Filing for Bankruptcy is never an easy choice. Bankruptcy is the legal means of getting out of your debts. It is your constitutional right to file.
Yes they have toughened the law since 2005, but the vast majority of cases still are filed under Chapter 7. Chapter 7 is liquidation where you are allowed to keep certain exempt property (see Exemption Chart for full discussion). If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, then Chapter 13 whereby you must payback a portion of the debt you owe will be chosen.
The hardest part is making the decision to file. Often time the case decision to file is when things are at their worst: a bank account is frozen, or wages or about to be levied. Bankruptcy is often caused by unemployment and uncovered medical bills. People often worry that they will never be able to get credit again. This is not true. Since bankruptcy has become so common, banks have developed programs for people who have filed. I am often asked several years after the bankruptcy for a copy of the file as the client is now purchasing their first house. So bankruptcy is not the end, but
a fresh start.
Bankruptcy can be started with an initial free ½ hour consultation to see if you qualify and then determine the complexity or simplicity of your case. Paperwork to remember to bring to the initial appointment should include:
- Photo ID (Driver’s License or State issued ID)
- Social Security Card
- Recent Paystub