Some people fear that filing for bankruptcy will ruin their financial life. However, filing for bankruptcy can preserve people's assets and help them rebuild their credit-all while stopping harassment from creditors. Timing is crucial when filing for bankruptcy, so if you are struggling with overwhelming debt, promptly contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer to determine whether bankruptcy is a smart choice for you.
With 15 million people unemployed and about 25 percent of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments, bankruptcy filings are on the rise. According to a government study, almost 1.5 million Americans filed for bankruptcy during the 12-month period ending September 30, 2010, which is a 14 percent increase from the year before. Further, Robert Lawless, a bankruptcy-law professor, said many people suffer because they wait too long to file for bankruptcy.
Benefits of Bankruptcy
One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that it halts current actions against the individual and his or her assets. Upon filing for bankruptcy, the following stop:
- Foreclosure proceedings
- Wage or Social Security garnishments
- Utility cut-offs
- Calls from debt collectors
In addition, filing for bankruptcy can help individuals avoid losing their car or home. But, it is most beneficial not to wait until a few days before the car is repossessed or the home is foreclosed before seeking help. Bankruptcy can be complicated, and each individual's circumstances are unique.
Some individuals may be able to obtain a mortgage modification or create a payment plan with their credit card companies. For truly unmanageable debt, however, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a way to get a fresh start.
If you are having difficulty paying bills or are at risk of losing your car or home, contact a reputable bankruptcy attorney to discuss whether filing for bankruptcy is right for you.