Many people who are overwhelmed with debt problems consider filing for bankruptcy. However, going bankrupt has a number of serious disadvantages and should be avoided if at all possible.
In this article we will discuss why bankruptcy should be avoided and possible alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.
Getting into debt is easy, especially with so many lenders offering you money via loans and credit cards. It is all to easy to run up huge bills when you are charged high rates of interest on your un-paid debt. Before you know it creditors are pounding on your door and you are too scared to open your mail. Thatís when you think that bankruptcy might be the answer.
Contrary to popular misconception however, going bankrupt does not mean that you do not have to pay your debts. It simply allows the court to intervene and create a schedule for re-payment. Furthermore it opens you up to all sorts of penalties and disadvantages.
For example, if you are declared bankrupt you may lose your home and you will be unable to obtain credit over £500. In addition to this, your bank accounts will be closed and you will have to hand over your credit cards to the courts.
If you have a business, your company will be closed down and your employees will be dismissed. Plus, in the future you will not be allowed to be involved in forming, managing or promoting a company without the courtís permission.
There is also a huge social stigma associated with bankruptcy. This is because bankruptcies are announced in the local papers. So you will not be able to hide the fact that you have gone bankrupt.
So can you avoid bankruptcy? In 1986, the UK government introduced an alternative to bankruptcy called an IVA.
IVAs are formal and private agreements between a debtor and his creditors. In this agreement the debtor proposes to pay back an affordable amount of his debt each month.
In return the creditors write off a certain amount of the debt altogether and freeze interest on the debt. It is not unusual for as much as 85% of a debt to be written off and repayment amounts can be as low as £200 a month. After five years, if the terms of the IVA have been adhered to then the debtor is declared debt free.
An IVA is a good alternative to bankruptcy because there are no stigmas or disadvantages associated with it.
Clear Start, the National Consumer Debt Advice Service offers free IVA advice to help you avoid bankruptcy: Alternative to Bankruptcy