Should I File Bankruptcy?
Whether to File Bankruptcy – Do Not Feel Guilty
You didn’t choose this path, but here you are. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We have plans and they sometimes don’t work out. You never thought you’d be asking yourself, “Should I file bankruptcy?” No one does. But you’ve tried other options and they’re not working. So now you’re searching, researching, hoping. And that’s what bankruptcy is about: new life, relief, starting over, hope.
It’s Not Your Fault
Events are swirling around you, the overall ocean we all swim in has turmoil all around us.
- Global COVID pandemic affecting jobs and income
- The housing bubble has burst, and inflated again.
- Global uncertainty about war, trade.
- Gas prices are higher.
- The credit crunch is in full swing.
- Maybe your house has an underwater mortgage.
- Stockholders and 401k owners hurt by recent stock market “corrections.”
All of this is not your fault.
On top of this, we all have individual surprises. Some can be good, but many can be disastrous financially. Every person that reaches out to me had something unexpected happen in their life. Something they didn’t plan for. No way to see it coming. It can be any number of things:
- Pay Cut
- Medical Emergency or Sickness
- Law Suit
- A Failed Business
- Job Loss
Just one of these things is enough to put people behind. This Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney has seen situations where 3 of these happened to the same person at once. No one can plan for this. You didn’t plan for it.
But it happened. If you’re lucky, you had savings before the disaster. But then you drain the savings, maybe even empty your retirement, as you hope things turn around tomorrow, next week, next month. But life doesn’t turn the corner. And along with your savings getting emptied, your hope gets drained with it.
Things are swirling out of control, you feel powerless, caught in an ocean, bobbing with the tide, trying to keep your head above water.
Swallowing your pride, you ask, should I file bankruptcy?
Credit Cards Are Not Blameless
The big credit cards are not innocent victims here, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, since you were a tiny tike, the marketing companies have been trying to get you to buy into neighbor Jones’ dream. Be like Barbie. Get whatever you wanted. Go for it. If you didn’t have the cash, “charge it.” Older generations saved for things. Now, we’re just told to get what we want. Delayed gratification is for suckers.
Secondly, we’re bombarded by messages from the credit card companies. We have famous celebrities asking us, “What’s in our wallet?” Do you think Samuel L Jackson is helping the credit cards for free? Of course not. Because Capital One knows we will trust a Jedi Knight urging us to carry a logo and charge to it.
We have clients who were making over $100,000 last year and live in homes worth over half-million dollars. Then again, we have an 18 year old who started out in life with $35,000.00 in debt (thanks a lot, Master Card, Visa and Amex) due to “free” credit cards. Who gives an 18 year old a $5,000.00 credit line? The irresponsible credit card companies.
The Credit Card / Debt Trap
Thirdly, credit card companies have been enticing — pleading — for you to charge up at 23% (some 28.99%) for years. How many “account balance” transfer offers have your received? How many new extensions of credit card debt have you gotten? Here’s the trap: after you have established a decent payment history with a credit card company, they increase your credit limit. “Congratulations,” they say. Now that you have more credit, go out and spend it. Here are some additional checks that are as good as money. Spend away. They will keep upping that credit limit until you can barely make the minimum payment. When this happens (and it happens to a lot more people than you think), they own you.
If you pay only the minimum payment on your Mastercard or Visa, you’ll be paying the minimum payments on that debt for 35 years or more. Is it any wonder people are stuck in this minimum payment trap? This is their game. It’s rigged against you. That you and millions of Americans struggle to pay minimum payments each month is not an accident.
Don’t feel any shame. It’s time to take back control.
Yes, but Should I File Bankruptcy?
A lot of people ask should I file bankruptcy. Maybe. It’s an option. It may not feel like it, but you have choices at your feet. Granted, none of them is perfect. Each has its own drawbacks. But each also has it advantages.
My goal is to help people. And the best way to help people is to empower them, inform them, let them know their choices. One of these choices is a bankruptcy. It’s certainly not your only option. My heart is to teach you about it, then we can discuss it. That’s why I’ve taken the time to write all the bankruptcy information on this lawyer website.
Then, when we talk, I don’t try to “sell” or push this or any option. We’ll do this if and only if we both think this is what’s best for you. But it’s only worthwhile to me if it’s something that will truly benefit you. I don’t know that until I see the circumstances, we talk, and we’ve met.
No website can answer “should I file bankruptcy” and even a lawyer can’t without knowing all about your unique situation. But after we’ve spoken, after I’ve explained your options, if you ask me then should I file bankruptcy, I’ll tell you my honest opinion about whether it would be best for you.
The Thing Credit Card Companies Fear
The only thing the credit card companies fear is the United States Bankruptcy Code and a bankruptcy attorney. That is why, in 2005, credit cards lobbied Congress to the tune of over $100,000,000 in so-called bankruptcy reform to get the bankruptcy laws changed to protect the credit card companies from you. They made it harder to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7, forcing more people to repay debt. If you are considering bankruptcy, the bankruptcy lawyers at Los Angeles Bankruptcy offer a helpful consultation to help you come to terms with your financial future. We understand.
