Even when faced with dire financial consequences, many people fear the prospect of filing personal bankruptcy. The key to defeating what can, often be, crippling anxiety is familiarizing yourself with the process and its potential benefits. Use the tips in this article to alleviate your fears and do what is necessary to get a fresh financial start.
Know what debts can be forgiven. You may hear that you have to pay a certain debt, and that it cannot be discharged, but that information will usually be coming from a bill collector. Student loans and child support and a few other debts cannot be discharged, but most others can.
Personal bankruptcy should be a last resort if you’re in insolvency. This is due to the fact that it will take years for the bankruptcy to work off your credit report and new law changes make it harder to escape paying the debts off. In other words, you could have bankruptcy on your credit report and still be paying off several of your debts.
Don’t put off bankruptcy forever. You might be better off filing early rather than juggling your debt for years. If you aren’t sure what to do, search for a nonprofit agency that helps consumers navigate bankruptcy. These experts can advise you about the best time to file and can share information about what to expect. Many of these agencies provide classes or workshops about managing credit as well.
Consider filing Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7, if you are facing foreclosure. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a restructured payment plan which includes your mortgage arrears. This will allow you to get your mortgage payments current, so that you won’t lose your home. Chapter 13 doesn’t require you to turn over property, so you don’t have to worry about the homestead exemption, either.
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, you may want to look into other options. Remember, when you file for bankruptcy, you are greatly hurting your credit score, which in turn, can prohibit you from buying a house, car, and other big purchases. Consider safer, alternative methods first, such as consumer credit counseling.
Be sure to consider all of your options before filing for personal bankruptcy, as there may be some you haven’t considered. If you have a job that has slowed down due to the recession, such as construction, you may need to find a new job. This could help your situation until the economy picks back up.
Many times, when a debtor files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, their home can be protected. This is because of the homestead exemption. This exemption can protect the home, if the debtor owes below a certain threshold. Laws concerning this exemption do vary between states. Be sure to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before, assuming your home is safe from liquidation.
The specter of personal bankruptcy is something countless individuals dread and strive to avoid, no matter what. The truth is that a little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward making bankruptcy a less mysterious, more accessible opportunity for those who need it. Apply the advice contained in this piece, and you may find that bankruptcy represents a good solution for your circumstances.