root cause of many modern divorces. As some say, when there isn’t enough money, love goes out the window. Turning to bankruptcy may be your best option. If you take a few moments to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can assess what the best plan is to solve your financial woes. Financial planning and tax matters go hand in hand, and it is never too early in the year to work with your attorney on both issues.
Many Americans Suffer From Debt
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if you have debt problems, overdue bills and are being harassed by collection agencies, you are not alone. They report that about 30 million Americans are in the same boat, overdue and struggling with financial problems. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act offers you some protection, but still Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a good option for many folks, as it immediately stops collection actions upon filing your papers. You can eliminate most of your debts, but not all. Some bills are may not be dischargeable, such as student loans or child support.
Steps to Take Before Bankruptcy
When you consult with your bankruptcy attorney, there are a few questions to answer. Here are some things to look at before you declare bankruptcy:
- Make a chart with all your debts listed. Include balance due and interest rates. If you have never done this, it can be shocking to view your total debt load.
- Highlight all secured debt and any government loans.
- Assess how much total monthly income you earn and how much you bring home.
- List assets, such as cars, home and other property along with estimated market values.
When you work with your attorney, it is important to disclose all financial information. All this will be kept in the strictest confidentiality by your lawyer, so don’t worry about it.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy documents must be accurate and filed properly. Your attorney can do this for you. As soon as filing is made, you can begin to get some relief from creditors. Tell them to contact your attorney if they have questions. Laws regarding credit, bankruptcy and collections are federal laws; your attorney knows what to do in your jurisdiction. When you do have a court date, your attorney can accompany you to the hearing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a good option for most families in financial difficulty. It offers a fresh start, and you can obtain credit again in a relatively short time, usually within two years. You cannot go bankrupt again for eight years, and your bankruptcy will show on your credit history for about ten years.
You Are Not Alone
Many people know others who have successfully gone bankrupt and turned their financial lives around with this fresh start. The beginning of the year is a great time to learn about debt, understand how to manage it and to get your fresh start. Remember that you can exclude certain bills from your bankruptcy if desired. It is not an action to be taken lightly, and if you do not solve your spending, budgeting and income problems quickly, you may face a repeat situation in the future.
Be prepared to pay for your bankruptcy process up front, although some attorneys may offer a payment plan. The inability to handle your debt load may not be entirely your fault through frivolous spending. Many things contribute to debt problems, including divorce, job loss and illness. Medical bills are one prime reason many people end up going bankrupt.
Your future can be much better if you are not burdened for decades ahead paying off high debts. If you add up all your debts and look at paying high interest for decades, remember also that the total you end up paying off will be many times the actual debt incurred.
Is it time for you or a friend to take action and consider bankruptcy this year so you can start 2013 debt free? Contact your bankruptcy attorney today to discuss this important matter with someone who understands debt and the law. Call now and enjoy 2013 debt free!
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