Can I file for bankruptcy? This is a question that many have pondered, and an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you answer it accurately. This professional will carefully review every aspect of your situation and then help you make the best choice for your finances and circumstances. There are some things that you should be aware of before you even consider bankruptcy though.
The first factor is how you feel about your debt. Do you lie awake at night, haunted by the amounts owed? Do you feel a personal sense of responsibility for paying off your debts no matter what? If you could make your creditors go away would you? All of these questions are ones you need to evaluate.
You may not feel right having debt eliminated due to personal beliefs, but you may be willing to arrange for smaller payments. This can offer a reasonable schedule that helps you deal with the debts owed on your terms rather than the terms of your creditors. If you feel your debt has reached enormous proportions and the creditor harassment continues nonstop then bankruptcy may be able to help you get out from under this debt and finally get your finances under control.
Before you arrange for a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy specialist know your financial situation. This means understanding all sources of income and the amounts of typical monthly expenses and debt obligations. Make a list of all debts owed, and add them up so that you are aware of the total debt obligations that you are currently facing.
Knowing how a bankruptcy filing will affect your credit rating is also important. The odds are that if you already have significant amounts of debt and are considering bankruptcy then your credit is already shot. Bankruptcy can impact your future ability to get credit in many cases, but eventually you will regain this and hopefully you will make smarter decisions as a result.
Each chapter of the bankruptcy code has certain requirements that must be met. Once the bankruptcy lawyer that you have selected has gone over your entire financial situation and circumstances this legal professional will determine which chapter of the bankruptcy code works best for you and your petition. Some chapters require a repayment schedule for a certain period, and others may reorganize debt structure. Chapter 7 can eliminate most if not all debt, chapter 13 involves a repayment schedule approved by the court, and chapter 11 is generally used by businesses of all sizes and scopes.
Credit counseling may be the best option in some cases, especially if you only owe a small amount of debt that can be paid off in a reasonable amount of time. If your debts are excessive then bankruptcy may provide the debt assistance and relief that you are looking for. This step is not right for everyone, but many find the relief that they need every year by filing for bankruptcy.
In most cases the exemptions that are allowed under the bankruptcy laws will help you protect property. The bankruptcy attorney chosen will help you determine the type of exemptions claimed and also ensure that you get the maximum property coverage allowed under the bankruptcy laws.