For most, the hardest thing to do is make the decision to come in to see me for a free, no-obligation appointment to find out what your options are.
Can you avoid bankruptcy on your own? To explore non-bankruptcy alternatives, create a budget for your realistic current living monthly expenditures. Include mortgage and car payments, but exclude all other existing debt payment.
With the money available each month after paying your current living expenses, can you pay off your existing debts at the current interest rates in 3 years? If not, can you:
Avoid resorting to liquidating IRA’s or 401K plans to pay creditors as these assets are generally protected from collection actions by creditors. They are hard to replenish once spent, but most importantly, using retirement savings to pay creditors may create new debt in the form of income taxes and penalties for early withdrawal. Your good intentions to repay creditors may just end up substituting Uncle Sam as a creditor in place of your existing creditors. While you can discharge most debts in bankruptcy, you cannot usually discharge taxes.
Can you avoid bankruptcy with outside help? If you can’t pay off your debt within three years on the present terms, you could contact one of many debt counseling services; they might be sble to help you make a budget and negotiate a repayment plan that may include a reduced or even zero interest rate on your existing debt. Creditors sometimes cease collection actions against those participating in CCC plans, sometimes they do not and CCC can’t stop lawsuits, garnishments, or bank account attachments.
These plans usually work best when the debt is primarily credit card debt, and when the debt is not too large.
CCC counselors sometimes exclude non-dischargeable tax debt from the repayment plan, leaving the consumer paying unsecured, dischargeable credit card debt while non-dischargeable taxes or back support go unpaid. That approach seldom gets the debtor the relief needed. What is worse; if you have tax debt you should generally speak to a tax/bankruptcy lawyer. The money you do pay should count! I.e. be used to pay non- dischargeable tax debt. I can answer these questions for you at your consultation.
If these repayment alternatives are not feasible, consider bankruptcy.
There is no magic formula that tells you whether bankruptcy is the best choice for you. The best way to find out is to speak to a bankruptcy specialist.
In general, the older you are, the greater the number of people dependent on your income; the larger your debt; the smaller your cash reserves or retirement savings; and the greater the amount of non-dischargeable debt, the more likely that bankruptcy is appropriate for you.
On the other hand, if your financial situation causes such stress that it interferes with your ability to work, parent, or sleep; perhaps you should consider bankruptcy as appropriate for your mental health rather than financial necessity. Non-financial problems are just as real as money troubles, and I have seen too many people get divorced, or begin to abuse drugs and alcohol as an escape from financial pressure, when all they really needed to do was to get a grip on their finances. Sometimes a bankruptcy filing fixes more than just financial problems.
A friend of mine told me West & Hurley really knew their stuff about bankruptcy and that is why I chose them to represent me. Everyone treated me with dignity. They didn't make me feel any less of myself for filing bankruptcy. They treated me as a valued client. Whenever I had a question, the secretaries were eager to help me. I always felt satisfied and more knowledgeable in my particular situation at the end of the conversation. I think very highly of all the people at West & Hurley and would recommend their services.Diane Parthe
Me and my wife went though bankruptcy, it's been 6 months and we have a credit card and a 2012 bought new GMC truck. Richard West and Associates did an excellent job helping us file, and help us get our credit back on track. Our paralegal Lisa, did an excellet job helping us with our paperwork. We highly recomend filing with them, we had tried with a different firm, and they didn't help us in the same way, we are happy we had their help and expertise getting us back on track.Janie Wright
My wife and I filled for bankruptcy in 2008 with the help of West & Associates. Mr. West told us in our initial consultation that if we followed his advice and stuck to a plan we could rebuild our credit to a better state than it was before we filled. Though skeptical my wife and I worked hard on things like paying bills on time or early and building our credit little by little. By doing things like this and learning from past mistakes we were able to pay off our bankruptcy a year early and raised our credit score to just under 700 points. That is a 200 point difference from our score prior to getting help from West & Associates. We were also able to buy a new car 6 months after discharge with a very low interest rate. So when people tell you that filling will ruin your credit forever it just isn't true.Sherman Thatcher
I would like to thank the West & Hurley team for their hard work. They did an excellent job and were very professional. The staff was friendly and helpful. I will recommend West & Hurley to my friends.Christina Anglin
It was simply an easy process. They made absolutely sure I fully understood all of my choices. It was vital to me how they wasn't trying to sell bankruptcy since they also told me about other options like credit counseling as well as others. I felt like these people were taking care of My personal best interest...not just trying to find yet another client. I recommend them.A Google User