There are numerous life circumstances that cause people financial crises. Medical bills, divorce, death, and unemployment are all common factors that can cripple an individual’s or a family’s finances. To add to the stress, many people with overdue debts then have to deal with an onslaught of harassing phone calls from collection agencies, overdue or final notice bills in the mail, lawsuits, and wage garnishments.
United States federal law provides an avenue of relief for qualified people, though: bankruptcy. Some people do still attach a stigma to bankruptcy, but for many people, the benefits of filing for bankruptcy overcome any reservations they have.
If you are considering bankruptcy, seek legal counsel for help considering your options. To talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Acworth or the surrounding areas, call Ghai Law Firm at 770-233-7474 and request a free consultation.
Are there benefits of filing for bankruptcy?
First, there are a lot of things to consider before even contemplating bankruptcy. Have you tried creating a budget and sticking to it? Have you considered ways to make additional income to pay off your debts? Have you tried debt counseling and negotiating with your lenders?
Bankruptcy is a last resort. For many people though, it offers the best (and sometimes the only) hope for rising out of debt. Below are a few of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy.
- Any foreclosures on your home will be put to a halt. Plus, filing for bankruptcy may give you the time you need to catch up on your house payments.
- Any pending lawsuits against you filed by creditors will be dropped.
- Wage garnishments for dischargeable debts will cease.
- You could wind up making more money and living longer. A study published in 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research reviewed half a million bankruptcy cases and found that Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection “increases annual earnings by $5,562, decreases five-year mortality by 1.2 percentage points, and decreases five-year foreclosure rates by 19.1 percentage points.”
What type of bankruptcy should I file for?
- Chapter 7 – With this form of relief, also referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy, you can usually opt to keep certain property (like your house and your car), and request a total discharge of the rest of your debts. The assigned trustee over your case will be tasked with liquidating any of your non-exempt property to pay back your creditors. If you have no property, the creditors get nothing. If your bankruptcy is approved, you will not have to pay back the debts. Note, to qualify for a Chapter 7, your income must be below a certain threshold.
- Chapter 13 –If your income is too high to file a Chapter 7, you might need to file a Chapter 13 instead. With this type of bankruptcy, also referred to as reorganization bankruptcy, you get to keep all of your property and you are allotted time to catch up on payments. Your debts are basically restructured and in many cases, reduced. In return, you agree to pay back a portion of your debts on a new debt repayment plan.
Each person’s or family’s situation differs. When you speak to a bankruptcy attorney from the Ghai Law Firm about your bankruptcy options, he can explain which might suit you best and how to move forward. He can also help you file for bankruptcy and ensure the rest of the process goes smoothly.
Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit forever?
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to pay back their debts in full and on time. But, as we all know, the world is not perfect and things occur that are out of our control. And despite our best efforts, we can still run into major financial problems.
Nearly one million people filed for bankruptcy in 2014, according to the United States Bankruptcy Courts. The concept of debt forgiveness is nothing new. The first bankruptcy law in the U.S. passed in 1800, but it goes back even further than that. The concept of formal periodic debt forgiveness is an ancient remedy that people have been utilizing for centuries. It dates back to the 7th century BC, when the author of the Book of Deuteronomy penned, “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts.”
Yes, bankruptcy will affect your credit, but in time, your credit may actually improve. After your discharge, you can start working to rebuild your credit almost immediately.
What are my first steps when contemplating bankruptcy?
Your first step is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to briefly review your situation and determine if you qualify. At that time, your attorney will advise you of the documents you need to collect and the paperwork you need to fill out. At the meeting, it will be a great time to ask any questions you may have about the bankruptcy process and how you should be handling your finances in the interim.
If you reside in Acworth or the surrounding areas, call a bankruptcy lawyer for a free case evaluation. Our firm helps Georgians through the bankruptcy process. It is a privilege to see the look of happiness and relief on our clients’ faces the day their debts are discharged. Let us see if we can do the same for you. Contact the Ghai Law Firm today at 770-233-7474.