No one really wants to file bankruptcy, it’s kind of like admitting you’ve failed. Still, if you are in a situation where you are borrowing more money just to eat and survive and simultaneously borrowing more money to pay off previous debt, filing for bankruptcy might be a prudent path forward. If you are unable to juggle all your current debt and have no prospects for increasing your income anytime soon then it is time to at least consider the concept.
Digging yourself deeper and deeper into debt won’t do you any good, nor is it fair to your current creditors or those you might seek out in an attempt to “take from Peter to pay Paul.” If you keep juggling too long, you are bound to see the whole thing come crashing down. You are much better off to enter bankruptcy with a plan. If you do it right you may find the entire experience to be far less painful than you could have ever imagined.
Filing Bankruptcy Will Give You a Chance to Start Over
Just think how wonderful it will be to get out from under all that debt. The debt that’s preventing you from going forward and not allowing you to go back – stuck in a rut. Imagine all that financial stress instantly disappearing. Maybe it is time that you consider filing bankruptcy.
It’s not a decision you should take lightly, nor is it a move to get out of paying the legitimate debt you own. It’s just that sometimes people get into bad situations. Generally, it’s a serious of events, the accumulation of which leads down a road that dead-ends at a cliff.
There will be some assets you may not be allowed to keep, and there are some debts you won’t be able to discharge. There will be tough decisions to make, but if you plan it out correctly, it might be the smartest move you’ve ever made.
Why It’s Important to Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer
There are some things we might be able to do ourselves, but without the correct prior experience could lead to disaster. Filing for bankruptcy can be one of those things. The best bankruptcy attorneys will normally allow you a short consultation at no charge to explain the basics for bankruptcy usually 30-minutes or so.
You should take advantage of this. Bring your list of questions and a list of all your debts and income sources. You need to be upfront with the reality of your situation so that you get the right answers and can ask the right follow-up questions.
If you file for bankruptcy on your own, that’s it. You are on your own. Bankruptcy courts, judges, trustees are not allowed to give you advice and beware of getting advice online. A bankruptcy lawyer can look at your exact situation and all your assets and advise you as to what assets you can keep and which you will have to turn over to the court or your creditors.
A bankruptcy attorney can also advise you on which creditors you should continue to pay and which ones you should stop paying while you are going through the process. Also, any tax ramifications you will be dealing with or which might incur.
An attorney on your side also can assist as a powerful negotiator who is in your corner and on your team. Maybe, you can work out a deal with your major creditors; car loans, home loans, credit cards, and the IRS, and forgo bankruptcy? You won’t know until you ask. Remember filing for bankruptcy comes with consequences, but it also comes with benefits. Make sure you know the facts.
When Is the Best Time to File for Bankruptcy?
Once you’ve consulted a bankruptcy attorney and know all the pertinent information, you’ll want to strategically plan when to file. It matters. Why does it matter? Well, depending on which type of bankruptcy you choose you might be using an ‘income averaging’ format, in which case when that averaging starts and stops matters.
Perhaps, you have real estate that is about to be foreclosed on, if so, you’ll want to file prior to the foreclosure. If you are preparing for a mortgage payment modification, that to might also change the optimal time to file for bankruptcy.
If you are going through a divorce proceeding, filing for bankruptcy can get more complicated and costly. Perhaps, on the other hand, it does make more sense for you. This is yet another reason you need a seasoned bankruptcy attorney to help you through the process from start to finish.
Do you have huge expenses coming up, unavoidable costs you will incur? Do you have future costs that you are already obligated to that are about to require payment?
Are you being bombarded by credit collection agencies calling for the money you do owe but cannot pay? Have you missed rent or home payments? Are you using your retirement money to pay living expenses and bills? Generally speaking, retirement accounts are safe, so you may want to file bankruptcy prior to draining your retirement account, you will obviously need that later.
Did you know the most common time people file for bankruptcy is in the first quarter, after Christmas spending, and before taxes are due? Did you know that most people use their tax refunds to partially pay for their bankruptcy filing? Some people file for bankruptcy in the first quarter as a New Year’s Resolution to get out of debt in the new year.
These may seem like good reasons to choose the first quarter to file, but they are certainly not the most important reasons for choosing the best time. Call a law firm to talk and figure this out together. You need a plan, one that makes sense for you.
Why not speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your specific situation, then have them help you devise a plan. You know what they say; “Sometimes, timing is everything!”