Take control, and feel no shame.
You cannot control the economy, you cannot control pie-in-the-sky investors, and you cannot control voodoo accountants at multinational corporations or subprime loans or anything going on in Washington DC or Wall Street. But you can take control of your own financial situation back by contacting a bankruptcy lawyer.
A Fresh Start
Bankruptcy is about starting over and getting a fresh start. If you file bankruptcy, will get back in control of your financial future. Do not feel any shame for considering bankruptcy. In today’s economy, many people, from all walks of life, are in your situation.
Credit Card Debt Management and Consolidation Services
With Debt Consolidation Companies You Lose Control
Credit card counseling and debt management services – it doesn’t work, in our experience. Numerous clients have come to us after using a debt management company like CCC and their ilk. Recognize “nonprofit” organizations like CCCS are funded by the credit card companies – are they on your side? No. Further, some counseling services require you to give them your paycheck. They take their fee, pay the credit card companies a payment, and then give you a monthly stipend. Don’t do this. Take control.
Learn more of the frustrating side about consumer credit counseling services.
Take Control of your Financial Future
Don’t lose control of your financial future to debt consolidation companies. Did you know this: firstly, if you breach your contract with a debt management or consolidation company (aka credit counseling), you lose all the benefits you have gained – penalties and interest all gets put back. Secondly, the CCCS or DebtFreedomCryingEagle company doesn’t protect your credit but report negatively against your credit report as Debt Consolidation Service or Credit Management… a negative entry that tells creditors that you are a bad credit risk. Finally, and most importantly, debt management does not stop credit card lawsuits.
Consumer bankruptcy and personal bankruptcy attorneys and lawyers are about empowering you. Don’t let someone else control you.
Consumer bankruptcy comes in two flavors: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There’s a big article I wrote if you follow the links below, but here I’ll just give a quick summary.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is where you can’t pay your debts because you don’t have cash flow. It’s relatively quick. However, you can lose things if you have valuable assets. If you qualify here, you force the creditors to get nothing more. You’ve paid them enough! File bankruptcy, and you will likely keep your home and your car (if current) under the current state of the law (these are called California bankruptcy exemptions). But you’ll want to have a skilled bankruptcy attorney to help so you don’t lose anything. Read more about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, with regard to liquidation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Wage Earner Bankruptcy is all about forcing creditors to take payments based upon whatever you can afford, pending a bankruptcy trustee’s and bankruptcy judge’s approval. Filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 forces creditors to settle up for dimes on the dollar. Chapter 13 Consumer Bankruptcy applies when your income exceeds your monthly expense to some extent such that you are able repay some portion of the debt back. Once again, recognize a Chapter 13 Consumer Bankruptcy puts you back in control. Learn and read more about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Do I need a Bankruptcy Lawyer to File Bankruptcy?
Of course, you are free to file bankruptcy on your own. That is your right. Beware the lure of thinking that because you can do your own taxes, you can do your own bankruptcy forms. There are many legal decisions to make just in the listing of your assets. Which value do I list? (The amount paid? Current value? Garage sale?) Do I need to list every CD and DVD I own? And this doesn’t even get into the topic of bankruptcy exemptions and protecting your assets. Let alone the complicated Means Test for Chapter 7! Making a wrong move could cost you possession of your goods and property. It really does pay to hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
Getting Credit After Bankruptcy
Will I get credit offers after my BK ? You will get credit after bankruptcy. This is a new beginning, and a fresh start. Some clients have been very concerned about the state of their credit after filing bankruptcy. It is a fact: a bankruptcy entry will appear on your credit report for 10 years following the discharge. This does not mean that you will not get a credit card, buy a home, or car for 10 years.
Far from it; remember: creditors want you to borrow. Shortly after your bankruptcy discharge, we can almost promise that you will receive a credit card offer to help you get back on your feet (possibly from Providian). The fact is, you no longer have the majority of your debt; you have an ability to repay (income is freed up), and you can’t declare bankruptcy (Chapter 7) again for eight years. Further, the probability of a consumer declaring bankruptcy a second time in their lifetime is low (it does happen, but after most people do it once, they change their habits).
Read more about Credit After Bankruptcy
Mortgage After Bankruptcy
Can I Buy A House or Car After I File Bankruptcy ? Yes! You can buy a house after bankruptcy. A home loan is up to the discretion of the lender, obviously. However, many of them want your business. They may charge you a higher interest rate or points on your loan, but it certainly is possible to get a loan for a house after bankruptcy. How long? Figure on waiting two years: the bankruptcy will still be there on your record, but it will be a diminished factor which they consider. We work with mortgage lenders we can direct you to which will help you into your next home. So yes, you can and will get a mortgage after you file bankruptcy. You will get a fresh start.
The Caring Bankruptcy Attorneys Here Understand
Los Angeles Bankruptcy offers a helpful bankruptcy consultation. We are here to help you take back control of your financial future.