Last Ditch Ideas Prior to Filing Bankruptcy

Sat, Jul 19, 2014


Some rights reserved by TwyloThere is a real stigma associated with filing bankruptcy for many folks. However, bankruptcy laws and rules have changed over time, as has the social stigma for many people. Only you can decide if considering bankruptcy would work for you. Bankruptcy is not a good fix for everyone’s debt situation, so a qualified bankruptcy attorney should be consulted to see if bankruptcy would work for your situation in a positive, legal way. You may have too little debt, or a very complicated property or business situation, or the timing is wrong for filing. That’s why we do not charge for the first in-office or phone consultation for consumer bankruptcy, estate planning, probate, or personal injury cases.

Many people want to solve their debt on their own. That is an ok idea to consider too, depending on your situation. You can deprive yourself of lattes, cable, phones, internet, eating out, vacations, toys, private schools, and more. But remember, these can really make a difference in some people’s lives. You can read about debt busting strategies online or in books, or attend seminars dedicated to the subject. You can save up for big purchases and make sure you don’t charge things. You can use the envelope system, or conquer debt by paying off the card with the highest interest rate or lowest amount of debt first; you can refinance, and more. Sure, you can – and if you can do all that and make a dent in your debt—that’s great. However, you can’t always anticipate life’s financial tragedies—like job loss, divorce, death, and health crises. These situations tend to sneak up on you and you may not weather the financial storm they cause. In addition, sometimes bad spending habits have just wreaked too much havoc to recover from on your own.

You can talk with the mortgage company, the credit card company, various service providers; try to cut your monthly bills and food budget, etc. These are all great strategies. Sometimes there is no room to cut and sometimes terminating a contract costs more or moving is not an option. Also remember that a health crisis or a job loss will not negotiate with you.

Then what do you do? Take stock of your debt, your property, your absolute necessities, and decide what you can live without. You can do this on your own sometimes. But sometimes you can’t because you don’t know where to start or it’s all scattered around or you just can’t deal with it because of your personal situation. Consulting with a financial professional is often a good way to go, if you can afford it. They may be able to point you in the right direction for a minimal fee.

Nevertheless, sometimes it is time to seek help from a qualified bankruptcy attorney because the debt is just not going to go away. Before you have stressed yourself and your family to the breaking point, call a qualified bankruptcy attorney. Only you and your attorney can decide if bankruptcy is right for you, so don’t be afraid to make that call for a free consultation.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941-202-2222 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations that are available for certain types of cases.

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