Before you decide that filing for bankruptcy would be the easiest thing for you to do, you may want to do some additional thinking about this whole scenario.
You must first consider whether your debts are dischargeable or not. You must decide if you want to keep all or part of your debt, costs involved, the benefits of filing bankruptcy, what kind of financial future you will have after you have filed for bankruptcy, the effect it may have on your employment or on your prospective employment and how your credit score may be changed and whether it will make an influence on whether you are able to rent or purchase a place to live.
Are Your Debts Dischargeable?
After doing some research, you may find that your debts may not be dischargeable, and therefore filing for bankruptcy will do no good. This is where your lawyer or credit counselor comes in. They can sit down with you and will be able to review your debts to see if they are dischargeable.
Do You Want To Keep Your Debt?
Let's go over the two types of debts. A "secured debt" is one that is secured by collateral, such as a car loan or a mortgage. "Unsecured loans" are ones such as credit card debts, legal fees, medical bills and utility bills. You will want to discharge the unsecured loans and keep the secured debt if you can.
Is The Bankruptcy "Cost" Greater Than The "Benefit"?
Many people think that just by declaring bankruptcy, their financial slates are wiped clean. That is simply not true. Most debtors have to cough up at least a portion of their debts, and the courts may force you to sell assets to do that. You will find that is will be very hard to obtain credit for years. You will have the bankruptcy record showing up on your credit score for at least seven to ten years.
Should I file or should I have a Lawyer file for me?
I would definitely say that you should see a lawyer for this. This is a very important matter and one that you cannot afford to make a mistake in. That is where most people go wrong. Many people decide to file themselves. They thought they could just put everything under their spouse's name. Wrong! They should have filed jointly. Don't sell yourself short. Seek legal advice. You may not be aware of all of the new laws surrounding bankruptcy but your lawyer will. Spend the money - get a lawyer! You will very likely recoup the legal fees in the total amount that you save overall.
If You Come upon More Financial Problems What will Happen?
If your problems have emerged from your lifestyle rather than a sudden catastrophe, you want to put some careful thought into declaring bankruptcy. It is something to come out of an unexpected failure in business, lose a job, or have a catastrophic illness and get back on your feet. However, if you are one that cannot manage your own finances, then you must seriously think about declaring bankruptcy. You could be put in a position that is worse than your first.
In conclusion, if you are thinking about bankruptcy, you must weigh all of the pros and cons. You don't want to turn around one day and have your first situation be worse for filing bankruptcy.
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