Answering the question, “When should I file for bankruptcy” is a difficult thing to do when you are immersed in the overwhelming stress caused by debt. Worrying about how you will pay your bills and take care of your family, while dealing with aggressive debt collectors and threatening lawsuits, can quickly take its toll. This is precisely when you should meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Doing so before things get out of hand and you are tempted to do something drastic will payoff in the long run.
Filing Bankruptcy Too Early
Timing is very important when you are considering filing for bankruptcy relief. You do not want to file too early; however, you do not want to wait until the last minute. Filing too early is generally a sign that proper research and thorough consideration of your options hasn’t taken place.
Even though you may not be in a position where you must file bankruptcy today, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney will give you the facts and information you need in order to make decisions that will be the best for you and for your family. Additionally, there is an abundance of resources available for debtors looking for relief; they are there to prepare you for what is to come and provide you with the information you need to make a decision.
Waiting Too Long To File Bankruptcy
On the other hand, if you continue to struggle with debt and put off consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, you could create financial problems that are much worse than the one you are facing right now. If you wait to file bankruptcy until the eleventh hour, you jeopardize your assets.
By waiting too long to file bankruptcy, you may end up putting your home and other assets at risk, needlessly draining accounts that would otherwise be protected from creditors (i.e. most retirement accounts) and creating a financial situation that did not need to be as dire if you had only pursued bankruptcy as a viable solution to your debt problems.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you should immediately make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options:
- You have been served with foreclosure papers, notice of repossession or other legal papers to collect a debt.
- You have received notice that your wages will be garnished, or your wages are being garnished.
- You are beginning to purchase everyday necessities like groceries or gas on credit cards.
- You are paying your utility bills, mortgage payment, car payment or other debts with credit cards.
- You are taking large cash withdrawals from credit cards to make ends meet.
- You borrowed against your life insurance policy, your child’s education account or your retirement account.
- You are considering taking a second mortgage or equity line on your home to pay unsecured debts.
- You are already working a second job and considering a taking a third job.
- You are withdrawing money from retirement accounts for living expenses.
- You owe back taxes, child support or alimony.
- The stress from worrying about debts is affecting your work and home life.
You Can File Bankruptcy While You Still Have Money
Unfortunately, many people assume that they must wait until they have no money or assets left before they can file bankruptcy. This is not true. Bankruptcy exemptions exist to protect certain assets from the bankruptcy court and from your creditors. These exemptions allow you to retain your property even though you are filing for bankruptcy relief. People who file bankruptcy do not need to be penniless or without hope.
Bankruptcy is designed to allow those who can to reorganize their debts to pay something toward those debts through a bankruptcy plan. For those who are unable to pay anything toward their debt and maintain a minimal standard of living for their family, bankruptcy is designed to provide relief from debt so that they can get a fresh start and begin rebuilding their future.
If you fall into either of these categories, or you think bankruptcy may be a viable option for you, request a free consultation and discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney.