When should I file bankruptcy?
The difference between salad and garbage is timing.
Timing is an extremely important, even critical in some cases, consideration in filing a bankruptcy case.
While you can throw out your badly timed salad and start all over, you can’t un-file your chapter 7 bankruptcy once it’s filed. Once you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are committed.
Stuck with the results. You can get a do-over.
So, I see people losing cars, houses, large amounts of money, even if their retirement nest eggs which were not put into a properly protected account, simply because they file bankruptcy at the wrong time.
When should I file bankruptcy?
The real answer, of course, is different for everyone. In most cases, and this is a very general statement, people wait too long to file bankruptcy.
The best time to address health issues is before they become issues.
The best time to put that antivirus program on your computer is before it gets infected with a virus.
The best time to look into bankruptcy options is before you lose other options and are forced into filing bankruptcy because it’s the only option left.
Frequently, I see people who wait so long that options that I know they had available to them only three months, six months, or even 12 months prior to our first meeting are gone forever. It is the rare occasion that someone comes to see me and says, “Mr. West, I’m up to date on all of my bills right now, but I look down the road and I see trouble! Can we put together a plan so that it doesn’t get any worse?”
Instead, what I normally hear is this: “ Mr. West, I’m probably going to be sued any day now! I’ve been meaning to call you and talk about my options for one or two years – but just hoped and prayed that things would change. Well, they haven’t changed for the better – and so we need to get busy.”
All this is very understandable. The very thought of asking for help is embarrassing to most of us. We don’t like to feel like we need help. It’s our culture. It’s pride. It’s also harmful.
Think about it this way. We think nothing of going to the doctor when were sick. Everybody understands that we become ill. It’s different however when it comes to our personal finances. It’s not something that we like to discuss publicly. We all feel that we have failed if we need help with our finances.
And this is true, even when the financial difficulty we are experiencing came about through no fault of our own. Job loss, divorce, medical problems, there are as many reasons why people have financial problems as there are individuals who have them. Everyone’s situation is different.
There is no shame in having a financial difficulty that you need to get some expert help to deal with. The real tragedy, in my opinion, is knowing that you need help and, due to pride or embarrassment or shame, foolishly neglecting to do anything about it.
When should I file bankruptcy? The answer is going to depend upon all your facts and circumstances. You don’t get a do-over in most cases. We will make sure you get it right the first time. That’s why obtaining the advice of a seasoned, experienced, board certified specialist can make all the difference between you getting salad, or garbage.