If you are struggling to make ends meet, the thought of filing for bankruptcy has probably crossed your mind. It is likely a scary thought, but it shouldn’t be. The media consistently reports on businesses and celebrities that seek debt relief and makes it sound like it is the end of the world. What the media never reports is how most people emerge from their Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 with little or no remaining debt.
Living with debt is an accepted norm, but when do you know it is time to finally file for bankruptcy protection? Below are a few questions to ask yourself:
· Are you making only the minimum payments on your credit card bills?
· Are debt collectors harassing you?
· Are credit cards the way you pay for necessities?
· Have you lost track of how much debt you have?
· Do you feel you’ve lost control over your finances?
If your answer to one or more of the above questions is “yes,” filing bankruptcy is an option you should consider.
Once you have decided to seek debt relief by filing for bankruptcy, you must decide whether to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. A Chapter 7 liquidates your non-exempt assets to pay off your creditors. However, most valuable assets (such as your home, vehicle, 401k, and others) may be protected and exempted from being included in your bankruptcy estate.
A Chapter 7 case allows you to eliminate or discharge the majority of your debt within a four to six month period.
A Chapter 13 case allows you to reorganize your debt, create a repayment plan, and keep non-exempt assets. By making manageable monthly payments to the trustee for three to five years, you can discharge your debt. You must have a regular source of income to file for Chapter 13 protection.
We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be scary, but you are not alone. Having overwhelming debt is stressful and exhausting. Let us help you understand all of your debt relief options and how filing for bankruptcy can improve your finances.
If you are interested in learning how filing a bankruptcy case can benefit you, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., at 973-323-2953. You can also reach us by filling out our online form. We represent debtors in Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 filings. Let us help you get the fresh financial start you need today.