Choosing to file for bankruptcy is certainly not an easy decision to make. It can be very stressful to figure out whether bankruptcy is the right choice for your particular situation or not, and the process of filing bankruptcy can be very complex.
There are two major things that can help individuals who are deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy: Firstly, working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can alleviate a great deal of stress. And secondly, understanding the real facts of bankruptcy — and not the myths that are all often perpetuated — can help you feel more comfortable and confident with the decision you make.
So without further ado, here are some of the most common Chapter 7 bankruptcy myths, along with the real facts!
Myth 1: If you file for bankruptcy, it means you’re financially irresponsible.
Fact: People who file for bankruptcy aren’t necessarily irresponsible when it comes to managing their money. In fact, in 2013, over 2 million Americans filed for bankruptcy because they were unable to pay their medical bills due to an emergency. If you file for bankruptcy, you know it’s not a “quick fix” solution: it stays on your credit report for at least 10 years, and you have to go through various financial management programs throughout the process.
Myth 2:Businesses file for bankruptcy more often than individual people do.
Fact: Around 97% of all bankruptcy claims in the U.S. today are filed by individuals, either for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Business bankruptcy claims just tend to get the most media attention!
Myth 3: When you file for bankruptcy, all of your debts are wiped away.
Fact: Even though many of your debts can be “wiped away” when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy claim involves a repayment plan for most debts. Additionally, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 have certain debts that are exempt, such as child support and alimony payments, which must be paid back in full.
Myth 4: You’ll never be able to get a line of credit again.
Fact: Even though a bankruptcy will impact your credit report for a while, it’s not something that has to affect your finances forever. In some ways, it can be an opportunity to build your credit score back up by making payments on time. You may find that your options are limited when you take out a line of credit after filing for bankruptcy, but it’s still possible to get credit.
If you think that filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for your situation, be sure to contact your local bankruptcy lawyers and get more information about the process. These four myths are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bankruptcy misconceptions!