If you're facing a mountain of debt that just continues to keep growing, bankruptcy may seem to be the only way out. You're not alone. Hundreds of thousands of Americans face this situation every year. Filing for bankruptcy may seem like an easy solution to your problems, but is it really the right choice?
Did you know that a bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for 10 years? This will make getting any type of loan, credit card, or a home mortgage, next to impossible. Sure, there may be a few lenders who will extend you credit after a few years, but only after jumping through hoops and paying a very high interest rate. Another aspect to consider before filing for a bankruptcy is that some of your possessions may actually be repossessed. When the bank finds anything of value that is not considered a necessity, it may seize the items to pay off your debts.
You should also keep in mind that not all debts are canceled by filing a bankruptcy. If you owe taxes to the IRS, past due child support, alimony, or any court judgments, you will still have to pay these off. They are not erased with a bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy should be avoided if at all possible. In addition to future credit restrictions, filing a bankruptcy will even prevent you from holding some various jobs in the workplace. You can't be an accountant, or hold a magistrate position.
The only real advantage of filing a bankruptcy is that the phone calls at all times of the day and night will stop. Your debts will be written off when your bankruptcy is discharged. You'll have peace of mind once again.
Instead of only considering filing for bankruptcy to get out from under all the debt you've incurred, think about trying debt consolidation. Debt consolidation companies will help you to manage your bills. They have the ability to put some programs in place to help you. They can contact your creditors and make special payment arrangements, new loans, lower interest rates, extended loan periods, etc. Many times this can help prevent you from having to file for bankruptcy. The debt consolidator will make the payments to your creditors and handle everything. All you do is make one monthly payment to the debt consolidation company.
With the recent bankruptcy reform law, filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is next to impossible. A Chapter 7 filing lets you keep your home and property, but discharges all of your debts. Chapter 13 is a re-organization of your debts that you pay off in 3-5 years. Most all filings are now forced into a Chapter 13.
The new law also makes it mandatory for you to meet with a credit counselor before filing for bankruptcy. You must meet with them for at least 6 months. Because of this new law, there is a shortage of credit counselors, forcing you to wait until you can find one before you can begin filing your bankruptcy. You must also attend a money management course, at your own expense.
It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law before making a decision to file. By knowing all of your options and doing some research, you may very well find a solution to getting out of debt without having to file for bankruptcy.
Your Independent guide to Bankruptcy
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