If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you're not alone. More than 1.4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy just last year. For many of these people, bankruptcy allowed them to escape from financial ruin and get bank on the road to financial stability. The decision about whether to file bankruptcy can be difficult and confusing and it's not always clear-cut as there are several factors that go into it. This is why it's important to work with an attorney who can help guide you in the right direction.
Some of the factors that go into the decision about whether or not to declare bankruptcy are more general, such as your yearly income, overall assets and the specific type of debt you have. There are other areas to consider which are more personal such as your overall comfort with declaring bankruptcy or whether you're tied to keeping your home or paying off a specific debt.
Some options that can be tried before declaring bankruptcy include attempting to pay off the debts yourself or repaying them with the help of a credit counselor (stick with one recommended by the Department of Justice). You could also consider debt consolidation, which involves taking out a new loan in order to pay your old ones, such as a balance transfer credit card. I find that the vast majority of people who I work with that are considering bankruptcy have already tried some these options and they haven't resolved their situation.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to wipe out most of your debts and give you a clean slate. Beware that there are some types of debt that will still remain with Chapter 7, such as child support payments and student loans. In 2005, laws were passed that make it far more difficult to declare bankruptcy. This is why it's vital to have some professional help if you are considering bankruptcy. Please talk to an attorney who is familiar with bankruptcy. Not only can they help you best assess your options, but they'll work with you to develop a strategy to minimize your overall losses.
Declaring bankruptcy may seem like the end of the world, but for many people, filing for bankruptcy gets the creditors off your phone and puts you back in control of your financial life. Should you want to discuss this matter further, I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation, and we can discuss your individual questions about Bankruptcy.