When should I file for Bankruptcy?

Many of the clients who come into my office say the following: “You know, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I was just too scared.” Or they’ll say “I’ve been paying minimums for several months now, but I just can’t keep up anymore.”

So when do you know the right time to file for Bankruptcy. In my opinion, you know it’s the right time to file when you have debt that will only allow you to make interest or minimum payments on a monthly basis, and you don’t see the environment changing anytime soon. I say this because many times, in fact, the majority of time, you’ll eventually either stop paying these credit cards or you’ll finally file for Bankruptcy. In the interim, you are wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, attempting to keep up with minimums for balances that you know you will never be able to pay off. The question then is: why wouldn’t you file sooner if you know thats the only real way out of debt for you. My opinion, based on my clients, is that it is more of an emotional issue than anything else. You may think that filing for Bankruptcy is a shameful thing, that it is frowned upon. And those feelings are understandable. However, bankruptcy filers come from every age, demographic, race, and socio-economic status. If you know that at some point in the next several months you wont be able to pay the minimums on your cards or loans, or if you know that the bank is going to foreclose on your house, then the conversation you should have is with yourself. Again, not legal advice, just personal belief.

If you can take the emotion out of the equation, or at least put it aside, you may realize (or may not), that Bankruptcy may be right for you. That there is no way you will be able to get out of the pile of unsecured/secured debt that you have, and that you need breathing room to continue to move forward. If that is your situation, then I would urge you to learn more about Bankruptcy, or to contact an attorney to make an informed decision, as opposed to writing checks to credit cards when you know you’ll never be able to pay them off. It may not only save you money, but it may save you piece of mind as well.

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