If your wages are being garnished, you’re probably already receiving various letters and calls from debt collectors and are drowning in loans. It might be time to consider bankruptcy. It may seem like a horrible, last ditch measure, but the fact is that declaring bankruptcy is simply a great way to restructure your debt so it is more manageable. You can pay parts of it back, and some of it can be forgiven. For some, this means saving their home from foreclosure, their children from hunger, and their lives from destruction.
For people considering bankruptcy who may still be new to the idea, it’s worth knowing a little bit before diving headfirst into the process. There were an estimated 1,071,931 bankruptcy filing in the U.S. in 2013, but not all of them were the same. About 728,833 were Chapter 7 filings (personal liquidation bankruptcies) while about 8,980 were Chapter 11 (in which debt is restructured, but not totally forgiven). Getting bankruptcy help is an essential part of the process.
Before you file, take into consideration some of these tips about bankruptcy:
Get Your Finances Together
Just because a bankruptcy trustee will be handling your case and will often act as a medium between you and your debtors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a personal hold over your debt. Take advantage of your free credit report to get an accurate list of all the creditors you owe. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you don’t get notifications from debtors that your debts don’t exist. It is important that you include all of your debts in your bankruptcy filing, as well as having a well-formulated plan for how you plan to avoid the financial pitfall that got you to where you are in the first place.
Get a Credit Counseling Certificate
Obtaining a certificate stating that you successfully completed a credit counseling course with a government-certified counselling agency is one of the pre-filing requirements for any bankruptcy case. Don’t wait until the last minute, since this could seriously delay the process. Also, the advice given during these sessions should give you a good idea what the bankruptcy process will entail.
Get a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Get bankruptcy help. No matter how good a basic understanding of the bankruptcy process you have, the truth is that they are far too complex for you to attempt filing for it by yourself. They will first be able to properly advise you on whether or not bankruptcy is the right option for you, and then, if it is, take responsibility for navigating its murky waters. Bankruptcy help is there for you if you need it.
Filing for bankruptcy can be your ticket out of debt. It’s important to file for bankruptcy only if you are sure you need to — remember, you can’t file again for eight years!