[COLUMN] Filing for bankruptcy when everything seems hopeless

THIS is one thing I hear from people all the time: “If you ask me, I really hate doing this, but I feel I have no choice.”

Of course, no one ever wakes up one morning and decide to just file bankruptcy without seriously thinking it over. Usually, people spend a lot of time going over this option in their head before deciding and the questions seem endless.

What will happen to me and my family if I file bankruptcy? Can I keep my home, car, and other assets?  Is this going to ruin me forever? How long will the bankruptcy stay on my credit?

Even picking up the phone to call an attorney can be a scary thing for most people because they have never had to deal with the legal system or any court their entire life. That’s understandable when you are dealing with something you are not familiar with. However, waiting too long to seek legal help can also backfire. Property can be lost. Creditors may get the upper hand and take advantage of the fact that you don’t know your legal rights.

I always tell people that bankruptcy laws were created to protect people, not hurt them. This is one area of the law where you can use the legal system to your advantage if you really need help. A lot of people who file for debt relief also go through a wide range of emotions.  Most of them, of course, are relieved to find out that they do not need to struggle with their debt problems anymore and that they could finally start over.

Life becomes normal once again.  They don’t need to be afraid of picking up the phone anymore or opening their mailbox not knowing what they may find.  Finally, these people can open a bank account again and start saving for the future.

As I said, a lot of people who end up filing for Bankruptcy usually do so as a last resort.  Deciding to file right away may not be the best thing to do in some situations.  In other cases, it is necessary to file immediately in order to protect property, wages, bank accounts and other assets from being taken by creditors.

An experienced Bankruptcy attorney should be consulted without delay when there are doubts as to when a case should be filed.  This is especially true when you have a lot of assets that may be at risk if creditors file lawsuits.

Once a creditor obtains a judgment, that creditor may proceed to place a lien against property that you own, garnish your wages or clean out your bank accounts.

Listen to me! You may be broke, but you don’t have to be broken.  If you are honestly doing your best to pay your creditors but simply can’t, the law provides a remedy for your situation.  Being bankrupt is not a conscious choice that people make but rather a negative consequence of poor financial decisions that have already been made in the past. But the past is gone and life must go on.

If you’ve made some mistakes (who hasn’t?) in the past, be willing to accept responsibility for where you are, forgive yourself and then move on.  Accept the fact that you may need to file bankruptcy even if you don’t want to- if that’s your only hope of starting over.

When appropriate, Bankruptcy may allow you to turn your situation around and help you get your life back on track.   I have seen countless cases where Bankruptcy relief helped people save their businesses, their homes, their property and even their marriages.

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NOTE: Due to COVID-19 concerns, I am offering free consultations BY PHONE OR VIDEO to anyone who needs help in dealing with their debt problems.

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None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation.  Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 5,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call RJB Law Offices at TOLL FREE  1-866-477-7772.

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