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Should I File Bankruptcy? | 10 Points to Guide You to Decide
Do Not Feel Guilty
Should I file bankruptcy? It’s a tough and emotional choice. But bankruptcy is about starting over and getting a fresh start. You 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. We have clients who were making over $100,000 last year and live in homes worth over half-million dollars.
Then again, we’ve met 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 someone out of high school a $5,000.00 credit line? The irresponsible credit card companies. So while no webpage can answer should you file for bankruptcy, this helps give you some info to decide about the next step.
This Is Not Your Fault
Take control, and feel no shame. It’s not your fault. Things are going on all around us.
- The COVID-19 coronavirus spread to America.
- Government quarantines have closed businesses.
- The closed businesses caused job losses for millions.
- Credit card debt has exploded.
- The real estate market is tanking
All of this is not your fault.
You cannot control the economy, you cannot control a plummeting stock market, and you cannot global virus pandemics, but you can take control of your own financial situation back by contacting a bankruptcy lawyer.
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.”
The Credit Card / Debt Trap
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? Should I file bankruptcy?
They’d hate that, now that you’re in the trap.
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? Don’t feel any shame about taking back control.
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 way back in 2005 they lobbied Congress to the tune of $25,000,000.00 in so-called bankruptcy reform to get the bankruptcy laws changed to protect them from you.
Fortunately, their efforts in 2001 failed. Four years later they didn’t. That’s when they changed the law to make it harder to get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That’s the kind where you don’t pay back your debts.
Should I file bankruptcy? It depends. If you are considering bankruptcy, the bankruptcy lawyers at Santa Clarita Bankruptcy offer a helpful consultation to help you come to terms with your financial future. We understand. I promise we won’t “sell” you but just inform you about your options.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is where you liquidate all non-secured debts. Commonly called consumer liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 applies when the monthly payment on all personal overhead (rent/car payment/utilities/groceries) exceeds your take home income.
There are a lot of bankruptcy myths. You will likely keep your home and your car (if current) under the current state of the law (these are called California bankruptcy exemptions).
READ MORE: The Ultimate Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Guide
You will want to have a skilled bankruptcy attorney to help so you don’t lose anything. You may want to read more about Chapter Seven Bankruptcy, with regard to liquidation
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
On the other hand, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is all about forcing creditors to negotiate with you subject to a bankruptcy trustee’s approval. A Chapter 13 bancruptcy forces creditors to settle up for dimes on the dollar.
Once again, you take control and you set forth a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan that you can work with.
Chapter 13 Consumer Bankruptcy applies when your income exceeds your monthly personal overhead to some extent such that you are able repay some portion of the debt back. Once again, however, recognize Chapter 13 Consumer bankrupcy puts you back in control.
READ MORE: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Do I need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Of course, once you decide should you file for bankruptcy, you are free to file bankruptcy on your own. That is your right. But! 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? Do I list what I paid? Or what it’s worth now? Maybe the price I can get at a garage sale? Do I need to list every CD and Bluray I own?
And this doesn’t even get into the topic of bankruptcy exemptions and protecting your assets. Let alone the Department of Justice‘s complicated Means Test! Making a wrong move could cost you possession of your goods and property.
It really does make sense to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. You get what you pay for.
Credit Card Debt Management and Consolidation Services
Debt Consolidation Companies Are in Control
A lot of times it comes down to asking, “should I file bankruptcy, or do a debt consolidation?” Credit card counseling and debt management services – it doesn’t work, in our experience. For starters, debt consolidation doesn’t stop lawsuits. Numerous clients have come to us after using a debt management company like Freedom Debt 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.
READ MORE: Bankruptcy FAQ
Getting Credit After Bankruptcy
Will I get credit offers after my BK ? You have to wonder, should I file bankruptcy if I’ll never get credit again? 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 up to 10 years after you file.
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 Synchrony), but with outrageous interest rates.
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: Learn more about credit after bankruptcy
Mortgage After Bankruptcy
Can I Buy A House or Car After Bankruptcy ? Yes! You can buy a house after bankruptcy. It’s totally understandable that a factor you ask if should I file bankruptcy if I’ll never get a house. You can and will. And you know bankruptcy can save a home from foreclosure.
But many people do qualify for mortgages 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.
However, 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, once you decide should you file for bankruptcy, you can and will get a mortgage after bankruptcy. You will get a fresh start.
Take Control of your Financial Future
Don’t lose control of your financial future. 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. Bet you didn’t know that.
Also, debt management does not stop credit card lawsuits. Did you contract with CCCS to protect you from being sued or your credit score? Of course not.
They are right there on your credit report as Debt Consolidation Service or Credit Management… a negative entry that tells creditors that you are a bad credit risk.
Consumer bankruptcy and consumer bankruptcy attorneys and lawyers are about empowering you. Don’t let someone else control you.
But should I file bankruptcy?
Ultimately, when it down to the bottom line, a website can’t tell you if you should file for bankruptcy or not. All I can do here is inform you and try to remove some of the mystery, provide a little comfort and calm. To find out if it is a possible solution to file for bankruptcy, let’s talk. No pressure, no strings. Just straight answers and options.
Contact me now.
Santa Clarita bankruptcy offers a helpful bankruptcy consultation. We are here to help you take back control of your financial future
Author: Hale Andrew Antico
Why We’re Better
Most Santa Clarita bankruptcy lawyers don’t go to Los Angeles for you when you testify. Attorney Hale Antico does. I strive for excellent customer service. Sending you to court alone just doesn’t seem right.
Why get lost in a big lawyer factory? You can have a Santa Clarita bankruptcy attorney experienced enough to know the law, but small enough to treat you as though you’re my only client.
Contact us now for a consultation, or book the appointment yourself right now.