In the times of this less than stellar economy, more and more people are finding out what it means to be bankrupt. People who have worked all their lives to support themselves and their families have become surrounded by debt and lose all hope. Personal bankruptcy can be scary, but you can escape it, as you will see by reading the following article.
Seriously consider if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. If you do not owe too much in credit card debt and medical bills, you might be able to handle the debts yourself with credit counselors and payment arrangements. Bankruptcy can be a serious financial choice, so make sure you consider all your options carefully.
Many people do not know that student loans are not dischargeable debt under bankruptcy laws. Do not go into your bankruptcy thinking that your student loans will be discharged, because only in cases of extreme hardship are they considered. If the job you received from pursuing your degree will never allow you to pay off your debt, you may have a chance, but it is highly unlikely.
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.
You can take steps to hang onto your house. There are many options available to help protect you from losing your home. For instance, if your home value has dropped recently, or even if you happen to hold a second mortgage, you may not necessarily lose the home. You may also want to check out the homestead exemption because it may allow you to keep your home.
Do not feel embarrassed or guilty about filling for bankruptcy. Many people fear that they will be treated as second class citizens after they declare themselves bankrupt. However, this is not the case. The option to 'declare yourself bankrupt' was developed by the government to enable assistance to be given to people who find themselves overwhelmed with debt and in need of a fresh start. Last year, over 1.4 million people filed bankruptcy and the majority of them are now living a happy, debt-free life. So, there is no need for you to be afraid of bankruptcy stigma.
Talk to a credit counselor before deciding to file for bankruptcy. You have to attend an approved credit counseling session anyway in order to file, and a qualified counselor can help you evaluate your options and determine whether bankruptcy is in your best interest. Ask your credit counselor any questions you may have about what type of bankruptcy to file or its effects on your credit.
Before you make a final decision to file for bankruptcy, look into all the options that are available to help your financial situation. If you are buried under credit card debt, it can help to check out a debt-consolidation, or home-equity loan if you qualify. You can also try negotiating smaller payments on your debt until, your finances are better in control. Bankruptcy is always an option, but if you can alleviate your problems in another way, you will be able to avoid a major hit to your credit history.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, do not discontinue payment on secured loans. These loans are the ones for your car or your home. Even if you are not receiving paper bills or statements on these accounts, make the regular payment on time, each month. These are likely the possessions you do not want included from the bankruptcy.
Keep your head up. Getting depressed about the situation you are in will not help. Many times, bankruptcy seems like it is going to be bad, but often, it is the best thing you can do at the time. You will have a fresh start and a better financial future, if you learn from your mistakes.
Look into Chapter 12 bankruptcy if you are a family farmer. The purpose of this chapter is to reorganize the farming business so that it can remain operative. Chapter 12 bankruptcy can be filed by single-owner farms or partnerships. Be aware that there is a ceiling on the amount of debt for these filings.
Start taking additional Info from bill collectors. You may have been avoiding calls from bill collectors, but if you are filing bankruptcy you may need to speak to them. You need to have all of your debts laid out so that your lawyer can get to work involving them in your case. If you don't include a debt, it will not be discharged, and you will still have to pay it.
Be honest about your debts. When you file for bankruptcy, you need to be completely honest about your debts. If you attempt to hide any income, or assets from a Trustee, you might find that the court dismisses your case. You will also be barred from re-filing any debts that were listed in that petition. Report all financial information, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Keep in mind that, currently, student loans cannot be discharged when filing for bankruptcy. There is a process by which student loans could be considered dischargeable, but it is costly, difficult, and rarely successful. However, student loans in bankruptcy have been a topic discussed by Congress in recent years, so keep up with new bankruptcy laws to find out if any changes have been made.
Prepare for your bankruptcy by identifying all the creditors, to which you have financial obligations you cannot pay. Included in the list for each creditor, you want to list your account number, and each creditor's address. It is vitally important that this information is accurate. Without supporting documentation or accurate info, a certain debt may not get discharged during the bankruptcy process, leaving you holding the bag for any of those debts.
If you know that you are about to file for bankruptcy, don't exploit the information asymmetry and get huge cash advances on your credit cards. Doing so constitutes fraud. You can easily be ordered to repay all of this money, by the courts.
You will most likely need to consult with a lawyer who specializes in the field of bankruptcy prior to filing. Be diligent in your research before you hire someone to represent you. Check all public records available on your attorney and make sure he or she is properly licensed and has excellent references. You should visit with several lawyers and examine what payment structures they offer based on what type of results. You should not hire anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable with them.
Don't overwhelm yourself all at once; after all, this is a tough and life altering decision that you have just proceeded to make. There is no easy way to file bankruptcy, mostly because of the emotional stress involved. However, the tips you have just read can make the process much easier to handle.