If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt and can't envision a way out, bankruptcy may be the right option for you. As attorneys in Bucks County, PA who have helped many clients file for Chapter 7 & 13 bankruptcy, we will provide you with legal representation and fight for your rights under the law.
Why consider bankruptcy
The most common causes of bankruptcy tend to be medical bills, student loans, job loss, and divorce. While many people manage to make do when faced with one of these expenses, it's often enough to overwhelm a person's ability to pay when they are faced with two or more.
Signs that bankruptcy may be a serious option include:
- Using credit cards for necessary expenses
- Using one credit card to pay off another credit card
- Only being able to pay the minimum balance on your cards and the balance keeps growing
- Creditors contacting you and threatening to sue
- Your home is in danger of foreclosure
What debts are erased and what debts are not erased in bankruptcy
Not all debts are erased by bankruptcy. Those debts that will remain include:
- Secured debts, such as mortgages and car loans (as long as you continue to pay these loans)
- Alimony and child support
- Taxes or debts to government agencies
- Student loans
That said, many other debts will be erased, which hopefully will allow you to pay the above debts with your available income:
- Credit card debt
- Medical expenses
- Personal loans and other unsecured debt
These lists are not exhaustive. Talk to us about the kinds of debt responsibilities you carry and we can tell you if bankruptcy is likely to erase them.
Pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy will hit your credit score hard. It could drop 150 – 200 points or more, and it will take you a very long time to bring that back up. In addition, your bankruptcy will be in the public record for 7-10 years, depending on whether you file for Chapter 7 or 13. Any assets of value you have will be sold to pay off creditors. Some may be exempt, which an experienced attorney can help you protect.
However, if all other options have been exhausted – you can't take a second job, sell off unneeded assets, downsize your home, or negotiate down your credit card debt – then filing for bankruptcy is a much better option than continuing to fall behind on payments, lose your house, and suffer the anxiety and trauma of crushing debt.
Filing for bankruptcy will give you a fresh start with your finances. It will stop all those harassing phone calls and threatening letters. It will halt foreclosures. For some people, bankruptcy really is the right choice.
You need an attorney
You may think that if you're in such bad financial straits, you can't afford a lawyer. This is not true, especially since many people who try to file without the help of an experienced attorney do not succeed. Filing for bankruptcy is an extremely complex process, requiring much documentation, legal proceedings, and deadlines. Fail in any of these, and you fail in court.
An attorney will also help you determine which form of bankruptcy you are eligible for and how best to file in order to present your case convincingly while also protecting your most crucial assets from resale.
At Lawyers BW, we will help you get rid of debt, save your home, and start fresh. Representation is more affordable than you think and will give you confidence that you will succeed. Contact us in our Southampton office at (215) 364-4900 for a case review.