Deciding When to File Bankruptcy is Not An Easy Decision to Make
The decision to file bankruptcy can be a tough one, and should not be taken lightly. The long-term repercussions to this quick financial solution may outlast the length of the original problem. Thus, ...
The decision to file bankruptcy can be a tough one, and should not be taken lightly. The long-term repercussions to this quick financial solution may outlast the length of the original problem. Thus, people may vacillate between struggling to pay their debt and getting instant relief from the pressures of the endless collection agency calls. Once a person has reached the point of no return, knowing when to file bankruptcy is just as important as understanding the process. Stress caused by a financial situation that interferes with your ability to sleep, work and have meaningful family relationships could make bankruptcy important for your mental health. This is even more important than your financial health. With good health, you can find a solution to get out of debt. Your thoughts are clearer and focused on solutions rather than the problem.
Knowing When to File Bankruptcy
There really is no magic formula that will tell you whether or not bankruptcy is the right choice for you. Each individual case is different based on a number of factors. However, the older you are, the number of dependents, the amount of debt versus cash reserves, and how much debt is non-dischargeable are the starting barometers for making a decision. Being able to withstand the far reaching impact of ruined credit, the inability to keep bank accounts and credit cards should be seriously considered. Sure, you might be able to avoid foreclosure this time, but you might not be able to buy or even rent another home in the future. Bankruptcy can also adversely affect your future employment options and the ability to get various types of insurance.
The decision in determining when to file bankruptcy also involves knowing which type of personal bankruptcy is most appropriate for your situation. The two most common are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for consumers. There are specific conditions which must be met before a federal bankruptcy court accepts the filing. Part of this involves a means testing to determine whether or not you have the means to repay the debt.
Drastic changes to the bankruptcy law was made to encourage more people to file a Chapter 13 rather than a Chapter 7. Through a Chapter 13, a repayment agreement is made between the consumer, creditors, trustee and bankruptcy judge when it is proven that the consumer has a steady income to meet repayment obligations. Chapter 7 allows for a total liquidation of assets to pay down the debt and have the bankruptcy discharged, effectively erasing all of the debt.
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