Filing Bankruptcy: What to Know Before you File
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Before Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Questions to Ask

The decision to pursue bankruptcy protection is not one that's easy to make.

Debt is difficult. With all the late fees, penalties and mounting interest, keeping your head above water may seem almost impossible.

Ask yourself this. If you could potentially eliminate your debt without permanently damaging your credit, why wouldn't you?

The stigma related to bankruptcy is not what it was 10 years ago. Just ask the millions of Americans who have taken this step to rebuild their futures.

Talk to one a sponsoring bankruptcy lawyer about your debt-relief options today:

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Assess Your Financial Situation Before Filing Bankruptcy

Taking a close look at the bottom line is a courageous first step. Fill out the above form if you'd like to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer today.

A bankruptcy attorney can help separate panic from reality and may even advise that you might not be in as bad shape as you think.

Some initial questions think about:

  • Are you heavily in debt, with little prospect of getting out of that debt in the near future?
  • Have you had, or are your creditors threatening, a foreclosure on your home, a repossession of your car or other legal action to take your property?
  • Have you experienced a dramatic drop in income?
  • Are you frequently late paying bills?
  • Do you only pay the minimum on your credit cards?
  • Are you unable to make even the minimum payments?
  • Do you have to sacrifice basic necessities just to make ends meet?
  • Have you bounced more than one check in the last two months?
  • Are your wages being garnished?
  • Are you going through a divorce resulting in a decrease of income but an increase in expenses?

Many people who've answered yes to some or a number of these questions choose bankruptcy as an option. If you're considering bankruptcy, consider talking to a bankruptcy attorney to assess your rights and determine if bankruptcy is right for you.

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Bankruptcy is not for everyone, but you should be an informed consumer to make the right decision. You can be proactive. Don't wait until your wages are being garnished or your car is repossessed.

Can the U.S. Bankruptcy Code Help Me?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is a set of federal laws with broad powers that entitle people to obtain relief from debt.

For individuals, the options are typically either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, most of your unsecured debts can be discharged and assets beyond allowable exemptions are liquidated to pay some or all of your debt. Usually most of your assets are exempt--meaning they cannot be liquidated.

Exempt property usually includes:

  • Primary residence
  • Vehicle
  • Certain items of personal property
  • Tools and work equipment
  • Numerous other categories

After your case is completed and all dischargeable debts are forgiven, the bankruptcy case is closed.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you can reorganize your debts and repay them in an affordable payment plan that lasts 36 to 60 months. Your creditors generally cannot take any action against you while you repay your debts.

Many people file Chapter 13 to stop foreclosure or repossession.

Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer about which bankruptcy type, if any, could be right for you.

Feel free to explore our site for more bankruptcy information.

The above summary is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. For the latest information on filing for bankruptcy, speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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