How do I know if bankruptcy is the right choice for me?
Making the decision to file a bankruptcy case is not easy. It is important to look at all of your options, and understand both the benefits and negative effects of filing. These are some of the questions that must be considered:
(1) How badly do I need relief? Are creditors hounding me? Have I been sued? Am I facing a garnishment or foreclosure? Is the pressure of dealing with my debts (or not dealing with them) causing problems with my job, my health, my family relationships? Have I tried to work with my creditors to no avail?
(2) Do I qualify for bankruptcy relief? Most individuals qualify for relief under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. However, higher income individuals may be restricted to a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
(3) Will filing a bankruptcy case really help? Bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will stop creditor harassment, foreclosure, garnishments and lawsuits. Some debts, however, cannot be completely discharged (wiped out) by a bankruptcy filing. These include recent income taxes, child support, alimony, and most student loans. Even if you are facing nondischargeable debts, bankruptcy may still help, though, by providing temporary relief and by freeing up income that had been used to service debt that can be discharged.
(4) Will I lose my property? In most bankruptcy cases, the debtor is able to retain his property. However, in most cases if the property is being used as collateral on a debt, a plan must be proposed to pay the creditor at least the value of the property in order to protect it.
(5) Can I afford the cost of filing a bankruptcy case? The best and most experienced bankruptcy law firms will provide a free initial consultation. You will meet with an attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your situation and fully discuss your options. He/she will explain the fees and costs involved and discuss what payment arrangements can be made. In Chapter 13 cases, the attorney fees are usually included in the repayment plan, so a case can be started with little money up front.
The most important thing to remember if you are considering bankruptcy is to get good advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy law is a specialized field. Only a fully qualified, experienced attorney will be able to fully advise you and follow through with the best plan of action.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can a Chapter 7 bankruptcy save my home from foreclosure?
- Can bankruptcy help my credit score?
- Can bankruptcy help with my income tax obligation?
- Can bankruptcy protect my workers compensation settlement funds?
- Can I discharge my old tax debt in bankruptcy?
- Can I file for social security disability while I’m still working?
- Can I receive workers compensation benefits if I was injured before or after clocking out?
- Can I save my home by filing bankruptcy?
- Can my re-enlistment bonus be discharged in bankruptcy?
- Can the bankruptcy trustee in my case seize the funds in my bank account?
- Chapter 13 Basics
- Chapter 7 Basics
- Get help filing your income tax returns — for free!
- How can I stop debt collectors from harassing me and my family?
- How do I decide if bankruptcy is necessary?
- How do I know if bankruptcy is the right choice for me?
- How does the foreclosure process work in Georgia?
- How long must I live in this area before I can file bankruptcy here?
- I cosigned a debt for a friend and now he won’t pay. What can I do?
- I was fired after being hurt on the job. Can I still file for workers compensation?
- I was injured at work. Can I sue my employer?
- I was terminated from my job after a work injury. Now my condition has worsened. What are my options?
- I’m considering filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Do I have to include all my debts?
- I’m starting to think I may have to file for bankruptcy. Where do I start?
- Mortgage and debt relief for active military personnel
- My car has been repossessed. Can bankruptcy help me get it back?
- My Chapter 13 case was dismissed. Can I file a new case and protect my property?
- My doctor released me to light duty, but my employer is insisting I do more strenuous work. What should I do?
- My ex assumed our joint debts as part of our divorce settlement. Now he’s filed bankruptcy. What can I do?
- My house is being foreclosed – What can I do?
- My workers comp doctor has released me to light duty work. Can my employer cut off my weekly benefits?
- My workers compensation doctor says I can return to work, but I can’t do the job. What can I do?
- Ripped off by a debt settlement company?
- Social security benefits — Can a creditor garnish my bank account and seize my social security funds?
- The trustee has filed a motion to dismiss my Chapter 13 case. What are my options?
- What can I do to improve my credit score?
- What to expect: First credit counseling course
- What to expect: Free bankruptcy consultation
- What to expect: Second credit counseling course
- What to expect: Your next appointment
- When is my bankruptcy case closed by the court? Is it possible to reopen the case?
- Where would my bankruptcy case be filed, and where would the hearings be held?
- Will paying off an old debt raise my credit score?